Who Needs Diamond Park?

Everybody is unhappy about Diamond Park, a gift to the city from the Zale Corporation. The eight acre park, located between the Zale Building and Stemmons Expressway, remains swampy in some areas, bone dry in others and of use to no one.

Zale spent $500,000 landscaping the park and putting in a large fountain before giving it to the city in 1971. In exchange for the gift, the city agreed to maintain the park. Since then heavy drainage and backwash from the old Trinity River bed has kept the park’s bottomlands swamped and the fountain so filled with silt that a year ago it was turned off permanently.

The park department says it can’t drive maintenance vehicles in the boggy portions of the park, but Zale points out that even the dry areas aren’t maintained. The whole unhappy affair stemmed from poor assessments of the drainage problems. “The city was with us all the way on design, so whatever mistakes were made we made in unison,” says a Zale spokesman.

The park board is talking aboutundertaking a study to design drainage and erosion controls – an expensive proposition for the department’s already strained budget. Thepark has one other major problem.For the moment, no solution is insight. “I think we’ve spent about allwe’re going to on the park,” says theZale spokesman. A city park boardmember cracked “I don’t know whatthe answer is, but I do know a lotof people who would like to give thepark back to Zale.”

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