Park beautification and regular maintenance are a vital function of the Dallas Park and Recreation Department. But during the past several years of budget reductions, park maintenance has been particularly hard-hit. The Park Department is doing what it can to keep current mowing schedules, but with reductions in staffing and funding, it is becoming increasingly difficult.

Mowing and litter pickup are two of the most visible park maintenance functions. Therefore, the department is encouraging community groups and citizens to participate in a Citywide effort to beautify the parks, medians and athletic fields.

This is what the MOW-mentum program is all about. Several dedicated citizens, neighborhood associations, community groups and amateur athletic associations already have taken the initiative to help with park maintenance efforts.

Under the MOW-mentum program, there are several options from which Dallas citizens may choose, including performing the maintenance services themselves, hiring a contractor to perform the services, or helping to provide funds so the department may perform additional services.

Some Dallas citizens may choose to donate funding to support park maintenance efforts. Currently, mowing and litter pick-up frequency in parks occurs about every 21 days. An estimated $820 annual donation (per acre/per year) would increase the frequency to every 10 days.

The same maintenance for athletic fields, including the more than 400 softball and soccer fields the department maintains, would increase from 14 days to every 7 days with a $1,270 annual donation (per acre/per year).

Standard median maintenance could increase from every 21 days to every 10 days for approximately $990 (per acre/per year).

Individuals or community groups may choose to adopt a large area of park property for their community project or some smaller-scale maintenance efforts that could include planting and maintaining floral displays, planting and maintaining newly planted trees, enhancing park development, enhancing litter pick-up, and enhancing watering and fertilization.

All MOW-mentum supporters have an opportunity to be recognized for their support with a sign that can be posted at the adopted park site, and the Park Department park maintenance team will work with participants to develop a plan that meets their community’s needs.

For more information on MOW-mentum, call 670-1923 between 8:15 a.m.-5:15 p.m. weekdays, or pick up a brochure at any of the department’s 41 recreation centers throughout Dallas.

The owners of the apartments at Kingsley and Plano Road were dealt a serious setback by district court judges last month. National Income Realty Trust had asked the court to allow the company to reopen the south side of the property and continue to operate the units on the north side. Both requests were denied.

The south side has been referred to the Urban Rehabilitation Standards Board to set a date for demolition. The north side should be vacated by the end of the month.

As you may know, the City Council is considering a number of proposals for amendments to the City Charter. I have scheduled a Town Hall Meeting to discuss and receive input on the proposed charter amendments for Thursday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. at the Lake Highlands High School student center.

Please come and bring your neighbors!