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Cameron Park Celebrates History, Tradition Throughout Centennial Summer, Part 2

July 1, 2010

Jonathan Cook of the City of Waco Parks Department reflects on the role that rivers played in Waco as he points out the mouth of the Bosque River as it branches northwest from the Brazos. It's an area closed off to visitor's now, but will soon be open once again. Says Cook, if you explore the Bosque River, you'll find a stretch of water that hasn't changed much since the early days of Cameron Park in 1910.

Dams that prevent what used to be frequent-flooding are the only really noticeable change over the decades. And it's the flooding that played a significant role in Waco's past, present, and future. The Brazos receives the lion's share of attention, but it was the Bosque that led to an event that will draw visitors to Waco for decades to come.

You can almost see the mammoth site, and you can see a whole lot more, from the final stop on our tour of Cameron Park. Towering 100 feet above the Brazos below, you can see the development along I-35 to the north and east, Riverbend Park out towards China Spring to the west. And down below, trees towering over a river colored by the surrounding landscape.

There are dozens of Lover's Leaps across the country. And, like most, Waco's is based on legend, not fact. Still, it makes for a good story that hearkens back to the days when the Waco Indians roamed the landscape. Soon, visitors will be able to have a better, more unobstructed view of the river. But it's one that's more protected, as people have over the years emulated those indians in the legend, falling either purposefully or accidentally, an occasionally tragic sidenote to the legendary bluff. It's atop this bluff, after a drive through the dense trees and century-old structures, that the mystery of the park opens up to the sky and visitors can ponder the history and the mystery that has marked Cameron Park even to those who haven't visited.

Centennial activities will continue on into the fall at Cameron Park, as the city urges both residents and tours to explore the mysteries and experience the park for themselves. Concerts, artwork, and even Christmas lights are all forthcoming in 2010. We'll have more in the coming weeks on the 100th anniversary of Cameron Park on 103.3 fm; you can see pictures and hear our prior story online at kwbu.org. For KWBU news, I'm Derek Smith.

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