Group aims to raise money to improve neighborhood park

A small but loyal group called the Friends of Tietze Park Foundation wants to raise $20,000 by next year to improve the nine-acre neighborhood green spot.

“It’s a special place for our part of town,” foundation president Kelly Nash says.

The group’s first big fund-raising event, dubbed TietzeFest, will be June 11 on the park’s north side. The evening starts at 6:30 p.m. with food, exhibitors and live music, followed by an outdoor showing of “The Lion King” that starts at dark.

Admission to the event is free, but the foundation is recruiting individual and corporate sponsors.

Tietze Park, on Skillman Avenue between Llano and Vanderbilt streets, sat on Dallas’ northeast fringe when the city acquired it in 1924, according to the foundation. It was known as Keith Park until 1934, when the city renamed it for 37-year parks superintendent W.R. Tietze.

Friends of Tietze Park wants to raise $20,000 to buy picnic tables, benches, game tables and other amenities to supplement upcoming improvements. The foundation also is selling inscribed bricks to be installed in the plaza area during renovations.

The Dallas Park and Recreation Department has identified $2 million in needed improvements at Tietze, according to the foundation. A 2003 bond package supplied $577,000 for the park.

Planned work includes restoring the pavilion, improving park lighting, adding a pedestrian promenade, redesigning the plaza area west of the pavilion, building a new toddler playground and installing a water fountain. Construction bids will determine how much of the work can be accomplished with the bond money.

Nash says the park’s master plan calls for revitalization rather than a drastic overhaul.

“Our goal is to not really change the park, but to get more people there and make it safer,” he says.

Tietze Park, with its popular pool and pick-up basketball games, already enjoys heavy traffic, Nash says. The foundation, which has about 25 members, hopes to encourage people to become reinvested in the park’s upkeep and establish an endowment to pay for maintenance work.

“Probably the most useful thing I do is go down there and pick up trash,” Nash says.

TietzeFest sponsorships start at $25. Donors who give at least $250 receive an inscribed brick, among other benefits. Donors who make contributions of more than $1,000 will be honored with plaques attached to the new benches.

For information about TietzeFest or the Friends of Tietze Park Foundation, visit tietzepark.org.


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