In mid-June, almost 50 LBJ/NTE/NTE35W volunteers came together to serve their local community through the landscaping, gardening and the restoration of two historic parks in Dallas County, specifically in the Oak Cliff area.
Both community events were organized by the Friends of Oak Cliff Parks in partnership with the Dallas Park and Recreation Department.
On Friday, June 14th, twenty-three volunteers joined the Friends of Oak Cliff Parks to help spruce up Lake Cliff Park and Kiest Park Conservation Area for an upcoming community meeting. After a morning full of hard work, the group took some time to relax and reflected on the day over lunch.
The Lake Cliff and Kiest Park Conservation Area is a special area of Oak Cliff that has a newly renovated Crepe Myrtle Demonstration Garden, a historic pineapple fountain and some rose gardens. One of the WPA trails at Keist Park has been reopened and 130 different plants have been identified in its meadow. With the help of grant funding, there is work being done to open another trail. Learn more about Keist Park Conservation Area and Lake Cliff Park.
The second volunteer opportunity took place on June 21st, and twenty-five volunteers helped clean up the Japanese Garden at Kidd Springs Park. All morning, the team worked diligently and helped play a small part in the city’s master plan that will eventually restore the historic park to its original state. Lots of weeding, mulching and even some planting was needed.
This historic park was largely abandoned and most of the “Japanese” features have been destroyed over the years. Luckily, some of its 17th antiquities remain intact and these include two grave markers and a 7-foot concrete lantern. The restoration of this park has been made one of the city’s top priorities, and there are hopes that it will be revived with the help of bond funding. Read more about Kidd Springs Park.
The two volunteer activities were coordinated by the Human Resources Department of both the Austin and Dallas offices. The initiative is part of Cintra US’ corporate social responsibility program, Operation Give Back.
The Friends of Oak Cliff Parks Garden Club was organized in 2002 by David Klempin and Nola Rae Smith, with the support of John Jenkins, Regional Manager of the Dallas Parks and Recreation Department, for the purpose of restoring horticulture and preserving the historic parks of Oak Cliff. It is a grass roots organization and has been blessed with growth of volunteer membership, recognition by local and state organizations, significant grants and donations from individuals, business, and foundations, and recognition by the Dallas City Council and Dallas Park Board.