City of Bakersfield Park
The Park At River Walk
The Park at River Walk is a 32 acre parcel of land adjacent to the Kern
River. The property was rescued from urban development some years ago and, what was once an inaccessible piece of land located at Buena Vista Road and Stockdale Highway, is now the city's greatest recreational feature.
The crown jewel of the park is the Bright House Networks Amphitheatre, a state of the art outdoor public performance venue. The impressive steel and rock structure of the theater appears to be on an island surrounded by a three acre lake and cobble lined streambed that circulates water between the audience and stage and contains lighted fountains. The stage area is over 3,000 square feet of surface area and soars over 28 feet to the cross beams. It can accommodate the latest technology in sound and lighting and is versatile enough to allow for an intimate performance for a few or a major production for thousands.
A unique amenity to the park is the water feature, the upper three acre lake that surrounds the amphitheater meanders through the park along a 1,000 foot long cobble stone creek bed to a two acre lower lake. What is most impressive is that no water is wasted to operate the lakes and streams. The lakes are actually groundwater recharge basins fed fromthe Pioneer Canal and any additional water outlets back to the adjacent Kern River.
The park also exhibits some wonderful architecture in the entry features and bridges and uses native plant materials, most indigenous to the Kern River corridor, in the planting scheme. Currently, an off-street parking lot with the capacity to hold 300 vehicles serves the park for typical use. In the near future, as adjacent projects are built, shared parking arrangements will allow for significantly more convenient parking for large events. Naming opportunities are available for park amenities such as the lakes, picnic shelters and benches.