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Dallas Park and Recreation Department

Changing Lives Connecting Communities Creating Opportunities

2008 – 2009 Annual Report 1

A Letter From The Director

Our Mission …

Recover the quality and prestige of the Dallas park system. Regain the confidence and enthusiasm of our citizens. Reposition the Dallas Park and Recreation Department as a recognized state and national leader.

Index 2

Letter from the Director


Dallas Park and Recreation Board


What We Have To Offer


Special Attractions


Changing Lives


Connecting Communities


Creating Opportunities


Awards and Recognitions


Greetings, It is my pleasure to present our annual report Changing Lives. Connecting Communities. Creating Opportunities. This report is an inaugural effort for us and illustrates our dedication to our mission while highlighting noteworthy accomplishments in fiscal year 2008–2009. Recover the quality and prestige of the Dallas park system. Capital investments totaled $119,446,711 million, making it possible to complete numerous renovations and new construction projects including Fair Park’s Esplanade Fountain, Hall of State and Texas Discovery Gardens; Coombs Creek Trail, Opportunity Park, Ferguson Park sprayground and pavilion, Dealey Plaza and Valley View Park. During the city’s challenging budget development process, we were successful in restoring recreation center operating hours for the 2009-2010 fiscal year. We kept our communities green by planting more than 500 trees at parks and golf courses. Regain the confidence and enthusiasm of our citizens. An important goal was to re-energize the department’s overall operations and become more accountable to our customers. Equipping staff with strategic business plans, professional development, and other industry resources let them excel in leisure planning and services delivery. Two new publications, Compass and Leisure Link, created program awareness among patrons and visitors. Reposition the Dallas Park and Recreation Department as a recognized state and national leader. Our commitment to providing more green space and creating parks in the heart of downtown began with the groundbreaking for Main Street Garden and Woodall Rogers parks. Dallas Park and Recreation Department is a leader in acquiring land and developing urban retreats in the city center, a success no other major metropolitan area in the country has been able to achieve. To keep Dallas’ national recognition as an outstanding sustainable city, the incorporation of energy efficient measures into our award-winning design and construction projects are visible in the new Trinity River Audubon Center and the Rosine Smith Sammons Butterfly House and Insectariums at Fair Park. As you read Changing Lives, I hope you will be just as proud of our park system as the 900 employees who work tirelessly every day to inspire life-changing achievements, bring people and communities together, and create exceptional leisure options for citizens and visitors.

Paul D. Dyer Director, Dallas Park & Recreation Department

Dallas Park and Recreation Department Board Mr. Tom Baker President

Mr. Darren Boruff Council District 9 Mr. Lee M. Kleinman

Ms. Joan Walne Vice President Ms. Frances M. Gonzalez

Council District 11 Ms. Bettye Stripling

Council District 1 Mr. Gabriel Soto

Council District 12 Mr. Lawrence S. Jones

Council District 2 Ms. Ellen J. Taft Council District 3

Council District 14 Mr. Wayne Smith

Mr. C.W. Whitaker Council District 4 Ms. Jean F. Milligan

Council District 14

Council District 5 Ms. Monica R. Alonzo

Council District 6 Mr. Taylor Brannon Council District 7

Ms. Gail Terrell Council District 8



More than 100 miles on the ground or under construction offer alternative intercity travel and recreational options. When finished, this award-winning trail system will feature more than 250 miles.

What We Have To Offer

L akes

Leisure options at 17 urban lakes—including the ever-popular White Rock—are perfect for sailing, fishing, canoeing, and nature studies.

Zero-depth water playgrounds at Ridgewood and six other parks provide cool fun. Experiencing a surge in attendance, 21 community pools refreshed 48,138 aquanauts.

Dog Parks

Grauwyler is among 47 recreation centers offering lifelong learning activities for all ages. Collectively, the centers provided 123,000 hours of recreational, leisure, and educational programs.

Six 18-hole courses challenge novice and expert golfers. Driving range renovations at Keeton and L.B. Houston resulted in a 25 percent revenue increase at both courses.

Mockingbird Point is one of two playgrounds designed for fun-loving canines and their human companions.


• Soccer fields • Multipurpose fields • Softball diamonds • Picnic pavilions • Sandlots • Football fields • Baseball diamonds


Dallas’ 374 parks span 21,000 acres. Kidd Springs Park is one of seven sites with WiFi access. Five full-service tennis centers welcomed 104,255 players and spectators.

