St. Francis Skatepark is located in Lakeland Hills Park and is currently the only skatepark in the city of Dallas. Lakeland Hills is part of Dallas City Council District 7. Each city council district has its own locally elected City Council Member, and District 7's CM is Mr. Kevin Felder.
Mr. Felder was elected to the City Council for the first time in May 2017, and has already distinguished himself as being open to listening to his residents and ensuring the community is providing input on proposed city projects. Using that same principle, on December 14, 2017, Mr. Felder held a town hall at White Rock Hills Library specifically to discuss changes that the Dallas Parks & Recreation Department (DP&RD) was planning at Lakeland Hills, so the For the Love Family and Skateparks for Dallas attended to show our support for St. Francis, as the only skatepark in Dallas.
Specifically, DP&RD was planning on adding off-street parking at Lakeland Hills, to reduce the amount of on-street parking that occurs when there are soccer and baseball games, kids at the playground and skateboarding.
For the Love Family skaters, represented by Prentice "Peanutt" Baptiste IV, as well as Mack Defoe, Oliver Ruibal, Tyler Nowlin, Zack Pinkerton, and Skateparks for Dallas's Clinton Haley and Nick DiCarlo attended. The skaters did an amazing job speaking up at the meeting about their wishes for St. Francis to be safer and a better skate spot.
Prentice also shared a video he shot at St. Francis for the many folks in attendance, linked below
The benefits of the skateboarding community attending the Town Hall were immediate. Mr. Vincent Ogbuehi, from Dallas Parks & Recreation, who is the project leader for the Lakeland Hills acknowledged that having one modest skatepark in Dallas was insufficient, and noted the recent bond election had added funds for the park at Bachman Lake. Additionally, he shared his contact information so we can have a direct dialogue about how to improve St. Francis in the short term. It was a pleasure to meet Mr. Oguehi and we look forward to working with him.
It was amazing to see skaters in action as advocates for skateboarding in the city and making an impact. Congrats, and let's keep on working!