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

Categories: Park and Rec

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.

More »

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

Categories: Park and Rec

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.

More »

Dallas' New Strategy For Revitalizing Fair Park: Bike Sharing

Categories: Park and Rec

Whatever "dramatic ideas" Dallas' new task force will propose to revitalize Fair Park now that the summer amusement park has gone belly up are still months, if not years, away.

In the meantime, the city is moving forward with smaller initiatives aimed at attracting visitors to the park. Key among these is Mayor Mike Rawlings' "Turn on the Lights" program, which got $1.4 million in funding in the current budget. It's gone mostly unnoticed because there's not been much to notice. So far, it's been spent mostly on doing things like running the fountains every day and literally turning on the lights to make Fair Park a slightly more inviting place.

It will be more difficult to ignore the next item on the agenda: Dallas' first bike-share program. The Park Board will decide on Thursday whether to give the nonprofit Friends of Fair Park up to $125,000 to make it happen.

More »

The Texas Horse Park Hasn't Been Built, And Thieves Are Already Plundering It

There's plenty of evidence to suggest that the Texas Horse Park, one of the many baubles approved by voters 15 years ago as part of the Trinity River Corridor Project, wasn't very well conceived. If the unwillingness of donors to chip in private funds wasn't proof that a fancy equestrian center in the wilds of southern Dallas wasn't a good idea, then maybe the constantly scaled-back vision, or the fact that the city wound up contracting with an accused horse abuser to run the place, should have given pause.

The same could be said for the tens of thousands of dollars of equipment that's been damaged or gone missing since construction began last summer.

According to Dallas police reports, thieves made at least three visits to 811 Pemberton Hill road last month and stole more than $15,000 worth of equipment from the nonprofit that will oversee operation of the horse park and its contractors.

More »

Klyde Warren Park's Ice Rink Opens Friday

Categories: Park and Rec

Danny Hurley
Anyone visiting Klyde Warren Park over the the weekend -- and judging by the crowd at 10 a.m. on Sunday, attendance bordered on nonexistent -- would have been struck by how closely the unbroken white sheet resembled an ice rink. Ironic, given park officials' promise of an actual ice rink, which increasingly seemed like it would go unfulfilled.

The skating rink was initially scheduled to debut early last month, but as the promised opening neared, park officials pushed the date back indefinitely, hedging and equivocating with the agility of a politician who's broken a promise but doesn't want to admit it.

Turns out, our skepticism was unwarranted. Officials announced this morning that the 32-by-100-foot rink, which will be made of a synthetic ice called Super-Glide, will open on the Great Lawn on Friday.

More »

Dallas Wants to Build a $20-Million Trail From White Rock to I-20 (Video)

Click to enlarge
Right now, Dallas has right around 100 miles of hike and bike trails and counting. That's impressive. Less so is their arrangement. They are, with a few notable exceptions, disconnected, less a cohesive network than a collection of self-contained pathways from nowhere to nowhere.

The city of Dallas and the Trinity Trust want to change that, and they want to do it in a big way. On Monday, the City Council's transportation committee will be briefed on the Trinity Forest Spine Trail, a massive, $20-million effort stretching 17.5 miles from White Rock Lake to Interstate 20 and hooking up with several existing and planned trails along the way.

More »

Sounds Like Klyde Warren Park Probably Won't Be Getting an Ice Rink After All

Categories: Park and Rec

Klyde Warren Park
The announcement by Klyde Warren Park officials back in February was unequivocal. Come November, Dallas' premiere urban green space would be home to an outdoor ice-skating rink.

They used the term "ice" loosely. Visitors would actually skate on a synthetic substance called Super-Glide. But then-Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation chairman Jody Grant was pretty solid on the November opening. Otherwise, they wouldn't have called every media outlet in town to a press conference, right?

Yet November fast approaches, and there is still no sign of an ice rink. Turns out, there may never be.

More »

You Can Now Flyboard at Lake Lewisville, Which Is Exactly as Ridiculous as it Sounds

Over the weekend, the Observer received this message via email:
I'm Joe Upshaw. I don't know if you have heard of Flyboarding, but it's pretty amazing. It's the coolest, newest thing in extreme water sports. It's like a jet pack attached to your feet on the lake that let's you fly like Iron Man up to 35 feet! You can also dive in and out of the water like a Dolphin. I own a rental operation off of Lewisville Lake and I wanted to let you know that we would be able to give one of your journalists or reporters a free ride on the Flyboard and also a demonstration from one of our experts.

We were intrigued. Not so intrigued that we wanted to strap a jet pack to our feet, but intrigued enough to give Upshaw a call. Sure enough, he assured us, one needs only head down to Lake Lewisville's Party Cove to make like Robert Downey Jr. battling Jeff Bridges/myriad addictions, sans ridiculous metal suit, of course.

More »

Here's the Six-Story Parking Garage Proposed for the Dallas Arboretum

Arboretum officials were understandably cautious when they unveiled early plans for a Garland Road parking garage last night. The memory of the public uprising and PR debacle that greeted a proposal to park cars on Winfrey Point is no doubt fresh on their minds, so they made clear that the parking garage meeting would only be open to residents of the three neighborhoods that abut the botanical garden, Forest Hills, Little Forest Hills, and Emerald Isle.

At least, they made that clear in an email to Hal Barker, the man whose public records requests ignited the Winfrey Point protests. It doesn't seem to have been enforced very strictly, particularly when it came to the media.

See also
-Showdown at Winfrey Point: Yet Another Episode in the Saga to Preserve Nature in Dallas
-The Dallas Arboretum No Longer Wants to City to Turn Winfrey Point into a Parking Lot

More »

Some Punks Decapitated Nessie, Arlington's Beloved Playground Loch Ness Monster

The Arlington Parks Department described the crime in clinical terms. Vandals had come in the night and defaced a piece of playground equipment at Allen Saxe Park, causing $5,000 in damage. But the detached language masked some strong emotions. This wasn't just any old jungle gym. This was Nessie, which the park department describes as its "beloved dragon," even though she's clearly a mythological Scottish cryptid. They'd found her body on the morning of June 13, tortured and brutally decapitated.

"They used some sort of mechanical tool," park department supervisor Scott DeGrant told WFAA, scarcely able to disguise his fury. "And it's our theory that a teenager or some child or someone has it in their basement or bedroom or closet as a souvenir."

The city is now issuing a plea for any information on the whereabouts of Nessie's head so they can track down the perpetrator and deliver a serving of cold, hard Arlington Parks Department justice.

Now Trending

From the Vault