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Hart Memorial Park, Bakersfield

4.2
#9 of 16 in Things to do in Bakersfield
Nature / Park
Hart Memorial Park is a large public park in Kern County, California. It is located just north of Bakersfield . The park is, and contains two lakes and three canals. It was named after County Supervisor John Hart, who spearheaded the project. Constructed between 1921 and 1936, it is the oldest section of the Kern River County Park.HistoryConstructionThe origins of the park date back to 1921, when County Supervisor John Hart, convinced the county to purchase land along the Kern River, east of Gordon's Ferry. The goal was to create a large recreation park, which residents could use to escape the summer heat. Landscape Architect Howard Gilkey, from Oakland, California, was hired to create the general plan for the park. Famous for designing water features, Gilkey made extensive use of the adjacent Kern River. Several canals and lakes were designed.<Construction began shortly after the property was acquired. Development proceeded slowly, since the county did not appropriate funds. Instead, Hart relied largely on private donations for materials and volunteer labor. Almost every non-profit service club would participate in the effort. Several sponsored a grove of trees, providing landscaping and irrigation. These groves were originally marked with plaques recognizing these organization, however, years of vandalism have destroyed many of them.Although the park was laid out according to Gilkey's master plan, most of the construction work was done without formal engineering plans. Streets, lakes, canals, and buildings were instead constructed "by ear." Several buildings from other parts of Bakersfield were also moved to the park. Because of the limited funding, one of the primary building material used was river rocks from the Kern River Canyon (which were free). They were used in the construction of fire rings, barbecues, drinking fountains, and the double decker bandstand (with drinking fountains on the lower level).
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
36 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Good place to hang out with family. Our childrens was so happy. Peacock around the park. You will enjoy the time in here much more.  more »
  • Hart Park is a very large park on the outskirts of Bakersfield. There are plenty of ball fields and picnic areas. The peacocks get all the publicity, but there's plenty of other wildlife like geese, d...  more »
  • My husband is a wildlife photographer and this is a favorite spot for him. There are so many varieties of ducks, herons, egrets, turtles, owls, hawks, cormorants, racoon's, and yes the famous peacocks...  more »
Google
  • A big park to spend time with family n friends on the bank of Kern river. Swings and slides for kids. Plenty of grills for doing bbq. It's a really great park for picnics and outdoor activities.
  • It's nice to get out here and just get away from the city....climbing the hills on the other hand are definitely a mind over matter type of thing. These hills work wonders for me though, they help me get ready for my Spartan races. And for those of you that like to just come and walk on flat ground there's plenty of that as well
  • I love this place it brings back childhood memories(: You can take walks, feed the ducks or go swimming. Love having BBQs out here as well.
  • There's is always something to find, to explore or just look at! Take 2 steps from the beaten path and it's awesome what new things you can find! So beautiful for family pictures or just nature! Usually maintained well...sad that bulldozers have to be used to pick up trash after holiday weekends! Word to the wise stay away on sunday! Too bad it didn't pass for you to pay to park...Hart park offerend So much fun stuff when I was a kid and now it's just a beautiful park
  • Good place to have a family Reunion, nice place to have BBQ with the family for fun, nice playground for kids, need better restrooms, along side the Kern River recommend not getting in to, Beautiful place for a walk or job.

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