TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Cherokee Nation is investing $1.3 million into playground equipment and community room upgrades at its rental housing units across the reservation, hoping to add to Cherokee citizens’ rental experiences and promote healthier outdoor activity for children.

“Deputy Chief Bryan Warner and I have made public health and wellness a priority in our administration and this is another way we can make community investments and encourage outdoor activity among our citizens,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “This is just one of the many steps to help our Cherokee youth practice healthy habits while also promoting togetherness.”

The $1.3 million in upgrades are from Indian Community Development Block Grant funds and the projects at 14 rental housing sites will start this spring.

“We’re very excited to be updating playground equipment at several of our rental properties,” Cherokee Nation Executive Director of Housing Programs Todd Enlow said. “We’re really hoping these updates will not only bring a new and exciting place for children to play, but also bring an outdoor space for families to gather and connect with others, which is the Cherokee way.”

Cherokee Nation Public Health recommends increasing access to physical activity, social interaction and play for children and families through the addition of playground equipment, which is an evidence-based strategy that works in getting children and parents outside for positive family time.

Existing playground equipment will be taken down just prior to the new installations.

The following sites will soon get updated playground equipment:

  • Cherokee Heights in Pryor
  • Johnny Chopper in Locust Grove
  • Plainview I in Stilwell
  • Plainview II in Stilwell
  • Ross Swimmer Addition in Tahlequah
  • Bushyhead Heights I in Westville
  • Houston Johnson Heights in Warner
  • Cherokee Village in Catoosa
  • Keeler Heights in Bartlesville
  • Willard Stone Heights in Locust Grove
  • Robert Swimmer Addition in Jay
  • Jack Brown Heights in Tahlequah
  • Proctor Heights II in Hulbert
  • Bushyhead Heights II in Westville

The Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation manages 996 rental units in 27 complexes across the Cherokee Nation Reservation.

The first playground project is slated for Houston Johnson Heights in Warner. Additionally, in the near future, Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation staff will begin remodeling several rental housing community rooms as part of the project.