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Hart Memorial Park, Bakersfield

(35 reviews on the web)
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
  • 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 »
  • Every time grandparents come into town to visit this is a fun place to go. The grandparents and our preschool/school aged kids have fun.  more »
Google
  • 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
  • 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
  • I have very fond memories of Hart park. I used to come here as a kid to fish in the lakes and play tag with friends and family. Now i live a good 30+ minutes away that coming here takes a bit of effort. But whenever i visit I enjoy the serenity of the park.
  • Always something new to find or notice that you didn't the last time. Bring fruit for the ducks, not bread, it's better for them and it's more fun to watch them go for it.
  • This park is very beautiful. The river area next to the park has many areas where families can hang out and swim. Although lately people have been leaving trash and dirty diapers on the ground and in the water. If this doesn't stop we won't be able to drink our water just like in Mexico.