University Park Marks Official Date of Its 100th Anniversary

University Park marked the date of its 100th anniversary with the dedication of its Centennial Tree and a preview of April 13’s celebration at Goar and Williams parks, as well as a look at planned improvements to Goar Park.

The Centennial Celebration from 6 to 9 p.m. on April 13 will feature performances from students at SMU and Highland Park High School, recognition of the winners of the city’s Centennial art and essay contests, and an after dark drone show, celebration committee co-chair Melissa Rieman said during the April 12 ceremony at Goar Park.

“The city is definitely doing something right. We were able to see the eclipse on a cloudy day,” she said to some laughter from the audience. “Yesterday was beautiful, today is amazing, and then tomorrow promises to be also amazing.”

The city is planning to give Goar Park’s gazebo a “facelift,” improve the park’s drainage and lighting, install permanent restrooms, and connect Goar Park to Turtle Creek, city manager Robbie Corder said. 

University Park also intends to commemorate its milestone anniversary with centennial bricks, signage, a donor plaque, a plaque from Preservation Park Cities, and a time capsule. The city council voted on April 2 to rename the park “Centennial Park,” though the city will continue to honor the efforts of William P. Goar, Corder said.

Preservation Park Cities presented University Park with a marker detailing the city’s origins and history. In addition to the plaque at Centennial Park, Preservation Park Cities, in cooperation with University Park, will mark an additional five to seven locations, including Snider Plaza and the YMCA, incoming president of Preservation Park Cities Alisa Sell said.

“We are thrilled to work with the city of University Park and wish you a very happy Centennial celebration,” she said. 

State Sen. Tan Parker and state Rep. Morgan Meyer presented University Park with resolutions commemorating the city’s 100th anniversary and extending the best wishes for the future to its residents.

“My fifth grader, and I are absolutely looking forward to that drone show.” Meyer said. “We’re excited about it. So again, (it’s a) an honor to be here and an honor to be a citizen of University Park.”

Sean Johnson, the city’s director of parks and recreation, explained that the Centennial Tree, a Shumard Red Oak, can grow up to 100 feet tall, and will display scarlet leaves in the fall.

“We’re just excited to celebrate 100 years in the city of University Park, and the great things the city has done,” he said, “and the even more great things that will take place for the next 100 years.”

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