Known for their innovative design, the city’s 183 playgrounds include 4Child’s Play at Bachman Lake Park.

Special Attractions • Fair Park

• Dallas Zoo • Bahama Beach Waterpark • Kiest Park Softball Complex

Fair Park is home to the world’s largest art decostyled architecture, eight museums, six performances facilities and the celebrated Cotton Bowl Stadium. The 2009 at&t Cotton Bowl Classic broke all-time attendance and revenue records.

• Dallas Arboretum • Texas Discovery Gardens • Trinity River Audobon Center • Cedar Ridge Preserve With ever-changing ornamental gardens and lush lawns, the Dallas Arboretum blooms in living color throughout the year.

Parents Magazine recognized the Dallas Zoo Lacerte Family Children’s Zoo as the country’s 11th-ranked—and North Texas’ No. 1—children’s zoo.

The Trinity River Audubon Center in Dallas’ Great Trinity Forest connects people with nature. The Center features a green roof and rainwater harvesting system.

Tall slides, a lazy river, and an interactive playground with a 1,000-gallon dumping bucket attracted 51,567 sun-and-fun seekers to Bahama Beach Waterpark. Cedar Ridge Preserve is a 600-acre natural habitat with rustic trails, scenic mountaintop vistas, and a variety of native flora.

Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park is one of Texas’ oldest botanical institutions and the state’s first certified organic public garden.

Photo: Jeremy Woodhouse, 2009

A new food/drink concession at Kiest Park Softball A new food/drink concession at Kiest Complex and Athletic Field Complex and soccer fields Kiest Park soccer resulting in a 50 percent revenue increase. fields increased revenues by 50 percent.


Jr. RBI Program: Impacting Dallas Youth “My wife and I would like to thank you for all you have done for our baseball league. We appreciate the great opportunity that our boys will have this summer.

Changing Lives

To travel to St. Louis to play baseball with teams from different states and to experience some of the MLB All-Star events will be something they will never forget. Our league would not be successful without the hard work of Saul Cruz and his assistant. The program has done so much for our North Oak Cliff community.” Mr. and Mrs. D. Santoyo

A Favorite Pastime for a New Outlook

Baseball is still considered our “national pastime” and America’s favorite sport.

Actor Humphrey Bogart said, “A hotdog at the ball game beats roast beef at the Ritz.” The Dallas Park and Recreation Department wanted kids to have this same kind of love for baseball. When the youth sports office saw that boys and girls ages 9–12 were choosing not to play baseball in favor of football, basketball and soccer, they hoped something could be done about it.

A s a result, the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation and the City of Dallas

collaborated to reintroduce, revive, and rebuild interest and participation in baseball for underserved youth. Under the umbrella of Major League Baseball’s Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities program, Dallas was among 16 U.S. cities selected to introduce baseball to area youth interested in playing America’s favorite sport.


Twelve players, two coaches, and Greg Williams, Dallas Jr. RBI coordinator, traveled to St. Louis to the Jr. RBI Classic, which takes place during the MLB All-Star Game. Dallas won three of four games played in a friendly 32-game tournament. Dallas beat Cincinnati, Jackson (Mississippi), and Detroit only to lose to Cleveland.


unding for Dallas Jr. RBI came from the MLB and the

Texas Rangers Foundation, which provided 125 game tickets and 125 bats, gloves and team uniforms. Jr. RBI sponsors State Farm and along with the Cal Ripkin Foundation, and Nike gave additional baseballs, bats, gloves, bat bags, helmets, and other gear. Jr. RBI also benefited from a $35,000 gift from Triple Play Fund, $10,000 each from the Michael Young and Marlon Byrd foundations, and contributions from KPMG, Guaranty Bank and Baseball Tomorrow Fund.

Dallas Jr. RBI program served 1,500 youth playing on 120 teams “The love and passion you put forth is something my child will benefit from forever. It is programs such as this one that allow a child to see that there is more to life.� Rosa Torres

The Texas Rangers Foundation hosted Jr. RBI teams and program staff at the Ballpark in Arlington. Texas Rangers mascot Rangers Captain presented bats and gloves to players at a home plate, pre-game ceremony.


