Established in 1929, Woodward Park is a 45-acre public park, botanical garden and arboretum named for Helen Woodward, the original property owner.
The city of Tulsa purchased the land in 1909 for $100 an acre from Herbert Woodward. This area, then outside the city limits, called "Perryman's pasture," was part of a 160-acre allotment that Helen Woodward, a mixed-blood Creek Indian, had received from the Five Civilized Tribes Indian Commission. Her mother was a full-blood Creek and belonged to the Lochapoka tribe. She was 14 years old, under legal age, when her white father and guardian, Herbert Woodward, sold the land without her consent.
Tulsa had condemned the site with the intent of creating a public park. In 1925, Helen, then known as Helen Slemp, sued Tulsa, trying to recover ownership of the land. The suit lasted for four years before the court decided in favor of the city.
The city designed the park to provide its visitors experience with a variety of horticultural subjects. It contains a number of specialty gardens, including the Tulsa Rose Garden, the Tulsa Garden Center, the Tulsa Arboretum and the Linnaeus Teaching Gardens. The Tulsa Historical Society (the Samuel Travis Mansion) is also included in the park.
The park was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2014 as Woodward Park and Gardens Historic District.
Woodward Park is open to the public seven days a week from 5:00am – 11:00pm.