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Posted Wednesday, Jun. 26, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Step by step, the abandoned 12.5-acre tract where the High Oak Terrace apartments once stood is being transformed into a long hoped for neighborhood park in west Arlington.

General site cleanup took place last fall. Now design work is under way for the first phase of construction, which is expected to begin in early winter, project manager Briana Morrison said in an email update last week.

The 132-unit High Oak Terrace went from a desirable place to live to a crime-infested blight as the years passed and the property fell into disrepair. After the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development foreclosed on the property in 2004, the city used federal grant funds to buy it under the stipulation that the site — along with other land the city had acquired nearby — be redeveloped as single-family homes, some of them for low-income buyers.

Residents who live nearby preferred a park, but until early last year, when HUD officials gave their blessing, the city couldn’t change its commitment.

The parks department held meetings and gathered input from residents about what amenities they would most like to see at the park. A landscape architectural consultant was recently hired to, among other things, design a sidewalk connection along Bowen Road to the existing sidewalk north of High Oak Drive, Morrison said in her update.

“The northeast corner of the park property has significant grade change, and the existing retaining wall there is very old,” she said. “The sidewalks inside and around the park perimeter will provide access along Bowen Road and Wesley Drive.”

The consultant is also preparing information to replat the property, Morrison said.

“If you drive by the site, you may see a survey crew locating trees, taking measurements and calculating elevations,” she said. “Also, you may notice parks staff or contractors doing some miscellaneous site cleanup like clearing underbrush along Bowen Road or trimming trees.”

Girls Inc. camps

Who needs boys? Not the girls who will attend Girls Inc. of Tarrant County’s upcoming Summer SMART Camps, which are designed to encourage them to explore science, math and related technologies in a pressure-free environment.

At the camps, which take place in Arlington and start July 8, the girls can experiment, take risks and build their self-confidence and leadership skills while hanging out with friends old and new.

Field trips include the costume design program at Casa Mañana Theatre, a glance at the inner workings of the BNSF Railway control room, learning what an environmental agency does at Talem, and visiting the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing facility in Fort Worth to see the money-making process.

Fashion Camp is July 8-12, at Shepherd of Life Lutheran Church. Campers will design savvy products and perform in their own fashion show.

Geek Girls is July 15-19 at the University of Texas at Arlington. Girls will discover the components that make devices tick. Campers will design their own alarm system, engineer a bridge and build race cars out of Legos.

Weird Science is July 22-26 at UTA. Campers will perform experiments in the chemistry lab, design a roller coaster and explore density. It continues the following week at Shepherd of Life church, where girls will learn about elephant toothpaste, exploding sandwich bags and the color makeup of M&Ms.

The final week of camp, Aug. 5-9, is at the Junior League of Arlington. Girls will dive into cyberspace, learn how programmers build websites and create their dream vacation using Google Maps.

Advance registration is required. Information: or 817-468-0306.

New trauma rating

The trauma center at Medical Center Arlington has been designated as a Level III facility by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

MCA is the only designated trauma hospital in Arlington. The state trauma designation program promotes the regional and statewide trauma system development in which participants provide not only the hospital resources necessary for trauma care, but also the entire spectrum of care to address the needs of all injured patients. This spectrum encompasses the pre-hospital phase through the rehabilitation process.

MCA’s trauma team consists of physicians and nurses who are certified in trauma care.

Medical Center Arlington was also recognized with a hospital safety score of an A by The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits.

Learn more at

Cool place to hang out

Looking for a “cool” place to take your kids this summer.

Well, the Parks at Arlington has started a Kids Club that will start in July in which it will offer several programs to entertain the kiddos.

On July 9 July 9, Miss Bernie will lead the children in singing fun songs and dances and stories. Keeping up with the theme, kids can make Smile Face Sun Magnets that add a touch of whimsy to refrigerator doors.

There’s no fee for Kids Club and reservations are not required. Parents/caregivers are required to stay with children. Adults who are bringing five or more children are asked to call Tina Aboulhosn (817) 467-6496, x11 so that club organizers will have a giveaway for every participant.

Kids Club starts at 11 a.m. on the lower level near Nordstrom Rack and lasts from 30 to 45 minutes. Activities are designed for children two to six, but all ages are welcome. The August Kids Club is an Ice Cream Social on Tuesday, August 13.

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