New Arlington park honors first woman on City Council

Martha Walker, the first woman to serve on the City Council, now shares her name with a new park in southwest Arlington.

The 13-acre park at 7509 Sharon Lee Drive has an 8-foot-wide concrete trail, playgrounds for two age groups, fitness equipment, picnic spots and many other manmade amenities, but the main feature has been there all along.

“It was heavily wooded,” said Mitali Mandlekar, the park’s project manager for the Parks and Recreation Department. “It was an extremely beautiful piece of land to begin with.”

The park’s $648,820 construction cost has been paid with park fees, which are among the impact fees collected for new residential development. People have been using the park since most of the work ended in July, Mandlekar said. A ribbon-cutting and park dedication honoring Walker are set for 2 p.m. Thursday.

The park’s acreage boosted the city’s total developed parkland to 4,710 acres. Some 664 acres more await development.

Walker, who is 82 “and three-quarters,” is happy to be a part of it.

“The first thing I look for in any city I go to is to see what kind of parks and museums they have,” said Walker, who was on the council from 1972 to 1982.

Robert Cadwallader: 817-390-7186, @Kaddmann_ST