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#1 RD Milhollin

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 11:06 AM

There has been no discussion on this board about the upcoming redevelopment of Z Boaz Public Golf Course into a public park. Golfers are of course fuming, but there seems to be lukewarm interest in the potential for a new park, and a park of significant size at that, for westside Fort Worth. The amount of land a city dedicates to parks is or has been a pretty reliable indicator of the relative desirability for relocations; I remember back in the 90's when Austin was really hot (not saying it isn't now) that one of the municipal statistics being touted was that it has one of the highest park acres-to-resident ratios of any city in the country. I don't have the numbers available; relying on memory so feel free to fire away if I am wrong on this. If parks help to make a neighborhood, a city, or even a region desirable what are the things that should be taken into consideration as plans are drawn for this future park?

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#2 ramjet

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 12:40 PM

According to this publication, Fort Worth park land is pretty pusillanimous (11,312 acres) compared to Austin (28,911 acres).

2011 City Park Facts

In fact, FW does not really compare favorably to any of the other big Texas cities in that regard. I think Z Boaz becoming a park is about the best thing to happen to that part of town in a while. The way it's configured, long and rectangular and bordered on at least three sides by streets, it's like a mini-Central Park. It would be great if over time the perimeter developed around it with better housing, shopping, and other amenities. What a great opportunity for the City of Fort Worth. I hope they do it right.

#3 Doohickie

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 02:38 PM

But the perimeter is already developed. I don't see it changing much from what it is now.

I will say this about Fort Worth parks: They have a lot of neighborhood parks. When riding my bike around town, I notice that parks in the more well-to-do areas are nothing more than green spaces that look pretty, while in less affluent areas the parks are used- busy playgrounds, soccer, baseball, basketball games being played, etc. I think it kind of ties a neighborhood together.
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#4 mmiller2002

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 07:36 PM

There's a nice cabaret within walking distance....

#5 RD Milhollin

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 10:15 AM


There's a nice cabaret within walking distance....


Yes, and though it's really not my cup 'o tea I have heard from reliable sources it is one of the better in Fort Worth.

I would like to see an olympic sized natatorium (indoor, all-year swimming pool) at the southern end of the park, with matching facilities at Gateway, Cobb, and Buck Sansom Parks. A few ball parks could be fitted in there as well, but the north parcel should be developed as a Great Lawn ringed by rows of trees, and suitable for gatherings, events, concerts, etc. There was a pores burble a few months ago about a plan to build natatori in Fort Worth, and I think that the city should team with school districts too develop multi-use facilities that could be used by school swim, diving, and other water sports teams, as well as seniors, recreational swimming, masters teams, lessons, etc. This sort of thing is long overdue in Texas; if Allen ISD can spend $60 million a new football stadium for their high school varsity team, we should be able to work out building fitness and recreation facilities for the rest of us.

(edit $6 Million to $60 million)

#6 RD Milhollin

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 09:20 AM

The S-T reports that one of the most in-demand uses for land in the new Z Boaz park will be a dog park, sort of on the lines of Fort Woof at Gateway. There might be a nominal charge there Discussion about the future park will include leasing gas rights underneath to support future development. Idea: There is Z Boaz Park which used to be Z Boaz Golf Course, and there is also South Z Boaz Park closer to Benbrook (great disk golf course there). Why not drop the "south" from the second park and offer to rename the old golf course for a local beneficiary( whose foundation would contribute substantially to developing the park. The same deal could be offered to people wishing to support building the indoor aquatics facilities.

second story in article): http://www.star-tele...ct-33-race.html



There is also the mention of a pool. The usual flavor of pool around here is a small open-air facility only used 2 month out of the year, requiring year-round maintenance, and unsuitable for organized water sports or exercise activity, only for kids splashing during the summer. Nothing wrong with that, but a true multi-use, year round facility would actually serve more segments of the community and have more diverse and rich income stream to support the operation and maintenance.

I forgot that the "gentleman's club" is actually located directly adjacent to the park, not the ideal situation, but the business was there before the park. If at some point that club, and any other properties abutting the park but not across the street from it should be purchased to add to the usable acreage. There is an existing recreation facility (RD Evans, love that name) inside the park, and outdoor basketball and tennis courts could be added close by. Irene Street on the west side of the park should be completed all the way from Calmont to Camp Bowie and US 377, and the abandoned Carswell rail spur should be paved and added to the bike trails system in Fort Worth.

Lots of potential here.

