Park Cities Parks Get Upgrades

Improvements include Williams playground, John Roach track, Fairfax tennis courts

The Park Cities are known partly for plentiful and well-manicured parks, so it’s no surprise that they require some upgrades and maintenance.

Most recently, the playground surface at Williams Park was replaced.

University Park Parks Director Sean Johnson said patchwork had been done in 2019 and 2020 before the playground surface upgrade. The playground is among the most used in the city.

Beginning with Williams Park, one playground per year is slated to undergo these same upgrades as part of the city’s capital projects schedule.

Also, in Williams Park, the University Park City Council in the fall approved repurposing two tennis courts into six pickleball courts.

The remaining tennis courts at Burleson, Caruth, Curtis, Germany, and Smith parks will be repurposed for tennis only using a phased-in approach as funding becomes available.

In the fall, crews also added an additional surface layer to the John Roach track in Germany Park to make it more durable.

“It receives a ton of foot traffic there just because of COVID-19 and that essentially being our only trail, if you will, in University Park,” Johnson said. “Because of the high use, we decided to go ahead and add an additional layer that would add about five to seven more years of good surface for the community to use as well as HPISD.”

The school district utilizes the track after school from January until May during track season as part of an interlocal agreement with the city.

Johnson said Curtis Park is expected to get landscape and hardscape improvements around this spring.

Specifically, the work includes implementing a new plant and tree layout with irrigation, adding hardscape to include sidewalks and an observation deck, decorative railing near Turtle Creek, and security lighting. The park at 3500 Lovers Lane is home to the Holmes Aquatic Center, playing fields, ponds, tennis courts, and other amenities.

The town of Highland Park also recently celebrated the re-opening of Douglas and Fairfax Parks, where changes addressed the needs of walkers, tennis players, and pickleball enthusiasts.

The work to the parks included utility infrastructure projects, landscaping, and more. The work began on Douglas Park in February 2021.

The playfield at Fairfax Park will remain closed to athletic activities and practices until spring 2022 to allow the turf to set.

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Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at [email protected]

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