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Memorial Day Flood of 2015

Updated: Apr 24, 2018

The Park, The Flood, The Community, Part 1

(From a series of emails by UHNA President Joan Bartz)

As is well documented, the University Hills Neighborhood Association (UHNA) has, from its inception in the early 70's to the present time, been very protective of what we consider to be "our little jewel," the Dottie Jordan Park. This park played a major role in the formation of the University Hills Community in the late 60's and continues in that role to the present time.

Yesterday, Memorial Day, May 25, 2015, our Dottie Jordan Park was once again flooded, resulting in damage to the Tennis Courts, Playground Area, Swimming Pools, Bath House, Picnic Areas, fencing connected to these areas, and our Walking Trail.

The only areas relatively untouched by the flood are the Recreation Center, the Garden adjacent to the Center, the open spaces from Center to Creek, the Basketball Court, and the Parking Lot.

During the flood, Little Walnut Creek went on a rampage bringing the water level in the park to dangerous heights. You can determine the height of the water by the debris lodged in the fence of the tennis court as well as water level marks in other areas of the park. These levels are higher than the level of water rampaging within the creek itself.

The height of the flood also was documented by the overflow of the Loyola Lane bridge and the water levels reached behind homes which back up to Little Walnut Creek. Whether the lack of keeping the creek clear of vegetation overgrowth was a contributing factor to the high flood level, and the damage known or to be assessed, will need to be determined.

As the UHNA has done each time any adverse action has been directed at our Park, we will bond together as a community to assist the Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) and all associated city departments, in a) doing whatever needs to be done to see that all damage is repaired in a timely fashion, b) formulate an adequate PARD program that will allow a proactive, not a reactive, action when danger to the welfare of the Park is imminent, and c) ensure that adequate funding is included in the City's annual Parks budget to fully address the needs of Dottie Jordan Park.

The UHNA plans to schedule a meeting with the Director of PARD, and any other city entities helpful to the Park's restoration, as quickly as possible to discuss the formation of a Dottie Jordan Park recovery program.

The UHNA stands firm in refusing to allow any harmful incident against the Park to result in its demise. As always, we will turn this "flood" from a negative to a positive which will result, with the cooperation of the City, in the continuation of our community "jewel," our Dottie Jordan Park, as a positive and beautiful gathering space for all aspects of the University Hills community.

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