Changing Lives, continued

Revitalizing recreation through innovation Texercise – a Free Fitness Program for Seniors Texercise became the buzzword when the Age Well, Live Well fitness program made its debut in Dallas recreation centers. Specially designed for active adults 60 and older, Age Well, Live Well improved seniors’ physical health and encouraged healthy aging through weekly exercise and proper nutrition. Following easy to moderately complex routines, seniors progressed through various cardio, toning, stretching and weight-training exercises designed to give them optimum physical benefits and prevent age-related injuries. An

From aerobics to

xeriscaping, Dallas offered 16,000

advantage to completing the program included an annual membership to city fitness centers that included the free use of all equipment. A group from the Performing Arts Club at Park in the Woods Recreation Center was the voiceover talents for radio public service announcements promoting July is Park and Recreation Month.

recreational and enrichment programs, attracting 1.8 million visitors to its 47 recreation centers. 8

Dallas recreation centers held 810 holiday, seasonal and summer camps for 40,000 youth. These young campers at Churchill Recreation Center are all smiles.

A partnership with Bridge Lacrosse Dallas and Larry Johnson Recreation Center provided a skills clinic for 150 young players. Recreation centers sponsored 305 community athletic leagues and tournaments. Soccer, baseball and basketball games appealed to 16,775 youth.


1. Golfers played 249,905 rounds at six 18-hole courses. 2. 2,700 youth participated in National Junior Tennis League, a free instructional program. In addition to recreational swimming, 2,100 children and adults learned lifesaving aquatics skills through certified Learn To Swim activities at community pools.

Three cheers for Thurgood Marshall Recreation Center!

3. Afterschool programs at 26 Dallas Independent School District sites served 2,600 students. 4. Send a Kid To Camp, a free drop-in summer camp for ages 6–17, provided recreational activities to 1,532 youth at 17 parks. 5. 1,000 adult athletic teams played in 100 leagues, using athletic fields for 106,000 hours. 6. First Tee Junior Golf, a free skills program, gave 800 young players free equipment and playing instruction. 7. Senior Softball USA for players age 50 and older and Duel in the Sun tournaments best highlighted the season at Kiest Park Softball Complex. Despite an exceptionally rainy season, 47,000 players and spectators came out to the ballpark.


Dallas Park and Recreation Department …



Special Events The Chris Bosh Foundation and J.C. Phelps Recreation Center hosted two events benefiting youth and families in the community. Students received free school supplies at a back-to-school fair and the Feed the Children program gave 400 families two-weeks worth of groceries and toiletries.

Offer Unforgettable Leisure Experiences Park and recreation activities bring people

together to laugh, play, learn, and relax. Each of the department’s 537 community and citywide special events—holiday festivals, 5k fun runs, outdoor

As a tribute to women for their roles as mothers, recreation supervisor Michelle Minor initiated the and cultural celebrations—provided visitors with appreciation luncheon seven years ago. Since then, 5,000 women have extraordinary leisure experiences. Former First Lady been recognized for their invaluable family and community contributions.

theater, musicals, health fairs, visual arts exhibits,

Laura W. Bush created that once-in-a-lifetime feeling

among 800 women when she gave the keynote address at An Affair To Remember, a Mother’s Day observance honoring mothers who participate in recreation programs in their neighborhood. National observances such as Presidential Sports and Fitness Month, Volunteer Appreciation Month and Park and Recreation Month let park employees share with citizens the value of healthy lifestyles.

Fireworks and rounds of applause greeted the arrival of DART’s green line to the new Fair Park station. The opening of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit light rail station at Fair Park was the perfect opportunity to connect Dallas, offering accessible transportation to the park’s diverse entertainment attractions.

Halloween at Kidd Springs Recreation Center isn’t just for ghouls and goblins!


Fair Park hosted 794 shows, festivals, markets, performances, and other special events that drew 5.56 million visitors to the ever-popular entertainment venue. The 500 Inc.’s Artfest showcases eclectic arts, crafts, and jewelry made by local and national artisans.

Dazzling fireworks and thousands of sparkling smiles illuminated Fair Park Fourth festivities!

The Greening of Dallas Propane Mowers Keep Parks and Neighborhoods Green

Children at Fruitdale Recreation Center learned to care for the environment by planting and maintaining their own garden.

