Texas News
2:11 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Five Things You May Not Know About The Deck Park

This weekend's opening of Klyde Warren Park is a chance to perfect your down-dog, train your puppy dog, hear a symphony and squeeze in a game of petanque.  All for free.

Also free? Our list of five things to think about while you're there.

1) Just 6 1/2 feet separate you from the top of the freeway tunnel below.

Heavy-duty concrete beams and slabs help form the foundation holding you above the traffic.  To lighten the load, architects have installed something called Geofoam.  You’re walking on it when you stroll on the Bermuda lawn.  The extra-strength Styrofoam sits below 12-inches of soil.  Landscape architect James Burnett says it’s light-as-a-feather but, “You could drive an 18-wheeler over it and it wouldn’t deflect at all.”

2) The Key To Success? Women, Especially If They're Pushing Strollers

The consultant who helped program activities in the park says he’ll be watching for baby strollers and women as he measures the park's success.  Dan Biederman is also president of the company that manages New York’s Bryant Park, a model for Klyde Warren activities.  Biederman says women more carefully evaluate their surroundings for safety, so if at least half of the crowd is female he’ll be happy.

3) A Bird’s Eye View  

By the playground, a spiral staircase leads to a platform near the top of a 26-foot bur oak.  From the Crow’s Nest there’s a pretty good view of the entire park.   The tree is among 32 native Texas species found in the park.

Ronda Van Dyk and the Dallas Yarn Bombers are adding colorful 'coats' to Chinese Pistache trees in Dallas' new Klyde Warren Park
Ronda Van Dyk and the Dallas Yarn Bombers are adding colorful 'coats' to Chinese Pistache trees in Dallas' new Klyde Warren Park
Credit Shelley Kofler / KERA News

4) Something to Howl About

About 30 medium-sized dogs can romp in the enclosed “My Best Friend’s Park.”  Fido can cool down with the motion-activated water fountains.  The synthetic turf covering raised berms can be washed down after an afternoon of “leg lifting.” The berms are treated with an antimicrobial product that minimizes odor.

5) Tree Huggers

Even the park's Chinese Pistache trees are getting ready for winter, wearing some pretty jazzy new coats.  They come courtesy of the Dallas Yarn Bombers, a group that covers outdoor fixtures with knitting and crochet.

Organizer Ronda Van Dyk says they’re dressing up 13 trees and 6 lamp posts near an area called the Reading Room.  They’re stitching together a garden theme:  “We gave our volunteers guidelines to use bright colors and we wanted them to bring garden insects and garden critters into it.  The rest was left to their creativity,” she said.