October 7th, 2017 is a unique day of celebration for the nature found in Oak Cliff.
In the early 1930’s, Edwin Kiest donated over 260 acres of
land that was split into two parcels by what is now known as Kiest Blvd. What most people associate as Kiest Park is
the 184 acres north of Kiest Blvd, and the 6.4 acre tennis center immediate
across the road. But what about the rest
of Kiest Park areas south of Kiest Blvd?
Outside of the tennis center, the remaining area is one of
the more interesting natural areas in Dallas.
There are ~4.5 acres that are maintained as “wildflower areas”. Spring through the summer, these are some of
the prettiest wildflower beds in Dallas.
The Five Mile Creek corridor is a major wildlife corridor though Oak
Cliff, and provides for a wide variety of wildlife species. The shallow soils and limestone outcrops make
this area very similar to the escarpments seen in southwest Dallas. Ecologically, this is a very interesting
In the early years, various trails, playgrounds and bridge
were building the southern area of Kiest Park.
But starting the 1960’s this area was slowly forgotten about. Over the years, the woods were overgrown with
the highly invasive species, privet.
That is until 2009 when the Friends of Oak Cliff Parks obtained “Loving
My Community” grant, and started working on restoration of old trails. In 2015, in recognizing how unique this area
truly is, the Dallas Park and Recreation Department renamed this portion of the
park Kiest Conservation Area. In 2017,
Friends of Oak Cliff Parks partnered with Groundwork Dallas to ensure that trail
restoration efforts were done to current trail standards and in a sustainable
October 7th is a celebration of both hard work
and dedication of the Friends of Oak Cliff Parks, but also a celebration and
volunteer survey of the biological diversity of the Kiest Conservation
Area. At 10 AM, there will be a
dedication of the reopening of the main loop trail through the conservation
area. Guides will be on hand to show
participants through the trail and point out unique features. Starting at 10:30 AM, Dallas Park and
Recreation Department will be hosting a BioBlitz event. This is in partnership with Texas Parks and
Wildlife Department, and is an official participant in the 2017 Texas Pollinator BioBlitz. A BioBlitz is a fun way to get out in the
field with nature experts (DPRD Urban Biologist, TPWD Urban Wildlife Biologist,
and Master Naturalists) and help with an important citizen science
project. All that we ask is that you put
the iNaturalist on your smartphone (for more information on iNaturalist). Adults and kids both enjoy these events. Information collected during the BioBlitz is
important to the management of the natural resources of this area by helping
create a snapshot inventory of the plants, animals and insects that are seen.
Kiest Conservation Area BioBlitz Information BioBlitz
Event Registration Kiest
Conservation Area BioBlitz Registration
For more information on Dallas nature Dallas Park and Recreation
"Urban Biologist" Website