#7 JBB

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 02:05 PM

if Allen ISD can spend 6 million a new football stadium for their high school varsity team, we should be able to work out building fitness and recreation facilities for the rest of us.


More like $60 million for the Allen stadium. And I agree. Imagine what the water district could do with park land on their property with just a fraction of the billion dollars they're prepared to spend on their unnecessary flood control project/development ramrod.

#8 RD Milhollin

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 11:29 PM

Looks like the city has negotiated a deal with XTO/Exxon to "develop" the gas rights under the new Z Boaz Park. Interesting that heirs of the namesake still have a hand in the pot. Too bad this wasn't dome three years ago, the city proceeds could have been many times more, assuming drilling actually takes place...

I wonder how much of the potential proceeds are actually going to contribute to the development of the park?

http://www.star-tele...-deals-for.html

#9 Russ Graham

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 11:25 AM

A study shows it will cost $6.8 million over 20 years to implement the ideas that have been put up so far:

http://www.star-tele...-will-cost.html

Plus another $4 million for the swimming pool if they decide to do that.

No mention of how much of this cost will be offset by the gas leases & royalties from the park. I understand that there's a law that says gas money from a given park has to stay in that same park, can anybody confirm that?

#10 RD Milhollin

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 12:40 PM

No mention of how much of this cost will be offset by the gas leases & royalties from the park. I understand that there's a law that says gas money from a given park has to stay in that same park, can anybody confirm that?


I believe that this is a city policy, probably as a result of a local ordinance rather than a (state) law; in other words self-imposed by the city rather than mandated from above. I could be wrong but in the early days of wide-eyed get-rich-quick wonderment surrounding the Barnett Shale there was a lot of talk about this sort of thing.

#11 RD Milhollin

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Posted 27 May 2015 - 07:56 AM

Fort Worth drops significantly in a national assessment of large cities and their parks. 

 

http://www.star-tele...le22184418.html



#12 RD Milhollin

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 10:11 AM

Lots of drownings in the area lately, especially apartment pools. Maybe it is time to re-address the issue of drown-proofing (i.e. swimming lessons) as part of the public school curriculum. There was some noise being made about a year ago about replacing the aging and open-air public pools in Fort Worth (now all closed?) with year-round aquatic centers, perhaps in partnership with the various school districts. An enclosed, climate-controlled natatorium provides the opportunity for education, fitness, therapy, recreation, and sports, all without most of the risks of traumatic impact typical of most current school sports. Mastering swimming builds self-confidence, provides the opportunity for life-long physical fitness and accompanying improved health, can be the basis for competitive sports such as racing, underwater hockey, water polo, etc. and certainly not least, can save lives by preventing drowning. Connected activities such as lifeguard training, CPR, and water safety instruction/water rescue provide role-model and leadership opportunities for young people. These facilities can provide year-round opportunities for other activities like canoe and kayak training, snorkeling and SCUBA instruction, well, you get the picture. And all this for less than the cost of one set of spectator stands at the now ubiquitous football stadiums financed and built by the schools and benefitting a small sector of the community (primarily the superintendent's resume...)

 

The status quo, especially the stick-in-the-mud school district system, will be opposed to any change in their model of sports as violent mass entertainment. The cities are unable to pull this sort of thing off by themselves due to already strained budgets, while the various and passing initiatives to address obeseness and accompanying lifelong medical conditions rise only to settle over time to the bottom of the priority pool. 



#13 Russ Graham

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Posted 07 July 2015 - 09:44 AM

I agree the city should provide public swimming pools for kids to play in.  Closing (almost) all the pools and filling them in to avoid paying the costs of maintenance and operation was shortsighted.



#14 Austin55

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Posted 07 July 2015 - 01:30 PM

When the pools were open, were life vests available for rent? 



#15 RD Milhollin

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Posted 07 July 2015 - 11:13 PM

No, but swimming lessons were available in the mornings, public swims in the afternoons.



#16 Russ Graham

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 04:57 AM

Also, there were lifeguards on duty, trained in CPR.

#17 RD Milhollin

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 07:58 AM

Just an observation and commentary:

 

Perhaps the trend toward privatization of swimming pools (backyard or apartment complexes as opposed to public) is the same phenomenon that has people watching movies in their homes on large flat screen televisions rather than going to the theater. There is a definite movement away from participation in recreation activities in the public sphere to similar actives behind privacy walls (exercise rooms vs gyms, etc.) People who claim to know about such things have pointed out that this trend tends to limit interaction between different classes or segments of society, probably not a good thing. I would guess it also contributes to people spending too much time and resources on non-productive activities that used to be more rationed by cost (sitting and watching instead of walking/moving and participating...) 



