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The original item was published from 10/4/2017 11:35:00 AM to 9/28/2018 12:00:14 AM.

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Urban Biologist

Posted on: September 27, 2017

[ARCHIVED] Kiest Conservation Area Trail Dedication and BioBlitz

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 area.

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 manner.

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       BioBlitzInformation Sheet

Event Registration                                                KiestConservation Area BioBlitz Registration

For more information on Dallas nature                Dallas Park and Recreation "Urban Biologist" Website     

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