The Dallas City Council voted unanimously to rename Randall Park to Willis C. Winters Park in a tribute to neighborhood preservationist Willis Winters.
The decision to rename the park came after Winters announced in August that he was retiring as director of the Park and Recreation Department.
Winters served as the department’s director since January 2013. Before that, he spent 20 years as park manager and assistant director. Under his leadership, the longtime public servant helped remake municipal golf courses and expand the trail system. He also worked to save Dallas history by stashing items, such as remnants of historic buildings and old farm equipment, in the “boneyard” in East Dallas.
At Randall Park, Winters designed a pavilion in honor of his son, Will Winters, a football player at Woodrow Wilson who died following complications from surgery. The plaza in the center of the park, located across the street from the Woodrow, was built and is maintained by the Willis Winters III Memorial Fund.
The vote to change the park’s name came in September after Park and Recreation Board President Bobby Abtahi made a motion to rename it. Board member Jesse Moreno seconded the motion.
The park at 101 N. Glasgow Drive was originally named after the Randall family, which owned the land that eventually became the park. The park board did not have the funds to purchase the land, so it leased 11 acres from the Randall Estate. It was acquired in 1922 on a lease of three years.