Alan Walne is going to continue to make calls, knock on doors and even mow the lawn. He’s a man with a mission, determined to keep Lake Highlands well groomed.
Walne, the District 10 representative for the Dallas Parks and Recreation Board, has resolutely been enlisting Lake Highlands businesses to participate in the City’s MOWmentum landscape adoption program for almost a year.
Participants this far include: 18 acres sponsored by the Lake Highlands Soccer Association; ½ mile by the Lake Highlands Advisory Council; 1/10 mile by Ward Beaudry, who mows the grass himself; 7.7 acres by Robert Peters Lawn & Maintenance Specialists; 1.9 acres by the Lake Highlands Exchange Club; 1/5 of an acre of median by Stanton Forester, who also mows the grass himself; a one-mile median maintained by State Farm Insurance’s Rob Braun; one mile along Audelia Road maintained by RE/MAX Associates; and another mile-long median taken care of by Herb’s Paint & Body (which is owned by Walne’s family).
“I was holding feet to the fire to make sure this thing did not fall on the back burner,” Walne says. “But we have had such success in sponsorship thus far, and we continue to look for future support.”
The MOWmentum program is a result of cuts in the parks department maintenance budget. Parks spokeswoman Tracey New says the program allows interested neighborhoods to help maintain their public areas such as medians, parks and soccer fields.
The cost is $900-1,000 annually to adopt a typical mile-long median. Any other landscaping, such as shrubs or flowers, is an additional cost and must be maintained by the community.
Participants can volunteer three ways: Organizations or businesses can provide the services themselves; they can hire a contractor (which must be OK’d by the City)’ or they can pay the City to maintain the grass areas.
Though the project has proved to be more time-consuming than foreseen, Walne, a father of two, says he isn’t complaining.
“I went through the Lake Highlands school systems, and it was a strong community then,” he says, “but there definitely has been a strength come to the area in recent years because of the political savvy and commitment of residents.
“There’s something else driving this machine, and it’s not only a tight community, but we have such lovely parks. And when people drive through Lake Highlands, we want them to notice a difference in the way things look.
“The only way for that to happen is for the community itself to decide it wants that to happen.”
For information on the Lake Highlands MOWmentum program; contact Alan Walne at 783-7376 or Tracey New of the parks department at 670-3011.