Celebrate the Season at Holiday Sing and Stroll on Dec. 3

holiday sing and stroll map

Carolers will start at the location most convenient to them. Once they finish their route, they will travel to 633 Parkview for an after-party.

The Heights Park Holiday Sing and Stroll is almost here! Before we gather at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3, here are some details about the fun evening of caroling door-to-door.

Carolers will meet at one of four designated locations (see information at the bottom). Carolers must arrive at the location most convenient to them by 5:30. Ideally, each group will have approximately 10 people. Songbooks will be provided. Carolers are encouraged to bring flashlights (it will be dark) and strollers/wagons for little ones. If you want to participate in the Holiday Sing and Stroll, email contact@heightspark.com.

Carolers will stop at homes with porch lights on, and will sing at approximately five to seven homes. For those who aren’t caroling, we look forward to performing for y’all. If you hear singing, please enjoy the music from the comfort of your patio chairs and, if you know the song, feel free to join in!

After caroling, all singers are invited to a festive after-party at the home of HPNA president Janet DePuy, 633 Parkview by 7 p.m. There will be hot chocolate, cookies and other warm beverages. Carolers are encouraged to drop off a treat to share at Janet’s house by 4 p.m. Sunday.

Holiday Sing and Stroll Starting Locations

  1. Floyd and Parkview
  • Proceed east on Parkview.
  • South on Lindale.
  • West on Winchester to Thompson.
  • North on Thompson to Parkview and proceed to 633 Parkview for after-party.
  1. Floyd and Greenleaf
  • Proceed west on Greenleaf to Thompson.
  • South on Thompson.
  • East on Newberry to Lindale.
  • North on Lindale to Greenleaf.
  • West on Greenleaf to Floyd and then to 633 Parkview for after-party.
  1. Floyd and Ridgedale No. 1
  • Proceed west on Ridgedale to Thompson.
  • South on Thompson to Westwood.
  • North on Floyd and then to 633 Parkview for after-party.
  1. Floyd and Ridgedale No. 2
  • Proceed east on Ridgedale to Lindale.
  • South on Lindale to Westwood.
  • West on Westwood to Floyd and then to 633 Parkview for after-party.



500 Block of Twilight Trail Selected for National Night Out Honor

national-night-outThe City of Richardson recently announced its National Night Out winners. We are pleased to share that one block in Heights Park was recognized.

The 500 block of Twilight Trail received honorable mention. Congratulations to this block for another great NNO event! It’s held at the home of Herb and Nanci DuPlant, 530 Twilight Trail.

Each block that participated in National Night Out on Oct. 3 was judged on attendance, crime prevention message, food, decorations and activities.

Award Winners

Neighborhoods, streets or groups of streets selected as winners are as follows:

West Sector

Overall Winner: 300 bock of High Brook Drive

1st Runner Up: 500 block of Sage Valley Drive

2nd Runner Up: Stagecoach Drive/Dumont Drive/Lamp Post Lane/Cottonwood Drive

3rd Runner Up: Vinecrest Lane 900 block

Honorable Mention: 500 block of Twilight Trail

East Sector

Overall Winner: Woods of Spring Creek

1st Runner Up: Yale Park

2nd Runner Up: Knolls of Breckinridge

3rd Runner Up: Creek Hollow Estates

Honorable Mention: Richland Park and Richland Oaks

La Mirada Apartments

Higher Caliber Award
The party that went above and beyond to support NNO
North College Park/College Park/Glenville Park/Town North Park

In addition, the Richardson Police Department collected more than 5,200 pounds of canned food during their “Can Do” food drive held in conjunction with NNO, benefitting Network of Community Ministries.



Apply for Richardson Citizen Police Academy by Dec. 4

Citizens Police Academy

Courtesy of Richardson Police Department

Youth Citizen Police Academy

The popular summer academy for kids is currently not accepting applications. But you can learn more about it on the city’s website.

The deadline to apply for Richardson Citizen Police Academy (CPA) is Dec. 4.

CPA is a 45-hour academic course designed to give Richardson residents a working knowledge of the Richardson Police Department. Classes are designed to be interactive and fun with an emphasis on team building. Students will participate in a mock SWAT raid, test their skills on the department’s driving course and have the opportunity to fire police weapons.

  • Applicants must be at least 21 years old
  • The 16-week academy begins Tuesday, Feb. 6
  • Class times are 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesdays
  • One class — the popular Drive-n-Shoo — is held on Saturday.
  • CPA is free to participants.
  • Academy class size is limited to 20 participants.
  • There is one academy per year.
  • A graduation ceremony is held during the final week.
  • Individuals not selected will need to submit a new application for consideration in a future academy
  • Dinner is provided by the police department and is served from 6:00 to 6:30 p.m. each week

The goal of CPA is to strengthen the partnership between the police department and the community. It allows residents a view of the inner workings of the department in an academic environment where ideas are openly exchanged in an effort to increase community solidarity.

CPA also allows the department to be more aware of individual concerns and perceptions so it can be more responsive to future community needs.

For more information, please contact the Crime Prevention Unit at 972-744-4955.




Holiday Traditions Return to Heights Park on Dec. 2-3

spiral treesNeighbors are encouraged to spread the ho, ho, holiday spirit and cheer through Heights Parks’ two winter traditions — Spiral Tree Displays and the Holiday Sing and Stroll.

Saturday, Dec. 2 is the day neighbors are encouraged to put out spiral trees in their yards. It is quite a sight at night when the blocks are aglow with row upon row of these trees. If you need a tree, they are available at stores and online — Big Lots, Target, Sears, etc. — for about $30.

