New master plan intends to update Tenison and Samuell-Grand

Building a pedestrian bridge, a pollinator garden and a new playground were among several ideas neighbors suggested to improve Samuell-Grand and Tenison parks at a public meeting Wednesday.

The meeting drew about 75 people who wanted to collaborate with the City of Dallas on a master plan for the East Dallas parks.

The last master plan was completed in the ’40s or ’50s, said Jason Ney, manager of park planning and acquisitions. With increased foot and bike traffic expected upon completion of the Trinity Forest Spine Trail, located just south of Samuell-Grand, officials wanted to ensure the parks had enough amenities to accommodate more visitors.

“There will be a lot of activity through here, and we need to take a look at it,” Ney said.

Many neighbors said the streets surrounding the parks have too much traffic for pedestrians to safely access the grounds on foot. They recommended installing sidewalks, crosswalks or even a pedestrian bridge to encourage more residents to utilize the park.

Another hot topic was the future of the Tenison Glen Golf Course. The course, located next to the Tenison Highlands Golf Course, is difficult to maintain because of flooding caused by White Rock Creek, which runs through the property.

“It’s very expensive to maintain,” Ney said. “Is that the best use of the property? Does the community need two golf courses right there?”

Some attendees advocated for keeping the golf course, which some high school golf teams use for practice. At a City Council meeting in January, District 9 Councilwoman Paula Blackmon suggested what could, perhaps, be a compromise. Blackmon said the property could be turned into a nine-hole par-3 course, and the rest could be used for a disc golf course, according to D Magazine.

City officials have not yet decided what to do with the property or finalized the master plan. They will consider public opinion and then consult with the design firm, Mesa Design Group. Plans will be presented at a second public meeting before they are sent to the Park Board, likely this summer.

Neighbors can still make their voice heard through a survey that will be open through Feb. 9.

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