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Smith Park in University Park

Located near the intersection of Greenbrier Drive and Caruth Boulevard, Smith Park is a great place for kids to let loose—although maybe a tad too “loose.” The playground earned a B on DallasChild’s Safety Report Card.*

At first glance, the park is clean and shaded, tucked away behind tennis courts across from a church. For older children, there is a large climbing structure with two slides, monkey bars, a rock wall and a tic-tac-toe game through which to engage their competitive spirits. Younger kids can romp around on the merry-go-round or the smaller slide nearby.

So what’s the catch? The play structures are too easy to misuse. As we surveyed the park, a pair of schoolboys easily climbed atop the too-high tube slide and rode down on top. A toddler climbed eight feet up and dangled outside the bars. And while there are separate structures for different age groups, the areas are not clearly distinguished.

This review was distributed to the University Park’s Parks and Recreation department for further review and/or action.

*Based on the National Program for Playground Safety’s Safety Report Card at www.playgroundsafety.org.