Klyde Warren Park Security Chases Off Anti-Circumcision Protesters, Because Children

Categories: Park and Rec

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A security guard at Klyde Warren Park tells anti-circumcision protesters that they can't demonstrate in the park, because their signs are disturbing the children.
On Tuesday morning last week, while most visitors to Klyde Warren Park were batting oversize foam tennis balls back and forth on the main lawn as part of some U.S. Tennis Association promotion, a handful of anti-circumcision protesters (aka "intactivists") clustered on the park's far eastern fringe. Clad in all white, immaculate save for angry red splotches on their crotches, the Bloodstained Men positioned themselves along Pearl Street holding signs decrying infant circumcision as torture. One car stopped so the passenger could snap a photo with his cell phone camera. Several drivers shot quizzical looks as they drove past. Most people, both in the park and passing by, simply ignored them.

The most notable exception was Klyde Warren Park's on-site management, who could be seen pow-wowing near the tennis players and throwing anxious glances at the red-crotched demonstrators. After a half hour, they dispatched a security guard who informed them that if they insisted on continuing their protest, they would need to do so on the sidewalk; they were not allowed to demonstrate in the park itself.

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Dallas' Trinity Strand Trail Is "Finished"

Categories: Park and Rec

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Eric Nicholson
Four-and-a-half years ago, Mayor Tom Leppert stood overlooking the old Trinity River channel, now a forlorn muddy course that snakes through the Design District, and unveiled Turtle Creek Plaza, a handsome semi-circle of concrete adorned with a red water fountain that very much resembles a fire hydrant and a blue I-beam marking the river's 14-foot-7-inch high point during its 1908 flood.

And then ... nothing. The plaza was supposed to be a bridgehead for the Trinity Strand Trail, a 7.8-mile ribbon of concrete that would soon connect the medical district with the Katy Trail. For years, the plaza stood without evidence that it was ever going to be connected with anything. Meanwhile, the sun bleached the city of Dallas' "Trinity Strand Trail Coming Soon" sign to the point of illegibility.

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Dallas Preservationists Gear Up to Save Old Buildings From Downtown Park Plans

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One of Downtown Dallas' oldest buildings, a 129-year-old Romanesque Revival structure at 1611 Main St., was razed on Sunday to make way for an expansion of The Joule hotel, the latest in a line of historic Dallas structures sacrificed on the altar of progress.

A few blocks to the southeast, local preservationists are hoping to rescue a handful of historic structures standing in the way of another type of progress: a city park.

In the downtown parks plan unveiled by City Hall last year, Harwood Park occupies 3.8 acres bounded by Harwood, Young/Canton, Pearl, and Jackson streets, a block from Main Street Garden. The rub is, that plot of land is currently occupied by several old buildings that are part of the Harwood Historic District.

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After Delays, Fair Park Bike Share Will Be Ready by September. Or Maybe November.

Categories: Park and Rec

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Rafiul Alam
Poor pedestrians. They could be biking.
On Tuesday afternoon, with summer vacation on the wane, a sparse a handful of families could be found at Fair Park's entrance at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, en route to the aquarium or the Texas Discovery Gardens. Further into the park, there was a man sitting on a bench overlooking the lagoon and a carpenter assembling what he confirmed to be tiny crooked houses. "For the fair," he explained.

What weren't there, save for the one ridden by yours truly, were bicycles. This wouldn't normally be surprising, given the triple-digit heat and Fair Park's general lack of human activity, were it not for the fact that there were supposed to be 16 of them. Back in March, the City Council voted to install at Fair Park a miniature bike-share system -- two, eventually maybe three stations -- at a cost of $125,000.

The promise at the time was that the system would be up and running by late May or early June, according to Fair Park's April newsletter. Then, the system was supposed to be unveiled at Fair Park Sparks!, which happened on June 13. Seven weeks later, there are still no bikes.

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Dallas' Park Score Keeps Getting Worse

Categories: Park and Rec

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Trust for Public Land
Dallas, we have learned, does a wonderful job of building incredible parks over freeways. On that front, you might credibly say we're world-class. As for providing residents with usable public green space in their neighborhoods, that's a different story.

Dallas' rank on the Trust For Public Land's annual Park Score Index fell again this year, dropping to 36th, down from 21st in 2012 and 26th last year. It's not quite an apples-to-apples comparison, since the number of cities ranked by TPL has expanded from 40 to 60 during that time, but Dallas' actual score -- calculated based on a city's park acreage, park funding, and park access -- has dropped as well.

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Dallas Park Board Doesn't Want You to Email Them, So Here Are Their Email Addresses

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Justin Terveen
If you were to do a power ranking of city of Dallas governmental bodies, the Park Board would come in third, behind the City Council (obviously) and the City Plan Commission, the whims of which can make or break multimillion dollar development deals.

The Park Board's 15 members are appointed by the City Council and the mayor. They're technically responsible for everything parks-related in the city. Is your neighborhood park not getting mowed? Is the playground equipment decapitating children? The Park Board is, under the city charter, responsible for fixing it. Wondering why the city's swimming pools are so terrible? Or the rec centers? That's the Park Board, too. Want to build a parking garage atop/underneath future parkland? Bulldoze Fair Park? Park Board.

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Meet the Amphicar of White Rock Lake

Categories: Park and Rec

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On Sunday afternoon, the Lakewood Advocate's Brittany Nunn was treated to her first glimpse of White Rock Lake's fabled Amphicar. She didn't know that it was an Amphicar -- an amphibious convertible produced produced briefly by a German company during the 1960s -- or that it was fabled, just that cars aren't supposed to go into the water.

Not sure who owns this particular vehicle, which is the same baby blue as Lyndon Johnson's model. There are several floating around North Texas (at least six), the most famous of which is probably the Texas Shark, which is also the only one sponsored by Hooter's and Redneck Heaven.

Now for the important question: Why don't they still make these things?

Plan for Restaurant on White Rock Lake's Boy Scout Hill Is Dead

Categories: Park and Rec

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Save Boy Scout Hill, via Facebook
Pro tip: Don't mess with the people of White Rock Lake. No matter how good your plans for providing parking for patrons of that fancy new children's garden or offering high-quality food and drink with a pristine view of the lake may sound in your head, you will lose.

For developers Lyle Burgin and Rick Kopf, the men behind the proposed restaurant at Boy Scout Hill, that lesson sunk in some point after their disastrous public meeting this week. They passed along a brief statement this afternoon announcing that they are formally withdrawing their proposal:

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Dallas Is the "Least Outdoorsy" City in America, Apparently

Categories: Park and Rec

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Tin Salamunic
Clearly, the editors of Outside have never met Jim Schutze.
Maybe, just maybe, Dallas has shaken its reputation as the country's worst city for cycling. Bicycling magazine hasn't mentioned it in a couple of years, anyway.

The city has, however, earned another not-so-welcome distinction. It's the "least outdoorsy" city in America, according to Outside magazine. We are, apparently, less outdoorsy than Cleveland. Less outdoorsy than Detroit. Less outdoorsy than Memphis.

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Coming Soon to Fair Park: Klyde Warren Park-Style Programming, and Maybe Some Yoga

Categories: Park and Rec

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If Klyde Warren Park has proved one thing, it's that if you make a formerly blemished urban space sufficiently cool and attractive, people will do yoga there. Other things, too. The point is, the people will come.

The folks who run Fair Park have taken note. Last year, as part of the ongoing effort to draw visitors, officials with the city's parks department approached the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation asking for a little help.

"We were just seeing if there was any interest on their part or any efficiencies that could be got doing joint programs," says Fair Park director Daniel Huerta.

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