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New whitewater park coming to Arkansas-Oklahoma border

‘WOKA’ will be a national-caliber whitewater park located in northeast Oklahoma on the upper Illinois River.

WEST SILOAM SPRINGS, Okla. — The Grand River Dam Authority and the City of Siloam Springs have collaborated to build a new, national-caliber whitewater park on the Oklahoma and Arkansas border. 

Philanthropic support from Walton Family Foundation (WFF) provided funding for the design and construction of the park. 

The whitewater park’s name, WOKA, is formed from a combination of the words: water, Oklahoma and Arkansas. The 30-acre park falls within the Oklahoma border and inside the reservation boundaries of the Cherokee Nation.

“Surrounded by the Illinois River and the Ozark Mountains, WOKA perfectly defines the native beauty America’s Heartland has to offer,” said Jim Walton, Walton Family Foundation. “This national-caliber park will preserve access to nature for generations and unlock economic opportunity by attracting visitors looking for unique outdoor experiences.”

The unveiling of plans for the WOKA Whitewater Park coincides with the beginning of construction located at the old spillway of Lake Frances on the Upper Illinois River in Oklahoma. Construction completion is expected in 2023.

Credit: Walton Family Foundation

Main attractions include an approximately 100-foot wide, 1,200-foot long side channel off the river with eight drop-features to provide low-hazard recreation for well-equipped, responsible wave action for kayakers, surfers and tubers of all skill levels. Park activities will include kayaking, surfing, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), tubing and rafting.

Additional visitor amenities will include waterfront, shaded spectator seating, rental services, parking, trail system, public restrooms, and course put in and take-outs.

You can find more information about WOKA Whitewater Park by visiting this website

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