Oak Cliff Founders’ Park was started in the 1990s when multiple parcels of land were purchased and the pergola was built with the plaque that celebrated the history of the founding of Oak Cliff and those citizens who were instrumental in that effort. Founders’ Park had some funding from the Samuel Family Foundation that was to help maintain it.
In 2004, Founders’ Park was largely abandoned and the widespread heavy undergrowth had homeless camps and other dangerous occupants.
In 2004, the Oak Cliff Lions’ Club decided to celebrate its 75th anniversary by installing a lion statue and burying a time capsule in Founders’ Park. FOCP was contacted through the Dallas Park Department and a largescale cleanup was organized with participants from the whole community. In addition to the removal of refuse, undergrowth and weeds, FOCP began cleaning out and replanting the existing flower beds in front of the monument plaza. The historic bronze plaque was cleaned and restored. Donations from the Texas Discovery Gardens and others made possible the reconstruction of the flower beds that were made ready for the large commemorative celebration held by the Oak Cliff Lions’ Club in October 2004. Methodist Hospital made a donation which was used for landscape lighting at the pergola. The Oak Cliff Lions’ Club gave a donation that was used to install new metal benches at the monument plaza.
Using 2006 Bond Funds, historic lighting was installed along the footpaths and new trails and a parking lot were constructed. During the winter season, DPARD removed the heavy undergrowth in the center of the park. These actions opened up the park and made it safer.
Friends of Oak Cliff Parks scheduled regular work days and began to install new flower beds with waterwise, native perennials and spring bulbs on the hillsides. FOCP participated in the June City of Dallas Water-Wise Tours at Founders’ to demonstrate how easy those types of plants were to maintain in the hot, dry summers.
In 2015, FOCP formally registered the native perennial flower beds as Monarch Butterfly Way Stations. This park is regularly cared for by volunteers from Friends of Oak Cliff Parks, Master Gardeners, Master Naturalists and other community members.
1300 North Zang Boulevard Dallas, TX 75201