In 2018, the City of Arlington Parks and Recreation Department made an announcement. The winner of the coveted Gold Medal for Excellence was given to none other than the prestigious Richard Simpson Park. Named after a popular Arlington Police Officer who served on the Special Tactical Unit for 13 years, this outdoor public masterpiece sees millions of visitors every year and still remains one o the best-kept secrets in Texas.
What Makes the Richard Simpson Park a Gold Medal Winner?
Back in 2015, the Arlington City Council allowed park staff to carry on with the design of various improvements to the already impressive grounds. Richard Simpson Park was slated to become one of the cleanest and most updated parks in the city. Said improvements included:
- A 4,100-square-foot lake building that guests can freely rent for an affordable fee
- A new pavilion with sturdier, updated picnic tables
- An accompanying event garden for concerts and shows
- A state-of-the-art fishing pier
- A fun and safe children’s playground with new equipment
- Several picnic stations for outdoor dining
- Parking lot modifications, including an automatic gate
- Improvements to accessibility
- Beautiful landscaping and irrigation
- An updated adjoining restroom that replaced the old out building
- A paved walking trail
- Removal of the looped roadway that caused confusion and chaos
Other improvements were made as well, but those improvements affected the Arlington community more than the guests of the park. For example:
- For convenience and efficiency, drop-off areas were created adjacent to the new lake buildings and pavilions. This has prevented an excessive overflow of traffic and has made it easier for patrons to enjoy the many amenities of the park.
- Draining from the Arkansas Lake was mitigated using harmless bio-swale. No longer is there a foul small coming from the drainage, nor is there ever any flooding. For the most part, Richard Simpson Park is accessible year-round.
Getting to Richard Simpson Park in Houston
Traveling to Richard Simpson Park is relatively easy. Located between the Eugene McCray Park and Dalworthington Gardens, this lush acreage can be reached by taking either State Road 820 or West Pioneer Parkway. The Arlington Parks and Recreation Department has park and area maps plus up-to-the-minute activity schedules for those interested. As a general rule, however, if you can find your way to Arlington Lake then you can find your way to the award-winning Richard Simpson Park.
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