Sycamore Community Park
- Basketball court
- Drinking fountain
- Electrical box
- Multi-use slab
- Park lighting
- Parking lot
- Soccer field
- Softball/baseball field
- Stand-alone swing
- Spray pad
- Tennis court
- Trash receptacle
George Kessler renowned urban planner of the late 1800s to early 1900s, advised Fort Worth on the development of Sycamore Park. He is famous for his work in Kansas City and in many Texas cities. In Fort Worth, Kessler designed A.W. Grand, Camp Bowie, the Park & Boulevard system, and Ryan Place community. He used nature to inform his park designs, and he used landscape-oriented urban design to plan the sense of place communities we now appreciate. Kessler is attributed with stating “Planning must also be relevant to the particular city: its geography, its economic character, all its local peculiarities. We must," he insisted, "deal with it in its application to the entire city. The object is to make cities decent places for masses of people to live in. Cities grow mostly by accident in response to trends in the real estate market. Very little thought is given to their qualitative characters. But there comes a time when development must be subject to control, when further growth must be planned such that urbanization will no longer proceed at the expense of devastating nature."
Sycamore Community Center sits on the east boundary of the park. In addition to community programming, the facility has a boxing gym, fitness center, and computer lab. A 1/2 mile paved trail meanders through the woods and connects the center with the playground and the sports complex. A web of paved trails run throughout the park. In the south portion, various routes from the community center can equal 2 miles. In the north portion of the park in what was formerly Sycamore Golf Course, a 2+ mile paved golf cart trail exists. Trinity Trails runs along the west side of the park, adding more paved trail options. An approved Master Plan will provide more recreational opportunities in the coming years.
A seemingly old foot bridge across Sycamore Creek actually is old! It is the original 1920s bridge from the Fort Worth Southern Traction Company electric trolley system. Before extensive roadway and automobile use, Dallas-Fort Worth had electric interurban trolleys that connected several cities in north Texas. The Fort Worth to Cleburne trolley ran along the western side of the park, across the bridge and continued south along what is now Mitchell Boulevard.
Sycamore Park, 2525 E. Rosedale Street, 76105 Sycamore Park, originally named Glenwood Park, is located in southeast Fort Worth along Sycamore Creek. Because of its natural qualities, park planner George Kessler recommended that the park board acquire this property for park purposes. Glenwood Park was one of the first parks purchased by the new park board. On July 17, 1909, Ed Seibold sold 43.03 acres for $30,121. An additional 40.74 acres was purchased from G. W. and C. F. Seibold, Ed Seibold’s brothers, for $32,592. 174
At the time of purchase, Glenwood Park was outside of the city limits but was annexed into the city in January 1910. A committee of citizens from Highland Addition petitioned the park board to change the park’s name from Glenwood to Sycamore Park in order to avoid confusion with the east side community known as Glenwood and in the hopes of increasing its popularity. The board approved the name change at its meeting of July 1, 1911. 175
Kessler suggested that the park be used for athletic fields and it received heavy usage because of it. In 1926, it received a swimming pool and bathhouse. In 1935, the park board granted the city a right-of-way through the south portion of the park for an extension of East Rosedale Street. Rosedale was one the streets identified in Kessler’s 1909 and Hare and Hare’s 1930 park master plans as a cross-city arterial connecting the valley of the Clear Fork on the west with Sycamore Creek on the east. 176
In 1938, a contract calling for a 99-year lease of approximately five acres in the southeast part of the park with the Fort Worth ISD for use as an amphitheater site and parking ground for Polytechnic High School was authorized and an amphitheater was constructed near Rosedale Avenue and Beach Street. Other New Deal-era improvements constructed in the park included a shelter house and a concession building. 177
From 1941 to 1942, a recreational camp for soldiers was located on a six-acre site in the northwest corner of the park. The camp was constructed by CCC laborers from Eagle Mountain Lake under the direction of the National Park Service. The camp, constructed for the 8th Core Area, was built to accommodate five hundred soldiers and consisted of ninety “winterized” tents that could accommodate six men, several administrative tents, a hospital tent, a wooden bathhouse, and other facilities. The park was chosen because of its swimming pool, baseball diamonds, and other recreational amenities. 178
In 1948, the city council approved the park board’s plan to purchase 14.5 acres from W. J. Bailey to join Cobb Park with Sycamore Park. The purchase price was $4,000. The land was south of Maddock Avenue and straddled both sides of Sycamore Creek. 179
On May 18, 1954, the park board approved the location of a new recreation center in the park. The location was the site of the amphitheater that had been built in the late 1930s. The Sycamore Recreation Center opened in 1956 and became the administrative home of the recreation department. 180
In 2020, City Council approved the decommission of the Sycamore Golf Course to the north of the park. Originally built in 1932, this 9-hole golf course was centrally located. The city purchased it 1977 and expanded the original 36 acres to 92 in the early 1990s. The golf course was closed in 2020 and is slated for repurposing into an extension of Sycamore Community Park. By repurposing the golf course, the city will make greater and more diverse use of the land. The master plan (see side panel pdf) for the park considers elements such as wetlands and open space, an interior trail system eventually connecting to the Trinity Trail system, amenities, parking, and landscaping in order to integrate the original Sycamore Community Park with the repurposed golf course.
