1994: McClendon Park East
740 W. Kimball Street
McClendon Park East is a 16-acre neighborhood park in Southwest Mansfield with a baseball field, small playground and nature trail connection to McClendon Park West.
McClendon Park East began when State Senator Chris Harris offered to sell the city 15 acres of his property at one-quarter the market value to develop a park. A group of residents formed the Mansfield Area Fund, a nonprofit arm of the Communities Foundation of Texas, to facilitatie not only that deal but also negotiated with three other nearby landowners who agreed to donate land in the greenbelt between that property and McClendon Park West to connect the parks. Purchase and development was funded with a $275,000 grant from Texas Parks and Wildlife as well as donations from First National Bank, Women’s Division of Chamber, Mansfield Award Center and the Mansfield Rotary. For the city’s matching portion of the TPW grant, they donated the land purchased and/or donated and an additional $60,000 in cash.
The park was designed as an expansion to McClendon Park West but was dedicated as McClendon Park East when it opened on April 23, 1994. The two parks have individual addresses and entrances but are connected via an unofficial nature trail through the woods that separate them. The McClendon Parks remain the only recreational parks west of Broad street, joined only by Mans Best Field Dog Park.
McClendon Parks East and West are named in honor of McClendon “Mac” Moody, a prominent citizen known for his gentle spirit and dedication to the community.
Mr. Moody spent over 50 years working in the local grocery store bakery, and his friendly face was a beloved stop for Mansfield residents doing their weekly shopping. During this same time, Mr. Moody was the owner of the first black-owned business on Main Street, opening an auto service center at the corner of Oak and Main. He hired friends and family to run the shop while he continued in the bakery. In his retirement, Mr. Moody was still active throughout the community, serving as a bus driver for senior citizens at the Mansfield Activities Center.
The Moodys are one of the area’s oldest families, with a long history of community service. McClendon carried on the legacy as a vocal advocate, particularly for the neighborhoods on the West side of town, where he and his family lived. On his wife’s urging, Mr. Moody ran for City Council and was elected in 1979. He would go on to serve for 15 years as the first Black council member in the city’s history. McClendon Moody was instrumental in significant infrastructure improvements on the west side during his tenure. His neighborhood passion also prompted him to push city leaders for a park in the area.
When this park opened in 1985, the City of Mansfield honored Mr. Moody and his dedication to the city with a namesake. Upon his request, the park uses his first name, McClendon, as the official name. In 1994, a group of volunteers secured a grant from Texas Parks & Wildlife to fund the creation of McClendon Park East, off West Kimball Street.
McClendon Moody and his wife Cleo were married for over 40 years and together raised ten children, all of whom attended Mansfield schools and many still live in the area. A devoted Christian, Mr. Moody served as a Deacon at Bethlehem Baptist Church until his death in 2018.
In the words of his longtime pastor and dear friend, Pastor Michael Evans, “Mac Moody was a kind man with a heart for the people who demonstrated that every day of his life. To have a park named for this gentle spirit shows the level of respect he’d earned from this city. He was everything you could ever want in a citizen and it’s a beautiful way to honor his legacy.”