The park department’s participation in the Texas Clean Cities Rebate Program resulted in the arrival of nine environmentally friendly propane commercial lawn mowers. The department purchased eight state-of-the-art Ferris® mowers, which qualified for rebates up to $2,500 from the Texas Clean Cities Coalition of which the City of Dallas is a member. Four Brothers Power Equipment Co.—who represents Ferris® Industries commercial mowers in the North Texas area—donated the ninth mower to the city. Golf and park maintenance staff received the ozone-friendly mowers with enthusiasm. They will be used in the six districts and at municipal golf courses. The benefits of using propane include no theft of fuel from the tanks, refueling ease, less equipment maintenance, no spillage, and engine longevity. These mowers exceed current Environmental Protection Agency emission requirements.

The new Rosine Smith Sammons Butterfly House and Insectarium opened at Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park. The two-story conservatory showcases up to 500 species of free-flying butterflies and aquatic and other interesting insects.

Fair Park’s BigBelly solar-powered trash systems use the sun’s energy to automatically compact trash at the point of disposal. Each BigBelly holds 150 gallons of solid waste, up to five times the volume of regular trash receptacles.

Students Gain New Appreciation for Environment

As part of the ExxonMobil Green Team Program, high school students assisted with beautification and landscape projects, distributing more than 400 cubic yards of mulch—and laying 4,400 feet of landscape edging at Fair Park. The Green Team Program employs youth to participate in cleanup, environmental and beautification projects and construction projects in public parks and economically depressed neighborhoods throughout the United States.


Dallas Park and Recreation Department …

Creating Opportunities The

Dawn of a New Lawn

Dallas has unlimited options for individuals, families, businesses, and communities who want to maximize their spare time, give back to the community and realize the benefits of leisure. With the groundbreaking of Main Street Garden and Woodall Rodgers Deck parks, Dallas Park and Recreation paved new avenues in urban recreation for everyone to enjoy. When it opens fall 2009, Main Street Garden will become an integral part in reinvigorating Dallas’ urban center. With an investment of $17 million from the 2003 and 2006 bond programs, Main Street Garden will be a contemporary public space of lawns, gardens, fountains, a dog run, open-air shelters, and other family and visitor-friendly amenities including an outdoor café. Mayor Leppert climbed aboard a backhoe to break ground for Main Street Garden, one of four new parks under development as part of downtown revitalization efforts.

2008/2009 Highlights

• An agreement with Baylor Health Care System

will transform Juanita J. Craft Recreation Center into the first diabetes management center in the South Dallas community. With renovations under way, J.J. Craft reopens in summer 2010 as Baylor Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute at Juanita J. Craft Recreation Center. With a financial commitment from Baylor, the $15 million project will raise awareness about diabetes, provide medical assistance, and offer a variety of wellness programs.

• Coffee and Conversation at the Cotton Bowl gave 12

more than 50 representatives from area chambers

of commerce a tour of the newly renovated Cotton Bowl and media center at Fair Park as a community relations initiative to attract new business and corporate events to the historic venue.

• The newly formed Friends of Kiest Trails are

volunteers who help support Kiest Park trails through restoration, beautification, and fundraising projects. Park officials estimate that 2,000 walkers, joggers, and cyclists use the trails every day.

• Twelve episodes of 4th and Long, a reality TV

series starring Michael Irvin, were filmed at the Cotton Bowl and aired on national television.

A community pooch parade highlighted the opening of Coombs Creek Trail, Oak Cliff’s first trail that will eventually link the city’s southern and northern neighborhoods. The 1.5-mile surfaced trail meanders through 20 acres of flourishing treelined park land.

Park Improvements • Elmwood Park is home to a tiny tot

basketball court, the first of its kind in a Dallas park. The 15’ x 20’ playing surface and 8-foot goal is perfect for little cagers.

• Ferguson Park sprayground became the city’s seventh aquatics play area. The state-of-the-art playground includes a UV system, automatic backwash, and 100% filtration for the treatment of cryptosporidium.

• Dealey Plaza underwent architectural

restorations to prevent deterioration to the notable birthplace of the City of Dallas. The National Historic Landmark annually welcomes more than 500,000 visitors.

• A public art collection honoring the Park officials laid the groundwork for a new playground at Miller Family Park, located on land once part of a 600-acre farm owned by former slaves. The 50-yearold park is the reunion place each July for more than 1,000 Miller descendants.

contributions of 100 notable local, state, and national individuals with historic ties to the South Dallas community was unveiled at Opportunity Park. One of the artwork’s design components, “Our History,” features a wind chime enclosed in a 20-foot pole each labeled with the honorees’ names and community contributions.