174 Estill, “Acquisition of Land for Public Use in the City of Fort Worth,” 56-57
175 Fort Worth Star-Telegram, January 18, 1910; Minutes of the Board of Park Commissioners as transcribed in a manuscript located in the file “Parks—Fort Worth and Tarrant County, Fort Worth Library.
176 Fort Worth Star-Telegram, October 2, 1935 (evening edition); Hare and Hare, “A Comprehensive Park System for Fort Worth, Texas,” 22-23.
177 “Park Payroll is Approved” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, April 20, 1938 (morning edition), FWSTCC, AR406-7-58-71.
178 Fort Worth Star-Telegram, July 30, 1941 (evening edition), August 22, 1941 (evening edition), and August 26, 1942 (evening edition), FWSTCC, AR406-7-59-26.
179 Fort Worth Star-Telegram, May 8, 1946 (evening edition).
180 Minutes of the Board of Park Commissioners, May 18, 1954, Minute Book 1, 489.
Part of the park consists of Holocene Age through current alluvium and low terrace deposits along the stream. Alluvium is comprised of sand, silt, clay and gravel. The majority of the park that resides out of the floodplain of Sycamore Creek is Pawpaw, Weno Limestone, Fort Worth Limestone, and Duck Creek geologic formations. Ammonites, echinoids, oysters and pectens are some of the fossils found in the bedrock.
The park lies entirely within Frio Series soil, which is limited to north-central Texas. Frio falls within the Mollisol order of soils comprising grassland soils with a dark, humus-rich surface layer containing high concentrations of calcium and magnesium expressing here as a loamy bottomland mix.
The park is in the floodplain of Sycamore Creek. Sycamore Creek originates south of Fort Worth in Crowley. The upper reach of the stream is intermittent. It flows about 15 miles north to eventually empty into the West Fork of the Trinity River. The 38 square mile Sycamore Creek watershed is densely urbanized, which affects water quality and flow rates. Maintaining or adding more green space along streams will help improve water quality and riparian corridor ecology.
The original Sycamore Park (south of East Vickery Boulevard) has been developed into a sports complex as per the original suggestion by urban planner George Kessler. The open areas of the park are maintained to the woods adjacent to Sycamore Creek. In the active use areas along the stream, the banks are armored with cement steps that provide narrow amphitheater-type seating.
The north section of the park, which previously was a golf course is a good example of urban rewilding. The hillocks have returned to wildflowers while the wetland hosts winter waterfowl including red-bellied whistling ducks. A stream buffer has been established to protect the banks of the stream from erosion.
Typical prairie grass species that would historically have been found here include little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii), eastern gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides), indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans), plains lovegrass (Eragrostis intermedia), and Texas wintergrass (Nassella leucotricha). Flora such as smooth ruellia (Ruellia strepens), spreading fanpetals (Sida abutifolia), and greenthread (Thelsperma filifolium) hint at prairie uplands prior to park status.
Wetland and riparian species are the charmers of this park. Damselflies and dragonflies such as dusky dancer, swift setwing, blue-winged dancer, blue-fronted dancer, eastern amberwing, blue dasher, American rubyspot, widow skimmer, and many more delight the observer. Many species of turtle call this park home, as well as frogs, toads, and non-venomous snakes.
View animal, plant and insect species observed at Sycamore Community Park and make some of your own observations through iNaturalist. See link under the "Related information" Section.
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2525 East Rosedale Street, Fort Worth 76105 View Map