If you’re headed to work in downtown Dallas or you’re planning a visit to the arts district, or – heaven forbid – you have to handle a traffic ticket at the municipal courts, you may notice the new playground at Main Street Garden is empty. Contrast that with the always-rockin’ LH rec center sprayground – a beehive of active, happy children in every shape, size and color. The spray park is one of many things we do right in LH.
When the newly-formed Lake Highlands Junior Women’s League went to the Dallas Park and Recreation Board about five years ago with their ideas for improvements to the LH North Recreation Center, the answer was a resounding “yes, please and thank you.” (Of course, it didn’t hurt that one of LHJWL’s leaders, Sarah Walne Hefton, is the daughter of Park Board member and LH resident Joan Walne). Funded by their annual Run the Highlands event, the LHJWL has added a pavilion, loop trail and playground of their own.
Playgrounds in the Texas summer heat are dicey no matter what the building material, but the polished stainless steel equipment at Main Street Garden is truly dangerous. A Dallas Morning News investigation in May found temps of 138 degrees. As unsuspecting families’ reports of burns grew more numerous, temporary signs were recently added to warn of the risk of injury. There’s now discussion of a shade cover to keep the temp manageable, but the approval and bidding processes will take time in typical big-city-bureaucracy fashion. Two months of summer have ticked away since city officials promised a better fix, and parents are frustrated. As one online commenter wrote, “Did anyone consider consulting with parents to get their input as the plans [for] materials proceeded?”
Meanwhile, happy campers in LH enjoy the sunshine. Congratulations LHJWL for doin’ it right.