Redesigning Tenison Glen golf course, increasing community access and establishing a nature preserve along White Rock Creek are projects the City of Dallas would like to undertake as it implements the first phase of its multiyear master plan for Samuell-Grand Park.

The final master plan, published in January after more than a year of community input meetings, includes nearly $75 million in proposed work to take place over several bond cycles, Dallas Park and Recreation Department Director John Jenkins said in a recent meeting.

The plan is divided into four “zones,” or phases, to be implemented over the next 25-30 years. Zone 1, which begins this year, includes $18.4 million in improvements. In addition to the golf course redesign and the creation of a nature preserve, the zone focuses on expanding park trails and mitigating the erosion of White Rock Creek.

Erosion of the creek has caused a significant loss in area at the 18-hole Tenison Glen golf course. It will be replaced with a nine-hole course to reduce maintenance costs. The proposed yardage is 3,485 with a par of 36. There is enough room to design two sets of tees or two pins at each hole to allow for 18-hole play.

Remediation of the creek will prioritize the most erosive parts of the channel, especially those along the golf course.

Pedestrian safety and improving community access were among neighbors’ highest priorities at public input meetings. To accommodate those requests, the plan proposes to improve road crossings along Grand Avenue and Samuell Boulevard with additional signs and lights, as well as adding security fencing and buffer landscaping along Samuell Grand, Winslow Avenue and East Grand.

“One of the things that’s going to be difficult is crosswalks across East Grand,” Friends of Samuell-Grand Park President Hooman Shamsa said. “It’s a tricky road to cross. I’m not sure how they’re going to pull that off, but I’m happy to see it’s being included. The nature preserve is a big win. It’s very necessary because it’s a nice counterbalance to the big roads that surround the park.”

Samuell-Grand’s last master plan was completed in the 1940s or ’50s, and park officials wanted to ensure the park had enough amenities to accommodate more visitors, Jason Ney, manager of park planning and acquisitions, said at a meeting in January 2020.

“It’s been a long time since this park had a master plan,” Shamsa said. “It’s addressing some deferred maintenance. It hasn’t been looked at in quite a while.” 

Improvements in the remaining phases include a dog park, basketball courts, additional parking, an expanded clubhouse and upgrades to the amphitheater.