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Quakertown Park: Mapping Past & Present

The Quakertown Neighborhood, a thriving community at the turn of the 20th century, has a rich history of African American heritage. Today, Quakertown Park covers the area adjacent the Denton Civic Center, Civic Center Pool, and senior center, which continues to be a hub of activity. The park is host to KDB events including the Redbud Festival and the Great American Cleanup after-party as well as arts-centered Denton Arts & Jazz Festival and Denton Blues Festival.

Over the past 20+ years, KDB has planted numerous trees within Quakertown Park in celebration of National Arbor Day, contributing to the park’s abundant urban forest. More recently, the City of Denton Parks and Recreation Department has made major improvements to the park to beautify the historic space. It is truly a hidden gem in the middle of lil’ d!

Recently, Denton resident Mike Savage took a deep dive into finding out more about the history of the area. From a variety of sources, Mike has gathered information and created a map used by the Denton County Office of History & Culture during White Lilac tours. On his maps, homes and businesses of the Quakertown Neighborhood are presented with new park features such as picnic tables, historical markers, and public art.

We are excited to share Mike’s map as an opportunity to learn more about history while getting outside and enjoying one of Denton’s most beautiful public parks. Click the map below to open in a new screen.

Quakertown Park Map
Mike Savage, 2019

The 2019 Tree Giveaway Roster: Introducing the Species

What’s not to love about fall? Cooler temperatures, backyard bonfires, and changing leaves get all of us at KDB excited for our largest tree giveaway event. This year, KDB’s annual Community Tree Giveaway is in its 21st season, and the tree selections will not disappoint! We have carefully chosen eight different native and adapted species with Denton’s soil and climate in mind. Check out the species below and find your favorite!

Registration for the 650 available trees opens to the general public Tuesday, Oct. 1. But wait! – there is a way to ensure you get your preferred tree. KDB Members get access to registration an entire month prior to public registration. Become a member today to get access as early as Sept. 24! Memberships range from $10-$75 and help to support KDB’s programs.

Once you have found your favorite species, take a peek this quick guide we have created to ensure that tree is just what you are looking for and perfect for your yard. We look forward to sharing these trees for planting just in time for Texas Arbor Day!

Autumn Blaze Maple (Acer freemanii ‘Jeffsred’)

This tree is a hybrid of silver and red maples making it adaptable to climate and soil types. The Autumn Blaze Maple provides beautiful color all year with bright green foliage in the spring turning into a vibrant red in fall. If heartiness and bold color is not enough, this maple does not drop seed pods!

Mature Autumn Blaze Maple with Fall Foliage; photo by ostvigtree.com

Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum)

This tree is often identified by its stately pyramid shape. It prefers moister soils, and the leaves turn a beautiful rust color in the late summer/early fall.

Mature Bald Cypress; photo by Treeseeds.com

Little Gem Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’)

The Little Gem Magnolia grows at a slow rate, but blooms at an earlier maturity than most magnolias. Cup-shaped flowers reach 4 inches in size offer a pleasing scent, and its fruits attract many species of birds. This ornamental tree will thrive in well-drained, slightly acidic soil.

Little Gem Magnolia; photo by thetreecenter.com

Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda)

This quickly growing tree can tower up to 100 feet. The Loblolly features long, blue-green needles, and springtime brings bright green clusters of needles to the ends its branches. As the tree ages, it loses lower hanging branches making it an outstanding shade tree.

Loblolly Pine; photo by coniferousforest.com

Mexican Plum (Prunus mexicana)

This tree might smaller than our other species, but it packs a punch in its beauty! Their showy white blooms in the spring smell of honey, which attracts lots of helpful pollinators to your garden. This tree can produce edible plums, hence the name. This one is an excellent choice if you want something a bit different.

Mexican Plum; photo by Neil Sperry, www.neilsperry.com 

Mexican White Oak (Quercus polymorpha)

This semi-evergreen can grow up to 4 feet in one year quickly reaching its mature height of 40 feet. While some fast-growing trees are more susceptible to disease or have shorter lifespans, the Mexican White Oak is resistant to oak wilt and will provide shade for generations to come with a lifespan of 100 years.

Mexican White Oak; photo by Howard Garrett, dallasnews.com

Native Pecan (Carya illinoinensis)

As the Texas State Tree, the Pecan can be found across the state. Known for their delicious nuts, Pecan trees may live and produce nuts for 300 years. The species attracts a variety of animals from deer to blue jays. When selecting a Pecan for your yard be mindful of its size, this tree is large and can grow anywhere from 65-130 feet.

Native Pecan with fall foliage; photo by Howard Garrett, dirtdoctor.com

Vitex/Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus)

This flowering tree is a great ornamental addition to any North Texas yard. Adapted to the area, the Vitex is heat and drought tolerant and pest resistant. Purple flowers bloom in early summer and continue to flower into the fall attracting butterflies and hummingbirds.

Vitex/Chaste Tree; photo by tree-land.com

Rose Costumes’ Adopt-A-Spot & Mia

The Adopt-A-Spot location on Sherman Drive between Elm and Locust Streets has been maintained by Rose Costumes for nearly 30 years. In addition to keeping the area litter-free and mowed, Judy Smith, founder of Rose Costumes, decorates the Spot – you may have seen Christmas stockings or sneakers adorning the fence. One pair of these sneakers has very special meaning.

In December 2011, Julia Sandoval stopped by Rose Costumes inquiring if her niece Alexis Mia Sandoval’s shoes could be placed on the fence at the business’ Spot. Mia who had been a first grader at Lee Elementary (now Alexander Elementary) had recently passed away from a rare disease. Judy obliged placing Mia’s shoes in memory of the little girl. The sneakers, decorated with her favorite cartoon Hello Kitty, were signed by her family before having them placed.

A few years later in 2015, a woman brought a man to the counter of Rose Costumes. The couple was Aaron Sandoval, Mia’s father, and Lindsey, his wife, who had been encouraging Aaron to reach out to Judy. He had brought a bouquet of flowers to Judy thanking her for keeping a memorial for his little girl, and asked if there was anything he could do to help. Judy explained that it had become more difficult for her to mow and the additional help she had been receiving had also stopped. Aaron volunteered in the store that day and started mowing the Spot in honor of Mia. He continues to mow and edge the grass weekly.

After meeting Aaron, Judy had a pink memorial sign made for Mia. Each year, for Mia’s birthday, Judy adds a hat or toy next to the sign. In 2018, a little boy asked if he too could have his shoes hung on the fence. Judy happily added the shoes, and says Mia now has a friend.