The World Collection Park
When we founded the Crape Myrtle Trails of McKinney in 1998, we had three goals:
• Develop civic pride among our McKinney residents;
• Let McKinney be known as “the place you go to see crape myrtles,” and
• To showcase all of the known varieties of crape myrtles side by side for purposes of comparison and to preserve genetic protoplasm for horticulturists and plant breeders of the future.
Working with the city of McKinney, businesses, school children, garden clubs and individuals, we have been involved with the plantings of more than 25,000 crape myrtles to date.
In 2011 The World Collection Park of Crape Myrtles was dedicated and opened at 6452 Collin McKinney Parkway, halfway between Stacy and Alma in Craig Ranch. The 7-acre McKinney city park is to be home to all known varieties of crape myrtles, ultimately 130 to 150. We are told by the United States National Arboretum in Washington D.C. where the heroic breeding work of Dr. Donald Egolf was conducted from the 1960s until the 1990s that no such collection exists anywhere else in the world.
Currently we have around 100 varieties in the park, although many of the signs have been damaged since the park opened. Some of the varieties were lost the year the park opened in the biblical drought of 2011, and a few were lost in bad winters in ensuing years. We are working with the city at this time to redo those areas and finish out the park, and each month finds it a few steps closer to reality.
The city’s videographer took his drone overhead a few weeks ago when the park was in peak bloom. Our board president Phil Wheat narrated a short version of the story of the park and our organization. I thought you might enjoy seeing this spectacular vista of this one-of-a-kind park.
Sit back and enjoy your flight.