Thanks to an actively involved group of residents, improvements to McKinney Highs —the city park located at Pine and View streets — are happening one right after another.

According to Daniela Rich, head of the McKinney Highs Fundraising Committee, the new children’s play structure, erected a year ago was only the beginning. Since then, a new drinking fountain has been installed, plans are under way to resurface the basketball and tennis courts, and, most currently, “we have a great new fence design to put around the park perimeter, and we want the community to see it before it is installed”.

The idea for a fence was originally proposed by residents whose toddlers had been enjoying the new play structure Neighborhood resident and architect Magnus Black, who donated his services to design the 4-foot, 7-inch fence, explains that many parents were concerned because “there’s a bus stop at Pine and View, and kids were running into the street there”.

Black designed a decorative, European-style fence made of galvanized steel (which will be painted dark green in about a year, after the galvanized coating has cured), to enclose the open corner of the park nearest the play structure. (The remainder of the park’s perimeter notes Black, except for the two main entrances, is enclosed by “a big raised planter with a retaining wall, which is dense with plants and keeps kids out of the street.”)

This “phase one” of the design has already been approved by the McKinney Recreation and Park Commission and is scheduled to be done over the spring. But there’s also a proposed “phase two,” which still needs public approval. That’s a plan, says Black, to add two more gates (of the same height and construction), one at each of the park’s two main entrances.

“The neighbors think it’s a great idea”.