In 2015, when the Dallas Office of Cultural Affaires gave Cynthia Mulcahy a grant that she used to discover the history of the Japanese Garden at Kidd Springs, that peaked FOCP interest in this historic location. In 2017, Dr. Elba Garcia and her husband offered to hold a fundraiser at their home and they matched the
$13,500 that we raised that evening. The large donors that evening were FOCP Board Members John Mark Ellis, Mark Pritchett, Ellen Fitzsimmons, Allyn Lepeska. Later a large donation came in from Laura and Walter Elcock and Methodist Hospital. All the funds raised were deposited in special account
for the garden restoration in the name of FOCP.
When the bids for the restoration work were made, the company that won the bid had to pull out due to Covid. Scott Griggs had put $600,000 on the 2017 bond. When the work went to the second bidder, Chad West had to move some discretionary District 1 bond money to enable the work to be done.
With the 2017 Bond Issue, Dallas Park Department set aside a certain amount and invited Dallas non-profits to apply for matching funding to be used in a Dallas Park of their choice for a proposed project of their choice. FOCP had $ 35,000 and we applied for a match and that total funding paid for the lighting
fixtures here in the garden. These lighting fixtures were chosen because they melded well with the Japanese theme and they were dark skies fixtures which we felt very important for the garden.
During the construction, the person responsible for keeping the plantings alive has been FOCP Board member, Caro Rybarski. She has saved the plantings during the construction. Everything would have died for lack of water. She also worked with the construction crew to get our volunteers access on the
weekends. Carol deserves a medal because her dedication has kept alive all the previous plantings and her constant presence has made possible excellent cooperation with the construction
company which has been very helpful.
Invitations to all groups that had been involved with the reconstruction of the Japanese Garden resulted in the presence at the ribbon cutting of Mr. Hirofumi Murabayashi, Consul General for Japan at Houston and his wife and Mr. Sam Hisashi Shichijo, Honorary Consul for Dallas. And members of the Japan-America
Society DFW Elaine Browning and Francesca Funk.
Friends of Oak Cliff Parks are very glad to see the results of the interest that the community has focused on this garden that led to the 2017 Bond including funding for this restoration. We invite you to look at our website and join us on our workdays to keep this garden looking good. There will be a number of further
plantings when cooler weather arrives and we will need help.
Everyone is invited to come to Kidd Springs Park to see how well this restoration has been done. Please come and enjoy the new ADA walkway, the new gateways, the new bridge, the new
pergola and the beautiful waterfall.
Friends of Oak Cliff Parks will be completing the plantings when the weather is cooler. We invite the public to watch the schedules of work days on our website and come help us
complete the landscaping projects.