#18 McHand

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 07:22 PM

No, but swimming lessons were available in the mornings, public swims in the afternoons.

 

 

I'm a product of Forest Park swim lessons.

 

Sad that FPP is the only public pool left in Fort Worth. Sycamore has a spray ground, but it's not quite the same. 


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#19 McHand

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 07:26 PM

Lots of drownings in the area lately, especially apartment pools. Maybe it is time to re-address the issue of drown-proofing (i.e. swimming lessons) as part of the public school curriculum. There was some noise being made about a year ago about replacing the aging and open-air public pools in Fort Worth (now all closed?) with year-round aquatic centers, perhaps in partnership with the various school districts. An enclosed, climate-controlled natatorium provides the opportunity for education, fitness, therapy, recreation, and sports, all without most of the risks of traumatic impact typical of most current school sports.

 

Camp Fort Worth, and its free sister program, Mobile Rec, provide swim lessons twice a week all summer to kids aged 5-14 at the Wilkerson-Greins Activity Center (FWISD natatorium) near TCC South.  


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#20 RD Milhollin

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 08:42 AM

The main gate at Fort Worth Botanic Gardens is getting a facelift:

 

http://www.star-tele...le32752290.html

 

Bud Kennedy reports on the origin of the ornate lanterns, the original architect who intends to be at the upcoming rededication, and the bronze plaque naming the donors who helped build the gate, and why it was never displayed.

 

I disagree with his final statement about this being "not a classic architectural landmark for the ages". Yes the style is different from the columns at Elizabeth Boulevard at 8th Avenue (Roman revival, apparently not in the Fortwortharchitecture.com files) , and the towers marking the entrance to Forest Park at Park 

 

http://www.fortworth...stparkgates.htm

 

but it has its own quiet, dignified but modern (MCM) design that is in keeping with much of the architecture down the road at the Will Rogers Complex. Restoration was time well spent. 



#21 John T Roberts

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Posted 30 August 2015 - 05:23 PM

I agree with you, RD.  The gates are nice pieces of Mid-Century Modern design.  Maybe, they will get a listing, soon.



#22 RD Milhollin

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Posted 30 October 2015 - 08:56 AM

National Park Service to provide assistance to Fort Worth in planning for hike and bike trails around Lake Arlington:

 

http://www.star-tele...le41640366.html

 

This is great news. The western shore of the lake is in Fort Worth, but the lake itself is owned by Arlington and serves as a municipal water source. The Fort Worth side has been very poorly managed over the years, with lots of illegal dumping, substandard structures, poorly maintained streets, insufficient streetlights and low-priority policing. Recently news reports indicate this area has been used by killers to dump and burn their victims. Nevertheless there is a lot of potential there for neighborhood development and recreational opportunities. Preventing pollution of the lake itself has to be a priority for the owner, so hopefully swales and other rainwater catchment areas can be incorporated into plans for future park, recreation, and open areas. It would be great to have a hike/bike trail system all around the lake with several trailheads. This sort of development could become a regional, not just local attraction. The lake and surrounding facilities could, for example, host marathons and triathlons. The lake should eventually be connected into the Trinity Trails system downstream along Village Creek. 



#23 Urbndwlr

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Posted 02 November 2015 - 01:43 PM

I noticed in a bond election a couple of years back (think coincided with Presidential election) - Austin voted for bond dollars to acquire large trackts of land on its perimeter to preserve as green space. 

 

I would really like to see us do that in Fort Worth.   Those will be much more expensive to purchase if even available decades down the road when we wish we had preserved them.

 

Open green spaces (including parks and simple "undeveloped" open spaces are very valuable in protecting future quality of life. 



#24 Jimmy

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Posted 01 December 2015 - 01:07 PM

I was told recently that a big fundraising effort is underway to create a massive new playground area at Trinity Park, and that the existing playground equipment there would be relocated to Z Boaz.  



#25 Doohickie

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Posted 01 December 2015 - 04:52 PM

I was told recently that a big fundraising effort is underway to create a massive new playground area at Trinity Park, and that the existing playground equipment there would be relocated to Z Boaz.  

 

How much life is left in the equipment?  Something tells me that it might not be worth the de-installation/re-installation costs, compared to how much longer it will last.  (Anyone know what the lifespan of modern playground equipment is?)


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#26 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 01 December 2015 - 06:43 PM

When I was a kid, I had fun in massive wooden playgrounds.

