As Eric Ogle watches his son run around on the playground at the new Clarence Foster Park, he says he can’t believe this was an area devastated by flooding just a few years ago.
“It took something that was kind of a disaster and not such a nice thing, then turned it into, hopefully, a great gift back to the city of Arlington,” said Ogle.
In 2010, nearby Rush Creek flooded, leaving homes and cars underwater and people trapped. Wanting to avoid those problems in the future, city leaders felt they should try to get houses out of that flood plain and turn the space into a park.
“They organized a voluntary buyout and 49 homeowners chose to participate,” said Kurt Beilharz, Parks Project Manager for the City of Arlington. “So, 49 homes were purchased and they were knocked down.”
Now that work on the project is nearly complete, Ogle said he’s glad the city made that decision.
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“It’s great,” said Ogle. “It’s a beautiful park. It’s a great investment. They did a really, really good job.”
In addition to the extra green space, the park has a brand-new playground with built-in coverings, new wide, concrete running and biking trails and outdoor exercise equipment.
Crews are finishing up work on a new parking lot and lighting system for the park. They hope to be completely done within the next two weeks.
“I think it’s been a great transformation,” said Beilharz. “I think this is one of the nicest parks Arlington has now.”
Jake Ogle agrees.
“I like the new swings,” said Ogle.
Both he and his dad said they look forward to spending many more days there.