Dolphin Heights Neighborhood Members, Community Volunteers Add Beauty and Pride

DALLAS – March, 2012 – Encouraged by the City of Dallas and supported by organizations like EDCO Community Development and TREC, neighborhood residents in Dolphin Heights are achieving their goal to clean up and beautify their Southeast Dallas community. Recently over 50 volunteers worked alongside residents to landscape the Terrell Street medians off of Dolphin Road, which for over 40 years have been bare weed patches strewn with trash. Children, teens, men and women rolled up their sleeves and cheered as delivery trucks loaded with trees, bushes, flowers, dirt and stone rolled up Terrell Street.

Dolphin Heights Community Volunteers

The drought tolerant landscape includes 25 crepe myrtle trees, bushes, flowers, composted soil and stone borders and benches. The Terrell Street landscape project was made possible with the help of a “Loving My Community” grant from the City of Dallas and a professional landscape plan from TREC. The project was orchestrated by EDCO, a community development organization that is part of the Dallas Home Connection and that helps modest income earners achieve the goal of home ownership.

This effort is a shining example of what Mayor Rawlings describes in his GrowSouth plan: strengthening and engaging Southern Dallas neighborhoods is important to the overall goal of revitalization. Mayor Rawlings holds Anna Hill (President of Dolphin Heights Neighborhood Association) in the highest regard as a local hero whose efforts to take back her neighborhood from blight, crime, and neglect have helped improve Dolphin Heights.

Anna chuckled as neighbors who are not involved with her neighborhood association peeked out from behind doors to see what was going on as the landscaping began. “Come on out here! This is for ya’ll to enjoy!” And many emerged to get involved in the long day of digging, weeding, and planting.

Gerald Carlton, director of EDCO, said, ““I basically do whatever Anna Hill tells me to do,” and smiled as he watched her directing the residents at the landscaping event. Carlton wants to see GrowSouth not only be a campaign to make Southern Dallas more attractive to stimulate economic development, but also be a force for good for those already living there. “It takes working alongside the neighbors, inspiring them to become vested in their surroundings, and offering support systems to empower them to lift up their neighborhoods.”