Raising the profile of the city as home to a nationally significant collection of crape myrtles is a primary aim of the Crape Myrtle Trails Foundation, a non-profit organization in McKinney’s rapidly growing part of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. According to community business leader Phil Wheat, the current president of CMT’s board, the group has applied to the U.S. Patent Office for registration of the name “America’s Crape Myrtle City.”
These recent resolutions support the application and also commend the “significant contributions” of the organization in promoting McKinney as “one of the best places in the country to live.”
The state legislative resolution specifically acknowledges the work done by the Crape Myrtle Trails Foundation over the years in “making its community into a popular showcase for what is considered … the premier flowering plant of the South.”
Since 1998 the organization’s efforts have focused on extensive plantings (“Trails”) of crape myrtles throughout McKinney. In June 2011, organization members and city dignitaries officially opened McKinney’s $1.3 million World Collection Park of The Crape Myrtle Trails. This 7-acre park, located near Hwy 121 and Stacy Road in southwest McKinney, is planted with all known species and varieties of crape myrtles.
Wheat said that since 2000 nearly 22,000 crape myrtles have been planted in the community, with an especially large number in the rapidly maturing park. He told board members that U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson (3rd District, Texas) will bring a similar resolution before the U.S. House of Representatives in the early part of this year.