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Water park taking shape on Oklahoma-Arkansas border

Wednesday, June 7, 2021 - The Grand River Dam Authority is partnering with the City of Siloam Springs, Ark., to open a whitewater park near the Oklahoma and Arkansas state line north of Stilwell.

The attraction, named WOKA, will be based in Watts, Okla., along the Illinois River in the Ozark Mountains. The park will feature a 1,200-foot-long, 100-foot-wide channel for visitors to explore. Park promoters state that the attraction will be a "national-caliber whitewater adventure park."

WOKA will have options for kayakers, surfers and tubers of all skill levels. Those who don’t want to get in the water will be able to watch from waterfront spectator seating.

GRDA hosted a press conference June 29 to give an update on the construction. Siloam Springs City Manager Phillip Patterson says the city gave the land on condition that it would build the project. There is a backup plan in the event that GRDA can no longer maintain the park. “As long as GRDA owns and operates the park as a kayak park, they can have the land in perpetuity. If there is ever a reason why they cease operating the park, there is a claw-back provision in that agreement where the land would revert back to Siloam Springs,” Patterson said.

The park's projected finish date is 2023.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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