This article appeared on the Advocate Lakewood / East Dallas, October 2002
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Driving by Exall Park in the Bryan Place neighborhood, one might notice a few changes. In 1998, after several city budget cuts rendered a blow to park maintenance, the Bryan Place Homeowners Association took matters into its own hands.
And what capable hands they’ve been. To date, with the help of donations and grants from Blockbuster Entertainment Group and JPI, an apartment builder in the area, a softball field and walking trail have been added, acorn-style street lights have been installed and the park has been made wheelchair accessible. A marquee sign has also been installed to announce the park’s recreation center activities and more new signs are in the works. So far, about $400,000 worth of improvements have been made.
BPHA president Wayne Smith says the improvements have been a long time coming.
“I have a real love for that park,” he says. “I don’t know why Exall Park shouldn’t be the shining jewel of the Dallas park system.”
The association now phase two of the improvements. New park benches, trash receptacles and grills will be added, and the association is hoping to raise enough money to install playground equipment and a basketball court. A final phase three, which Smith says will begin in about a year, will work to get a pavilion and tennis courts built and a sprinkler system installed.
“We have been successful in raising a lot of money, but we still have a lot to do,” says neighborhood resident Sue Dorsey. “The park has become vital to this part of town,” Dorsey says.