Kiel Ranch is a 7-acre historic site owned by the City of North Las Vegas (near the corner of Carey Avenue and Commerce Street) that is one of the early settlement sites in the Las Vegas Valley and is planned to be developed into a public park. It is the last remnant of the original 240-acre homestead settled by Conrad Kiel in the mid-1800s. The earliest written records of Kiel Ranch connect its settlement to Mormon missionaries who established the land as an “Indian Farm.” Historic artifacts excavated on the site, however, suggest the presence of indigenous people long before documented history.
Kiel Ranch was placed on the list of the National Register of Historic Places in October 1975. The present-day site contains an adobe that is one of the oldest buildings still standing in Nevada (c.1880s-1900), a shed referred to as the Doll House,” a natural artesian pond, and several plant species found no where else in the Las Vegas Valley .
In September 2009, the North Las Vegas City Council approved the Kiel Ranch Historic Preferred Design Concept – Option 1f and an associated Strategic Phasing Plan that was created through comprehensive research, investigation, and extensive public participation with the City of North Las Vegas Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, local residents and project stakeholders (8 public meetings total). The final preferred design concept is the eighth design option explored and has the lowest associated development costs. It reflects a primarily passive park site that is grouped into three distinct areas: 1) the historic park containing the adobe at the southern end of the site; 2) the spring wetland habitat in the center of the site; and the park overlook at the north end of the site. Detailed information regarding the planning process for the Preferred Design Concept is available in the Kiel Ranch Comprehensive Development and Preservation Plan.
1) Phase 1 Adobe Restoration Project
The Kiel Ranch Phase 1 Adobe Restoration Project is the first phase of rehabilitation to the historic adobe on the site, which will include necessary improvements to structurally stabilize the building which has been in serious disrepair for a number of years. Rehabilitation work began in October 2010 and was completed in Spring 2011. The project is being funded by a grant from the Nevada State Commission for Cultural Affairs and the Kiel Ranch Preservation Fund.
2) Kiel Ranch Historic Park – Phase 1A Development Project
The Phase 1A Development Project consists of improvements to a portion of the southern "historic" area of the site, including the area surrounding the adobe. The scope of work includes: completion of perimeter fencing; construction of a parking lot and entry gate from Carey Ave; cable rail fencing around the Adobe; signage (interpretive/entry); a soft surface trail; picnic ramadas; and a small pre-fabricated restroom located near the parking lot. Design for this project began January 2012. Funding for this project will be provided by the Bureau of Land Management through the sale of public lands as authorized by the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act.
3) Kiel Ranch Historic Park – Phase 1B Development Project
The Phase 1B Development Project will also occur in the historic portion of the park, providing a day use outdoor recreation area with enhanced landscaping, ADA compliant trails, picnic facilities, and interpretive facilities. The scope of this project also includes archaeological exploration (test pits), preparation of the final construction drawings and site preparation. Phase 1B will be designed with Phase 1A, which began January 2012. Funding for this project will be provided by the Land & Water Conservation Fund.
4) Kiel Ranch Historic Park - Phase 2
The Phase II Development Project focuses on the restoration of the spring habitat, which would generally include weed removal, grading and contouring, wetland habitat planting, and construction of bioswales and water quality basins. The intent is to replace the current monoculture of cattails around the spring with a small sustainable wetland habitat. Detailed plant species selection and design will be based on the spring’s water production, which will be determined during a year long hydrostatic monitoring of the pond that will be initiated during the design of Phase I. The mature mesquites, acacia, and cottonwood will be protected, in addition to some dead trees that are often used for roosting and habitat. Noxious weeds will be removed. Run-off from the parking area that is currently directed to the spring area will be filtered through planted bio-swales and settlement basins. Funding for this project will be provided by the Bureau of Land Management through the sale of public lands as authorized by the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act.