A visit today to this small two acre park gives little hint that it was once part of a vast estate. Situated along Christopher
Creek and lined by over twenty palms, this was once part of the San Jose plantation owned by Francis Xavier Sanchez. A
contemporary of Zephaniah Kingsley, Sanchez held 1,135 acres that would become the San Jose Estates development in
the early 1920's. One of the Moorish towers that marked the entrance to the development is just a few blocks away on San Jose Boulevard.
The Duval County government received the park property in 1926 and named it La Vaca (the cow in Spanish) Park. It sat
relatively unchanged as the neighborhood of San Jose Forest grew up around it. A recent addition was the creation of a
small butterfly garden built and managed by Mary Wheatly in 2000. The Florida Native Plant Society has named this as of
of the top gardens of its type. It is also home to wading birds such as the blue heron and attracts many other songbirds as
well as flickers, hawks and crows.
In 2007, the Jacksonville City Council approved an ordinance renaming the park after Nathan Krestul, an area builder active
in the Housing Partnership of Northeast Florida and the Urban League.
Find it : 2001 La Vaca Road at San Jose Boulevard in Jacksonville, FL