Orphan Brigade Battlefield Park
Parks are an essential component of community. Whether a place for a child to climb on playground equipment, an open space left in its natural state, or a place filled with athletic fields, parks create positive changes and by enriching the life of the community – they build community.
The Orphans Brigade Battlefield Trailhead Park will be a great addition to the City of Dallas’ Parks and Recreation Department. This park will not only create Greenspace in the city, but will enhance the community, create wildlife habitat and improve environmental quality as well as protect and preserve historical grounds.
The park will ultimately be comprised of 2.5 miles of paved, ADA compliant, 10-foot wide sidewalks; with a 210-foot bridge overlooking a natural wetland and Greenland conservation area, with a 4-acre lake in view. This particular overlook will be an ideal location for observing wildlife including water fowl, song birds, beavers, otters and the like.
Trail users will enjoy the trailhead’s amenities – including a multi use 400 square-foot pavilion with picnic tables, educational/historical markers, memorial signage, and men/women/handicapped restrooms with potable water fountains. To accommodate parking for visitors, a 30-space paved parking lot will provide ample day parking, along with RV-spaces providing sewer and water hookup for both the out-of-state travelers and those headed out-of-state.
The trails that will eventually connect Sara Babb Park (the city’s premiere park that includes a swimming pool, two tennis courts, volleyball courts and three ball fields), to the Silver Comet Trail, will have endless opportunities for nature lovers – including picnics, bird watching or just exploring the outdoors. Trails will also carry the visitors through a battlefield with some of the most pristine trenches created by soldiers using trench warfare for the first time. Civil War enthusiasts, or relatives of heroes, can visit land that those soldiers fought so hard to protect or claim.
Some visitors will find the exact location of distant relatives lost; including the Orphans Brigade and the rugged First Kentucky Brigade. Almost fifty percent of their men were lost when the brigade did not receive a retreat signal in time and a probing action turned into a full-scale assault; leaving them alone to attack the well-fortified, cannon laden Union line that nearly decimated them.
The Orphans Brigade Battlefield Trailhead Park offers a passive recreation and educational setting. Once completed, the park will have 2 miles of multiuse trails and educational material that will be beneficial to local schools studying the Civil War or wildlife. Picnic facilities and benches will allow visitors to enjoy their visit and the beautiful view of the protected grounds.
The City of Dallas is committed to protecting the park’s natural resources and providing a safe and enjoyable experience for the community as well as neighboring communities.