If you haven’t enjoyed this beautiful weather at Willis Winter Park, you may have missed several improvements that the Friends of Willis Winters Park installed this fall.

“They’ve worked diligently with park staff to develop a checklist of things they wanted to see done in the park,” said District 14 park board member Amanda Schulz. “We had some movement in the spring on some things, but then COVID hit. But we’re back in the mode of checking things off.”

Take a look at what’s new.

Lights

Additional lights were installed at the small basketball court next to the playground. Lights will be available from 5-11 p.m. at the push of a newly installed button. The on-demand lighting was already available at the tennis courts and was considered successful in placating neighbors who worried about bright lights from the park shining into their homes.

Barbecue grill

Use the new double grill at the park’s pavilion for your next barbecue. With the existing picnic tables and trash cans, it’s the perfect spot.

Pollinator garden

Volunteers are in the process of creating a pollinator garden to help monarch butterflies during their migration. Over the weekend, they removed the top layer of grass and weeds in preparation for tilling at the site, located near the park pavilion and playground.

Former Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings was part of an initial group of mayors across the country that took the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge with the National Wildlife Federation to add spaces on city land that would attract monarch butterflies.

“The park department has monarch waystations that have met the requirements, but I’m trying to get more of that in D14,” Schulz said. “Barbara [president of Friends of Willis Winters Park] is a landscape designer. She’s big into some of those same concepts. They’re working on putting in a pollinator garden that will check all the boxes.”


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