Friends of Reverchon, Scottish Rite Hospital organize 9th annual clean-up at popular Oak Lawn park
It’s time for spring cleaning at Reverchon Park.
The Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children and the Friends of Reverchon Park are holding the ninth annual cleanup of the 46-acre park on Saturday morning. About 300 people are expected to show up to remove trash, clear fallen tree limbs and plant flowers in the 91-year-old Oak Lawn park.
“We’ll have lots of good food and very little work,” said Linda White, chairwoman of the park’s one-year-old friends group. “Just enough so you don’t feel too guilty about the Krispy Kremes and the hamburgers.”
Registration for the clean-up begins at 8:30 a.m., and lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. after two hour’s work. The park’s entrance is at the intersection of Maple Avenue and Turtle Creek Boulevard.
White said the sponsors are hoping to attract new volunteers this year. This is the first time for the Friends of Reverchon Park to join in sponsoring the park clean-up. The project began in 1998 when the hospital established the Reverchon Park Revitalization Project.
“We’re hoping to draw more people from the community who are not aware of it,” White said.
City Council member Pauline Medrano, whose district includes the park, will be taking part in the cleanup this year.
White said a celebration held on Feb. 23 at Heritage Auction Galleries to unveil the master restoration plan attracted about 130 people. The plan was praised, she said.
Friends of Reverchon Park wants to raise about $13 million to complete the master plan. A 2003 city bond fund provided $2 million to develop the plan, make improvements to the stonework built by the Works Progress Administration in the mid-1930s and add new lighting at the ballpark.
Another project planned for the first phase of restoration is the construction of a new gate at the Maple Avenue entrance.
“We feel that visible change will hopefully encourage people to get involved with all of the other things we have planned,” White said.
Work is scheduled to begin by early 2007.
White said Friends of Reverchon Park plans to seek sponsorship of specific projects in connection with its capital campaign.
“We’re trying to round up some interest in things like the ball field,” White said. “A lot of people are interested in that project.”
Other projects to be adopted out would be the reconfiguration of the recreation center to create an outdoor pavilion to hold events and redevelopment of the iris garden.
Alexia Griffin, a spokeswoman for the hospital and vice-chairwoman of the friends group, said the hospital administration is grateful for help in restoring the park.
“We are excited that the Friends of Reverchon Park will be able to help move the restoration efforts to the next level,” Griffin said.
Reverchon Park was established in 1915 when the Dallas Park Board bought 36 acres from the John D. Cole estate.
It was envisioned to be the Central Park of Dallas and named after Julien Reverchon, a well-known local botanist who died in 1905.
In the 1930s the Works Progress Administration built a working well, iris garden amphitheater, stone pathways, steps and vistas that remain today.
The park was expanded to 46 acres in 1951.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, March 3, 2006.
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