 

Unfortunately, small metal playgrounds have replaced the two large wooden playgrounds I used to enjoy. What a shame for today's kids.


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#27 Jimmy

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Posted 03 December 2015 - 09:29 AM

 

How much life is left in the equipment?  Something tells me that it might not be worth the de-installation/re-installation costs, compared to how much longer it will last.  (Anyone know what the lifespan of modern playground equipment is?)

 

 

Good questions to which I don't know the answers.  I should probably note that I wasn't told this by any kind of inside source, so take it with a grain of salt as just a rumor I was passing along.

 

 

When I was a kid, I had fun in massive wooden playgrounds.

 

Unfortunately, small metal playgrounds have replaced the two large wooden playgrounds I used to enjoy. What a shame for today's kids.

 

There's a really great wooden playground at Tillery Park off of Forest Park Blvd that is relatively large by today's standards.  



#28 brownjd

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Posted 04 December 2015 - 09:36 AM

 

There's a really great wooden playground at Tillery Park off of Forest Park Blvd that is relatively large by today's standards.  

 

 

The material for the park is Trex.

 

The layout was designed (through drawings provided to professional designers) by Lily B Clayton students. Friends of Tillery Park (501c3),  Berkeley Place & Mistletoe Heights residents built, installed, and continue to maintain it. Funding was provided through corporate and private donations. 



#29 Jimmy

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Posted 04 December 2015 - 10:50 AM

 

 

There's a really great wooden playground at Tillery Park off of Forest Park Blvd that is relatively large by today's standards.  

 

 

The material for the park is Trex.

 

The layout was designed (through drawings provided to professional designers) by Lily B Clayton students. Friends of Tillery Park (501c3),  Berkeley Place & Mistletoe Heights residents built, installed, and continue to maintain it. Funding was provided through corporate and private donations. 

 

 

Appreciate the info.  My kid LOVES that park.



#30 JBB

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 02:19 AM

Anyone know if the huge clearing and dirt moving project that is happening north of the river and west of Beach is related to future expansion of Gateway Park? Or is it something different. It looks to be in the area slated for the park expansion, but I wasn't sure that was happening so soon. It is a massive swath of land.

#31 John T Roberts

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 10:52 AM

That should be a part of the Trinity River Vision Flood Control and Gateway Park Expansion project.  I haven't been over there since they started clearing, so I can't be 100% certain on that.



#32 Volare

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Posted 16 January 2016 - 11:15 AM

I had answered a question about this yesterday on a different thread, but I repost here in case you don't see it:

 

I was riding my bike over there the other day and asked a worker who was riding a 4x4 along the trail. That's the area that's going to be excavated down to as much as 30 feet lower in order to provide water storage during flood events. This to protect downtown Fort Worth (remember all those levies being taken down for "flood control"?), which is strangely upstream from said location. This flood storage area was originally going to be placed upstream from downtown, but since all the money lives in that area of town, that idea was dumped and the flood storage was moved here, adjacent to a homeless camp and the former drive-in theater. Incidentally, the process of preparing this land for excavation has resulted in the removal of 200" pecan trees and the like. 



#33 rriojas71

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 02:28 PM

The area @ Beach and I-30 is downstream from the TRV, not upstream.

#34 Volare

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 05:49 PM

The area @ Beach and I-30 is downstream from the TRV, not upstream.

 

Correct, as stated in my original post, this collection area was originally slated to be upstream of downtown (where it would actually do some good) but is now downstream from that which it is supposed to protect.



#35 RD Milhollin

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 09:33 AM

Bluestem Park, Fort Worth's newest includes 14 acres of restored blackland prairie in Alliance Town Center:

 

http://www.star-tele...le76089182.html



#36 fortworthhorn

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Posted 11 May 2016 - 04:18 PM

Bluestem Park, two hours from the city center, is Fort Worth's newest park that includes 14 acres of restored blackland prairie in Alliance Town Center:

 

http://www.star-tele...le76089182.html

Fixed your post



#37 RD Milhollin

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Posted 28 May 2016 - 06:28 AM

Fort Worth drops in nationwide ranking of city parks:

 

http://www.star-tele...le80324622.html

 

Fort Worth has lots of potential for future park development with Gateway Park in Lower Riverside. That large urban park could end up being the crown jewel of Fort Worth parks someday. The Fort Worth Nature Center on Lake Worth is another great park asset. There needs to be emphasis on setting aside parkland in the Far Southside and in the Walsh Ranch developments, not just decorative, linear parks, but real parks with open lawns, trails, lakes, etc. Sports facilities are important as well but shouldn't be confused with parks. Neighborhood parks may be an area where Fort Worth could improve on, but building parks where they will not be used or will be neglected is not a good investment. Some sort of partnership between neighborhood associations or other civic groups to build and maintain neighborhood parks might be a good way for the city to proceed. I still don't see any move on the part of cities (cash-strapped) or school districts (small-minded, inefficient or just crooked, and football-blinded) to seek partnerships to build and maintain year-round indoor natatoriums (natatori?) around the city.



