FOFPA kicks off discussion to revamp Overton and Foster Parks

Members of the Friends of Overton and Foster Park Association voted on 42 elements to enhance the natural beauty of the parks during a meeting earlier this month.

Tom Hutchinson, president of FOFPA, said the objective of the meeting was to receive feedback from the neighbors on developing a master plan for park advancement.

“The parks are neighborhood parks,” Hutchinson said, “and we want people in the neighborhood to decide what, if anything, should and can be done.”

Specific elements voted on by the members were broken up into four main goals for the park: management of natural resources, enhancement of the drainage creek system, evaluation of man-made systems and attention to neighborhood enrichment. Forty-two areas of improvement ranging from tree care to Duck Pond restoration were analyzed, and members were told to vote on the 12 items they thought were most important.

“We need to come up with, I think, a reforestation plan,” Hutchinson said, “and we need to improve the walkability of the parks. We have runners and joggers and moms pushing baby buggies, and we are all competing for the same space.”

One area of concern mentioned by several members of the association was how the FOFPA’s goals coordinated with the City of Fort Worth’s master plan already in place for Overton and Foster parks.

Tom Alves, landscape architect and contractor of the new master plan for the parks, said FOFPA and the City of Fort Worth are working together to develop a master plan that includes projects the community believes are a priority.

“FOFPA is the mechanism to get things done above and beyond the City of Fort Worth’s regular park maintenance,” Alves said. “We want to enhance the beauty of the parks and keep them functioning.”

Current maintenance, Alves said, is being paid for through bonds from the city, but FOFPA hopes to raise money for more advanced projects through contributions from individuals, businesses and other organizations.

One neighborhood resident, David Motheral, said he was particularly grateful for the initiative to maintain and improve the parks for members of the community.

“My grandchild will be born in December, and she will be the fourth generation to live in this neighborhood,” Motheral said. “It’s really good that we have a plan to follow over a long period of time.”

Hutchinson said results from the meeting’s vote will be released on association websites soon, and a follow-up meeting will be held in late January to further develop the plan.

“This,” Hutchinson said, “is just the kickoff of the dialogue.”