At a November meeting to unveil a proposed new Master Plan at Flagpole Hill, angry residents rose to question representatives of Dunaway, the city’s consultant, and criticize the design. Last week’s gathering was vastly different, with citizens standing in line to thank officials for going back to the drawing board to create plans with low impact on natural wildlife and historic architecture and being responsive to the wishes of the community.
Both options presented Thursday night (shown here) were praised by attendees, and consultants promised to consider their feedback – including suggested tweaks. A third public meeting will be held the first week of May and the Dallas Park Board will make a final decision in May or June.
Both concepts leave existing nature trails in wooded areas but develop no new ones. Both reserve space for preservation and education and enhance uses around a “grand lawn.” Both preserve the historic CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) facilities and will have a new “all-abilities playground” for disabled children or children with disabled parents. Both add way-finding and nature-related informational signage in wooded areas and add a “stopping point” on the sloping prairie for lovely vistas. Both include path connections and safe sidewalks along Lanshire, with White Rock Trail to remain open, a requirement for access by emergency vehicles.
Option A “Low Impact Approach” leaves the all-abilities playground at its existing, heavily shaded, site, with improved surfacing materials for access by wheelchairs. (A possible option moves it slightly to the west.) Seating would be added nearby and the existing stone wall latrine would be used as an enclosure for porta-potties, since the latrine is not ADA accessible. A pathway would be added behind the reservations office, which could be renovated and used for rental space.
Option B “Enhanced Opportunities” relocates the playground to the open area where the reservation office is located and adds a demonstration garden, pavilion and parking. The reservations office would be used as rental facility with rest rooms, and the existing playground would be used for passive picnicking. The road to the flag pole would be removed in order to expand the “grand lawn,” and a pedestrian loop trail would be added around the grand lawn. Access to the flag pole would be off of Doran Circle, closer to Northwest Highway.
All funds from the Lake Highlands Junior Women’s League 2017 and 2018 Run the Highlands fundraisers will go to fund the all-abilities playground, and LH Women’s League will contribute funds for the project, as well. Matching funds will come from the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation, named for the pro-golfer and his sister with special needs.
Community members may also submit feedback by emailing Dallas City Councilman Adam McGough at District10@dallascityhall.com with the subject line Flag Pole Hill Master Plan or by calling his office at 214-670-4068.
This post has been edited and the updates are in italics.