Kiest Park

37739_signature_KiestPark.jpg
Dallas, TX
United States
Kiest Park

Located amidst gently rolling hills, this 247-acre park was donated to the city in 1931 by prominent civic activist Edwin Kiest in honor of his wife Elizabeth. Two years later the United Confederate Veterans planted 33 black walnuts from seeds gathered at Civil War battlefields. In 1934 local landscape architect Wynne Woodruff designed the two and a half-acre Memorial Garden, which included a formal rose garden, an Arts & Crafts pergola, and a 275-foot long stone-lined rill. That same year, the Works Progress Administration completed construction of a loop trail and stone pavilion with distinctive arched portals. Between 1936 and 1941 the Texas Historic Tree Planting Association installed a memorial grove of live oaks and pecans dedicated to distinguished citizens identified by bronze plaques. By the 1950s the park included a playground, tennis courts, and ball fields.

Today Kiest Park includes extensive natural wildflower gardens bordering the south and west entrances. The loop trail encircles the park, providing access to wooded groves and features rustic bridges and swales planted with crape myrtles. In 2003 Friends of Oak Cliff Parks restored the Memorial Garden which included the planting of red cannas and yellow candle trees. Five years later the Friends restored the historic rill and planted a garden at its terminus. The garden and rill are enveloped by magnolias, arborvitaes, and cedars. West of this area, a grove of live oaks encloses picnic facilities, a playground, and the pavilion. The core of the park includes an athletic complex of baseball diamonds, tennis courts, and soccer fields.