Dragon Park sees vision for its future
Survey provides chance for residents to help the park grow
It’s the home for free summer Sunday concerts. Kids love to play on the huge dragon sculpture. And neighbors plant trees each spring to spruce up the area.
Fannie Mae Dees Park, referred to by many as Dragon Park, is a neighborhood staple, and neighborhood leaders want to make sure it stays that way.
In collaboration with Metro Parks, residents and Hillsboro Village merchants and stakeholders have begun a master planning process for the park and are gathering input that will guide the park’s future growth.
“The park is a great asset to the neighborhood and Hillsboro Village, but it could be a lot better,” said Dan Cook, owner of Ruby, a new event hall adjacent to the park.
“It’s the beginning of the process, but we have the survey out and I’m surprised how quickly people have embraced the effort. It’s just time to take a fresh look at it.”
There is currently no money to make any improvements, but the intent is to develop a guide for future investments, said Tim Netsch, planning superintendent with Metro Parks.
“For the most part, the community feels like there is a lot to like about Fannie Mae Dees as it is, but I think there is a desire to make sure it continues to serve the community,” Netsch said.
“Fannie Mae Dees overall is in pretty good condition compared to parks countywide, but there is always room for improvement. This will be a very conceptual master plan with improvements, and we would prioritize the projects and get in line for funding.”
The park board purchased Dragon Park, at Blakemore and 24th Avenue South, in 1978. It’s named for Fannie Mae Dees, a local civic leader. The park has tennis courts, playground equipment and a popular colorful sea serpent sculpture, which serves as the park’s centerpiece. Students from nearby Eakin Elementary and Harris-Hillman schools regularly use the park.
The master plan process was kicked off at the recent annual Dragon Parade, where neighbors began soliciting resident input. Over the next several months, residents can complete a survey to recommend improvements, programming and what amenities they would like to see in the future.