Willis Winters Park was originally named after the Randall family, which owned the land that became the park. In the early 20th century, the Park and Recreation Board did not have funds to purchase the land, so it leased 11 acres from the Randall estate. The board acquired the land in 1922 after a three-year lease.
The park was renamed Willis Winters Park in 2019 when neighbor Willis Winters retired from his post as longtime director of the Park and Recreation Department.
The land sits in the heart of the neighborhood at 100 N. Glasgow Drive between Woodrow Wilson High School and Juliette Fowler Communities. Each year, Friends of Willis Winters Park surveys Woodrow, Juliette Fowler, Junius Heights Historic District and other stakeholders to produce a list of improvements to pursue.
“Friends of Willis Winters Park is for the preservation of our park, and that’s what we want to do,” Cohen says. “Everyone should be doing something, and communication is key. There are plenty of opportunities to give back in different ways.”
The group will continue to request additional trash cans, water fountains and doggie waste stations available through the park department’s maintenance budget. But there are several other long-term projects that would require grants.
After seeking community feedback, the big-ticket items do not include the proposed game field at the park.
Instead, Friends of Willis Winters Park will focus its efforts on upgrading the playground and organizing a mural contest to be painted on the basketball court. This year, the group hopes to host a field day, Easter egg hunt and other events that were canceled in 2020.
“Everything we do is not for now. It’s for the future,” Cohen says. “With all the changes going on in the community, if we can hold on to this little piece of green space, it will be amazing.”
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Make a donation at dallasparksfoundation.org.