By Kayla Dorr
Hidden between the businesses and restaurants across from City Hall lies a safe haven for those who need to get away from the hustle and bustle of life and get back in touch with nature.
Gene Allen Park, located off of Main Street in between West Division and West Abram streets, is a half-acre park in the middle of the downtown area. Complete with plenty of trees, sitting areas and even an International Peace and Friendship Monument, the park gives both local workers and students a place to relax.
The International Peace and Friendship Monument is a 12-foot, stainless steel piece that was created by three Texas artists and four visiting German artists in 2003. The monument has inspiring messages in both English and German like hope, ausdauer (meaning endurance in German) and determination.
This urban pocket park is the first of its kind in Arlington, and according to the city’s website, the parks and recreation department has plans to improve it with fountains, benches and picnic facilities in the near future.
Currently, the beautiful flowers and shady areas that the trees provide already entice locals to sit down and enjoy the day a little bit closer to Mother Nature.
University of Texas at Arlington student Ryan Wagoner found the park by accident after getting lost on his way to Twisted Root. He now uses the park regularly to escape from the responsibilities that the school demands.
“It’s really nice to bring a sack lunch over to the area to get off of campus for a bit,” Wagoner said. “It’s surprisingly quiet for being in the middle of the city.”
Wagoner looks forward to the new additions to the park, saying that it will improve an already great location.
“I think that the sounds of running water from a fountain would make this the most peaceful place near a metropolitan area,” Wagoner said.