• Vandals destroyed a newly built

playground a month after it was installed at Cheyenne Park. Within months after the incident, Child’s Play playground makers dedicated a new play area valued at more than $9,000 to the community’s children.

A new children’s area at Rose Haggar Park features the high-tech Activo and NEOS, the latest in play equipment designed to challenge kids mentally and physically.

• The new White Rock Creek pedestrian

bridge was installed during Valley View Park renovations, which also included a new play area and pavilion.


Creating Opportunities, continued


C havela Lozada has been volunteering in her community since the early 1970s. At that time, she and several other west Dallas

residents prepared and served food to their less fortunate neighbors who came to Hattie Rankin Moore Park each day. Years later, the same group became catalysts in getting the city to build a recreation center on the community lunch site. Decades have come and gone and Chavela still serves up lunch every day at Anita N. Martinez Recreation Center. Chavela is among more than 2,000 volunteers who donate an average of 40 hours a year to the Dallas Park and Recreation Department, assisting staff throughout the department’s six divisions. Volunteers provided assistance with park maintenance, clean up, and forestry; recreational enrichment programs, departmentwide special events, general office support, special events at Fair Park and Dallas Zoo, and building construction and renovations.

“Volunteers contribute to the vitality of our leisure programs and facilities. Their skills and talents are evident in our parks, recreation centers, special events and all our facilities. They are essential in helping us deliver quality recreational experiences.” Paul Dyer, Director


• In 2008 volunteers donated 195,000 hours valued at $3.2 million.

For community service projects, area high school students tutored young scholars at Marcus and other recreation centers. These Citigroup employee volunteers make painting look easy.


• Individuals, families, businesses and corporations, civic organizations, and Friends groups have contributed an estimated 4.5 million hours since the volunteer program began in 1986. Using today’s volunteer rate of $16 an hour, the value would be $72 million.

A& R

wards ecognitions


Flagpole Hill Historic Restoration

American Society of Landscape Architects – Texas Chapter

Flag Pole Hill

Preservation Dallas

Cotton Bowl Stadium Phase One Texas Construction

The Dallas Trail Network Plan

Texas Recreation and Parks Society Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association American Society of Landscape Architects – Texas Chapter

Tietze Park

Preservation Dallas

Trinity River Audubon Center Dallas Business Journal Texas Construction Recreation Management

Trinity River Corridor – Design Guidelines American Society of Landscape Architects

Preservation Grant Melding Fair Park’s celebrated past with its progressive

future was among 44 projects selected from 24 states to receive the nationally coveted Preserve America Grant. With the $250,000 competitive matching grant, the park department began creating a heritage tourism, education, and historic preservation project to commemorate the 100-acre National Historic Landmark, site of the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition and home to the world’s largest collection of art deco exhibit buildings, art and sculpture. Once finished, Fair Park will welcome visitors to a centrally located information booth and a permanent outdoor educational exhibit. Printed walking tour maps, restored historic signage, and new interpretive markers will give history enthusiasts an in-depth look into the park’s illustrious legacy, historical buildings and artwork.

Industry and professional associations along with civic,

business and media organizations recognized the awardwinning Dallas Park and Recreation Department for exceptional recreational programs and innovative park and facilities design and construction projects.

St. Augustine Park Pavilion

Dallas Chapter of American Institute of Architects

Dallas Park and Recreation Critter Mascot Training Texas Recreation & Park Society Regions 2 & 3


Dallas Park and Recreation Department

Contact information Administrative Offices

(214) 670-4100 or visit and

Athletics and Reservations (214) 670-8740


(214) 670-1926

Recreation Centers Information (214) 670-8847 or (214) 670-1923

Youth Athletics and Sports (214) 243-1554

Golf, Tennis & Special Services (214) 670-8520 or visit or

Fair Park

(214) 670-8400 or visit

Dallas Zoo

(214) 670-5656 or visit

Bahama Beach Waterpark

(214) 671-0820 or visit

Dog Parks

(214) 670-8847 or visit

Dallas Park & Recreation Department 1500 Marilla St. Dallas, Texas 75201 (214) 670-4100

Changing Lives. Connecting Communities. Creating Opportunities. is produced by the Dallas Park and Recreation Department Public Engagement Office. Andrea Hawkins, Editor/Writer Timothy Moody, Contributor


Pub. No. 09/10-20

2009 Annual Report  

Dallas Park and Recreation