Hart Memorial Park, Bakersfield

4.3
#8 of 15 in Things to do in Bakersfield
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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Hart Memorial Park Reviews
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  • Nice park along Kern River. Picnic tables, shady trees, lawn, several lakes and peacocks around offices. Don't miss the feral cats near the old water wheel.  more »
  • When i go out to Hart Park for some alone time, and writing I sit near the area where the peacocks are. There are so many of them it's hard to not see them  more »
  • I go from time to time to check them out. They are a great way to relax. Hart Park is a good place for a picnic or BBQ. Lots of trees! Close to Kern River. I have lots of fun memories there. One is wh...  more »
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  • 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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