DeSoto City Council Votes to Rename Meadow Creek Park to Curtistene S. McCowan Park

Mayor Curtistene S McCowan Photo courtesy City of DeSoto

DeSoto to Rename Meadow Creek Park In Honor of Curtistene S. McCowan

DESOTO – The DeSoto City Council voted unanimously last week to rename Meadow Creek Park on Uhl Road to Curtistene S. McCowan Park.

The application was submitted by Place 2 Councilwoman Kay Brown-Patrick along with former Councilmember Candice Quarles, who was seated on the Council at that time.

DeSoto Deputy City Manager Isom Cameron read the resolution drawing out the details of why former DeSoto Mayor Curtistene, who passed away while in office, was so worthy of the honor.

McCowan “meets all the criteria for the renaming of the park,” Cameron said.

The much-loved former mayor founded the Concerned DeSoto Citizens 501c(3) non-profit organization in 1989, became the first African American to hold public office when she was elected to the DeSoto ISD Board of Trustees 1990 where she later served as president. In 2000 she was elected as a Charter President of the DeSoto ISD Education Foundation Board of Directors and continued to serve on the Executive Committee until her passing.

McCowan was appointed by Governor Rick Perry in 2007 to fill an unexpired term of the Texas Southern University Board of Regents and was reappointed in 2009 to fill a full six-year term where she served until 2015.

In 2012, she was elected to the DeSoto City Council, and in 2016 she made history when she became the first woman elected to the position of Mayor. She was re-elected as mayor in 2019.

She was also a member of the North Central Texas Council of Governments, Best Southwest Partnership, Dallas Regional Mobility Coalition,  Charlton Methodist Medical Advisory Board and the African American Education Archive as a history program Board of Directors, just to name a few.

Brown Patrick said “The resolution speaks for itself and the desire was to do it in alignment with Mayor McCowan’s birthday in February, however the renaming policy did not work out with that date properly.”

‘An Honor and A Privilege’

Her husband Leon accepted the resolution and said at the meeting “to this illustrious council and to this city who my wife loved – this is an honor and a privilege to be here.”

He told council this park was actually acquired while he was on the Park Board “so it is bittersweet it was named after her. My wife loved parks, she loved sports, there is not too much she didn’t love about this city.”

The Park Board had also unanimously voted for the renaming several months ago, before the item was presented to council.

Resolution To Rename Windmill Hill Nature Preserve to Paul Dryer Nature Preserve

A resolution was also heard in support of the Dallas County Park and Open Space Board to rename Windmill Hill Nature Preserve to Paul Dryer Nature Preserve. The City received an application to rename Windmill Hill Nature Preserve located at 1400 Duncanville Road to Paul Dryer Nature Preserve in April.

Although, it is within the DeSoto city limits, the Windmill Hill Nature Preserve is owned by Dallas County and managed by the DeSoto Parks and Recreation Department through an interlocal agreement between the City of DeSoto and Dallas County. Therefore, the authority to rename the park rests with the Dallas County Commissioner’s Court. Council also voted unanimously on this renaming.

Dryer, who was in the audience and spoke briefly said “If you ever wanted to know what it was like to attend your own funeral,” adding “this is a such a great honor. I have spent the last 30 years operating under the radar screen, this is a wonderful honor, thank you so much.”