#38 RD Milhollin

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Posted 05 July 2016 - 08:37 AM

S-T article pointing out the danger of children drowning, even in shallow water. Yet another reason for cities and schools to team up and construct year-round natatorium facilities that could be used for swimming instruction, even for infants and mothers.

 

http://www.star-tele...le87598197.html

 

There was a news piece on NPR by writer Dave Schiller this weekend about drowning, particularly among ethnic minorities, and learning to swim as an adult:

 

http://www.npr.org/2...eighed-him-down



#39 RD Milhollin

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 08:51 AM

More drownings in the river. What is it going to take to have cities and schools to realize that swimming is a basic "life skill"?



#40 Volare

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 04:12 PM

More drownings in the river. What is it going to take to have cities and schools to realize that swimming is a basic "life skill"?

 

I saw the rescue/recovery effort underway this morning while I was riding my bike on the trail. Based on where the equipment was, my guess is they went over the dam just downstream from TCC. No swimming skills are gonna save you from that undertow.

 

The drainage ditch we call a "river" is incredibly dangerous at times other than drought.



#41 John T Roberts

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 04:17 PM

Thanks for the information, Volare.  I did not ride this morning, as I had an event at with Historic Fort Worth.  I saw the report just a few minutes ago on Channel 5 News and I wondered if they went over the dam. 

 

In response to RD's post, I'm thankful that I learned to swim when I was a kid.  I spent many weekends at the GDRA/LMRA pool, and unfortunately, the REI store is now built on top of it.



#42 JBB

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 04:43 PM

Why should we expect the cities and schools to teach kids to swim instead of parents? There are far more important things I want my kid learning at school.

And as Volare suggests, more often than not, these drownings involve people that know how to swim that find themselves in dangerous situations. None of the drownings on the Trinity in recent years would have been prevented with swim lessons.

#43 renamerusk

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 01:23 PM

Why should we expect the cities and schools to teach kids to swim instead of parents? There are far more important things I want my kid learning at school.....

 

This is perhaps one of the least thought out replies in a long time.

 

If a certain percentage of drownings can be prevented through parks and recreation and the schools, then I am all for it.



#44 JBB

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 05:36 PM

That's saying something since I don't put all that much thought into any of my posts. Is there a prize for my achievement or lack thereof?

Notice I didn't say there wasn't any value in the schools or the city offering swim instruction, but it's far more important for that responsibility to fall on the parents. If a kid makes it to school without having learned how to swim, they've made it past one of the riskiest times for drowning.

#45 brownjd

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 09:56 AM

Notice I didn't say there wasn't any value in the schools or the city offering swim instruction, but it's far more important for that responsibility to fall on the parents. If a kid makes it to school without having learned how to swim, they've made it past one of the riskiest times for drowning.

 

With only two public pools (three if you count the upcoming YMCA public/private pool) in the city, I don't see a lot of options for most parents to teach their kids to swim. Every time we've tried to go to Forest Park pool, it has been jam packed. Unfortunately, people don't seem to be clamoring to rebuild the old pools.

 

We've enrolled our kids in the swim classes offered by the city and found them to be a good value for our money.



#46 Urbndwlr

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 04:31 PM

Are private or non-profit but not city owned facilities filling some of the void left by cities' inability to fund large playing field or playground facilities?

 

I'm sure someone can find some articles on this but have noticed some sports faclities.  Examples are the new Game On next to All Saints Episcopal School, the related indoor soccer facility off West Loop 820, and I think some suburban facilities (dont know names) that offer basketball, soccer, hockey, etc facilities - presumably for leagues. 

 

Those don't work for everyone but assume they take some pressure off the ISD and City park facilities by putting some share of the users at those facilities.



#47 John T Roberts

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 08:50 PM

Urbndwlr, probably one of my co-workers would be better able to answer your question than I can, but I think that the answer is yes, these type of facilities are filling that void.

 

Thanks for mentioning Game On.  The same co-worker is a soccer player and coach.  He knows the owners of Game On, and through this association, it landed our firm the project. 






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