Kings Highway to host a neighborhood tag sale

Saturday, September 17th is going to be a busy day on our block as Kings Highway will be hosting a neighborhood Tag Sale benefiting the N. Polk St Beautification Project.

Stop by from 7 am – 2 pm to shop various donated and consigned wares that will be available for super low prices.

Find out more about the event here and help us raise funds for Phase II of the project!

Welcome a new neighbor!

We’d like to welcome a new neighbor to our block, Lisa Benskin! Lisa has finally moved into her yellow and green Turner Ave house after purchasing the corner home over 3 years ago. A couple of renters occupied the home, including most recently, Lynn Blackburn and Chamblee Ferguson, who recently closed on a new home on Kessler Parkway. We will miss them and wish them the best!
Stop by and meet Lisa at her home to welcome her to the neighborhood!
Also, Gilbert, who lived on Winston in the second to last house closest to N Polk St, moved to Austin and moved his mother in a couple of months ago.

From pop up dog park back to dump

Final Update 4:07 pm 07-27-11: As of earlier today, the litter has been removed from the lot and a code enforcement officer has been assigned to monitor the area for any signs of future dumping.  The wheels at city hall aren’t as squeaky as you might think when our Councilman and his reps are as responsive to these types of issues as ours is here in District 3.  I was told 30 -45 days between mowing cycles.  That’s twice the amount of time allotted for the MOWmentum program, but something tells me they don’t enforce that if the city can’t keep up it’s mowing obligations.  Our response will be to adopt more of the land so as to remove the burden from the city.  If we all do our small part, we can help in big ways!  Thanks Steve Schenck and the rest of the city staffers!

Update #2 4:45pm:  I received a call from Councilman Scott Griggs’ office representative a few minutes ago to find out more about our situation.  Very happy to know he is responding to the citizenry’s needs.  Hope to have the litter picked up soon and looking forward to getting more consistent mowing from the city.

Update #1 11:15 am:  The site has been mowed as of 11:00 am this morning; 07/26/2011.  Not sure by whom, but most likely a private citizen as we’ve asked before when mowing crews have been at this lot.  The litter is still there and a 311 request has been made to pick it up.  We’ll see how long it takes for the city to respond.  I’ve been told it’s usually pretty quick when it comes to litter.

Also, I want to clarify what is meant by the “city needs to be a consistent partner”.  We need consistent mowing in this corridor.  According to the MOWmentum program guidelines, we’re to make sure mowing is done at least every 14 days.  Sometimes, these other lots don’t get mowed until 311 is call, which can be 28 to 35 days between mows.  In that time, grass easily exceeds 12″ in length and the litter keeps coming back!  If the city requires us to do this, we require the same from the city.

In only a matter of two months can a city owned vacant lot go from a novel pop up dog park back to being a dumping ground for the lowliest people’s trash. Dumping has always plagued this area of N Polk St from Canty to Kings Highway. That’s why we started the N Polk St Beautification project to clean it up to give it purpose.
We made an agreement with the city to adopt the land, starting with one at 620 Turner Ave, and bring purpose back to it. We’ve accomplished that goal and are making plans for the next piece, but the city needs to be a consistent partner in this revival. The picture below shows what that pop up dog park looks like this evening.


Green Space Maintenance Day, July 16th, 9 am

Meet at Turner Ave and N. Polk St to help do the following:

@N. Polk St Project
-pull weeds
-install temp to permanent border
-mow and edge
@Stone Park
-pull weeds
-remove dead plant matter

BYOP: Bring your own picnic for lunch ending at Stone Park. Beverages will be provided including water while working.

Last Minute Workday, 9am, Sunday

Please come out and help re-plant the stolen knockout roses tomorrow morning at 9am.

Mike Motta found 5 inexpensive rose plants that we will plant. Along with the plants, curb edging will also be installed. Any and all help is appreciated!


OOCCL supports the N. Polk St Beautification Project….once again!

Kings Highway Conservation District recently was awarded $3,685 towards the N. Polk St Beautification Project.  This funding helps to pay for irrigation and water meter installation to keep the landscaping healthy year round.

Jonathan Braddick, Vice President of the Kings Highway Conservation District, said the league was the project’s catalyst.  “In 2010, OOCCL helped to fund the landscape design work for the N. Polk St/Turner-Winston triangles, and this year’s grant will help to pay for the installation of the first of many phases to come along the corridor.  We are so appreciative of their supporting us for this project,”  Braddick said.  “It means the world to us as a neighborhood.  We’re so fortunate to have the league and their ongoing efforts to enhance our neighborhood, in particular the N. Polk St. corridor.”

A kind donation from a generous neighbor!

When we discovered that 3 newly planted Knockout roses had been stolen from the first planting phase of the N. Polk St Beautification Project, neighbors were disheartened by the news.  It had taken a year to get to where we were, and for someone to callously and selfishly steal what we had sweated and toiled over, made us feel angry and upset.

However, as I’ve seen countless times in our wonderful community of Oak Cliff, you wait a day and kindness is always just around the corner!  Kings Highway residents Jenn and Josh Terry stepped up and donated the cost of the lost plants after hearing about the bad news.  Through an email Josh said:

“Jenn and I just got through landscaping our own yard over the past few weeks (with several knockout roses ourselves), and couldn’t imagine how frustrated we would be if the same happened to us.”

From all of the residents of Kings Highway, we wanted to thank the Terry’s for their generosity.  Look for those roses to be put back into the triangle very soon!

Plant Theft at N Polk St Beautification Project

Last night, after the remainder of our mulch had just been put into place, a plant theif stole 3 brand new Knock Out roses out of the ground. These were newly planted two weeks ago by neighbors and friends of the project.

We knew we were taking a risk putting landscaping in, however with this project being so visible along a major street we figured people would have to be pretty desperate to do something as steel from the community.

Our hope is that they are recovered or a donor is willing to help us replace the $75 we’ve lost. Any information one may have please email


FIDO Oak Cliff presents, “Pop Up Park” this Saturday, 11- 3 pm

Just walk right outside your door and down the street to the latest Team Better Block creation in collaboration with FIDO Oak Cliff.  This Saturday, Oak Cliff’s first Pop-UP Dog Park will be held at N. Polk St and Turner Ave underneath the large pecan tree on the east side of N. Polk St.  

The location is within the scope of the N. Polk St Beautification Project.  Click on the banner for full information!

We have a new domain (web address),!

One thing that legitimizes a group online is the purchase of it’s own domain.  Our block now officially owns it’s own web site,!

This hyper local approach to community development is made easier with a direct voice to neighbors, friends, local representatives, and many more stakeholders in the development.

In addition, the latest social media approaches to connectivity are opening new markets in traditional ways that people are rediscovering.  Consider a local farmers market.  Having a block by block approach to markets allows people to sell, trade, or barter their goods or services to their neighbors, thus creating better relationships and an overall better community.  Having a place to communicate to larger, but refined areas produces markets that have highly invested and committed people.

We’re communicating better with one another not only online, but on our sidewalks, in our local coffee shop, and rediscovering our place in society!