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Central Riverside Park

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Features

  1. Assembly Area
  2. Benches
  3. Gazebo
  4. Kansas Wildlife Exhibit
  5. Parking
  6. Picnic Tables
  7. Playground
  8. Restrooms
  9. Splash Pad

The Riverside Parks, parcels of which were acquired in 1886, 1887, 1897, 1899 and 1917, form the nucleus of the Wichita Park system. There are three separate areas (Central, North, and South) located along the Little Arkansas River near the heart of the city. The entire area contains beautiful shade and ornamental trees large open areas, and convenient sidewalks that give access to all parts of the park.

Drives and parking spaces are provided for the thousands of daily visitors. The park is conveniently located for access from the main portion of the City. It is used by many thousands of picnickers each season.

Finlay Ross, 1847 to 1933, was a Wichita businessman who served as the 13th and 15th Mayor of Wichita and was responsible for the creation of Riverside Park in the late 1890s.

Assembly Area

Bandstand/open-air stage area located west of Nims Street.

Kansas Wildlife Exhibit

The Kansas Wildlife Exhibit features over 25 species in 8 naturalistic cages. Animals include beavers, red foxes, porcupines, mink, hawks, owls, and more. The park underwent a major renovation in 2004. 

Children's Playground

One playground with a sand safety surface.

Gazebo

Built in 2004, the gazebo overlooks a large lake and floating lily pad metal sculptures. The gazebo has electrical outlets and lights on a photo sensor.

Celebration Plaza Splash Pad

Built in 2004, the splash pad is very popular with children and adults during the summer. Children and adults are encouraged to play, but no pets are allowed.

Pagoda

This structure was designed by WR. Stringfield and built in 1911 as a concession stand. In 1913, it was remodeled as a public restroom. Since 1936, the building has been used for storage.

Murdock Street Bridge

Built in 1925, the Murdock Street Bridge takes visitors across the Little Arkansas River to Riverside Park. The bridge was renovated in 2005.

Art in the Park

The Hiker

  • Bronze sculpture by Allen George Newman, 1926
  • Standing at ease, the full-length male figure is dressed in a soldier's uniform with a rifle in his proper right arm. This soldier was called a "Hiker" during the Spanish-American War. Located west of Nims on Murdock.

Solar Calendar

  • Sculptures by Steve Murillo, 2003
  • These standing stones at Central Riverside Park structure a technologically accurate astronomical observatory. It tracks the sun's location by aligning the stones at sunset, sunrise, and local noon on the first day of each of the four seasons.

Spanish-American Memorial

The cannon weighs 800 pounds and was cast in Seville, Spain in 1794. It was captured in Cuba during the Spanish-American War in 1898 and presented to the citizens of Wichita by Mayor Finlay Ross in 1900. Located west of Nims on Murdock.

Walking Path

The 0.5-mile oval walking path in Central Riverside Park echoes the original horse racetrack once referred to as Davidson's Park. Twelve historical markers can be found along the path with archival photos and text about the history of Riverside Park.