The next night, Sunday, Dec. 3 at 5:30 p.m., carolers of all ages and talents will go door-to-door (amid the plentiful spiral trees) to sing songs of the season. Songbooks will be provided; additional details are forthcoming. If you are interested in caroling, email contact@heightspark.com.

Important: We need a caroling coordinator for the Holiday Sing and Stroll. This volunteer will organize carolers and plan routes. For more information, email contact@heightspark.com.



November 2017 Yard of the Month: 608 Parkview Lane

November Yard of the Month: 608 Parkview Lane

November Yard of the Month: 608 Parkview Lane

About Yard of the Month

Is your yard a source a pride? A work of art? A labor of love? It’s time to receive some formal recognition for all those hours of hard work.
The HPNA Yard of the Month contest is for all residents of Heights Park neighborhood. View the Contest Rules.

Nominate a Yard

Fill out the form on the Yard of the Month page.

The November 2017 Yard of the Month belongs to Dennis Unsworth and Larry Merica at 608 Parkview Lane. Here is what they had to say about their yard:

We appreciate so much the recognition by our neighbors for Yard of the Month.

We moved to Heights Park neighborhood in 2004 after a year searching in Dallas for a place that “felt right.” We drove by a Realtor (Janet DePuy, HPNA president) placing an open house sign at the corner of Belt Line and Floyd and we told her what we were looking for and she motioned us in! Once we discovered Heights Park, we knew we were home. Little did we know how many neighbors we would encounter that had connections along the path that led us here.

Our garden, like so many others, has been a progress of trial and error. The property had a row of red tip photinia along the front foundation and an elderly Bradford pear as the lone front specimens. Those passed early.

Several foundation plantings came and went. But the anchor — a weeping red bud we planted at the front entrance in 2004 — gets the most questions. It was complemented by a weeping lace leaf Japanese maple, which did not survive the loss of the big trees that shaded it.

We added flagstone to add interest and widen the access along the drive.

After the demise of the Bradford pear, we planted the live oak in the front. The neighborhood had so many old oaks but many were starting to disappear; so it seemed proper to put one back. That led to the current garden setting.

With input from neighbor Bob Vinson, cofounder of Nativ Landscapes, we devised a planting that focused on free form and organic flow. We wanted to have color and interest but retain the feel of a spot in nature.

Annual color for us seems best accomplished with zinnias or periwinkles. The chrysanthemums began as a basket on the porch back in 2004. One just keeps digging and dividing. In the back yard, there is a collection of family heirloom seeds and cutting from my grandmother’s gardens. They are under constant development until they find a comfortable spot in the garden.

We really enjoy the small-town home feel in the big-time city! Thank you!

Dennis Unsworth and Larry Merica



October 2017 Decorated Yard of the Month: 714 Westwood Drive

October Decorated Yard of the Month: 714 Westwood Drive

October Decorated Yard of the Month: 714 Westwood Drive

About Yard of the Month

Is your yard a source a pride? A work of art? A labor of love? It’s time to receive some formal recognition for all those hours of hard work.
The HPNA Yard of the Month contest is for all residents of Heights Park neighborhood. View the Contest Rules.

Nominate a Yard

Fill out the form on the Yard of the Month page.

The October 2017 Decorated Yard of the Month belongs to Margaret Ann and Frank Schooler at 714 Westwood Drive. Here is what they had to say about their yard:

We moved into 714 Westwood on June 11, 1978 — Margaret Ann’s 33rd birthday. We’ve lived here 39 years. We purchased our home in Heights Park largely due to the trees and the love of cottage-style homes.

When we bought the home, the front yard had a large sweet gum tree and an overgrown jasmine bush by the front porch (which is now enclosed as a sunroom). Over the years, we have gradually expanded flower beds and continued to add perennials and varied annuals according to the season.

During our second year here, Frank planted a cedar elm on the parkway, where the red bench sits. He planted a live oak where the swing now hangs and three yaupon holly trees in front. A few years later, we hesitantly removed the sweet gum to have more visibility at the front of the house.

We are not Master Gardeners. Rather, we plant and replant and see what thrives. We have planted azaleas, yaupon holly bushes and boxwoods in front of the sunroom. None thrived. Five years ago we planted pittosporum in the spot and they have thrived. Finally!! Over the last 10 years, we have added brick paths, a large brick area by the driveway — partially because of the shade and partially because we had no success with grass.

The wicker swing has provided a way for us to meet walkers and offer adults and children a swing and visit and sometimes ice cream or a brownie. As we tell our young neighbors that we meet while they are walking by, our gardens have been a process. A 39-year process.

Our back gardens are lush under an elderly pecan tree that provides shade for ferns and more brick paths.

We love to share our gardens, so please don’t hesitate to stop by.

Margaret Ann and Frank Schooler



Feature Friday: Haystack Burgers and Barley

Heights Park residents the Galvans — Kevin, Jenny, Kallie and Lindsey — and Maddie Moo, the mascot of Haystack Burgers and Barley.

Heights Park residents the Galvans — Kevin, Jenny, Kallie and Lindsey — and Maddie Moo, the mascot of Haystack Burgers and Barley.

Editor’s note: The following is the first in a series of features on local restaurants and shops.

burger-haymakerSeveral great restaurants and shops surround Heights Park. Many of them are family-owned, providing us the opportunity to dine with neighbors in our neighborhood. One such restaurant is Haystack Burgers and Barley in the Richardson Heights Shopping Center.

Heights Park residents Kevin and Jenny Galvan opened Haystack in April 2013. Kevin’s family has generations of restaurant owners. The Galvans had a vision: a different kind of fast casual restaurant with amazing fresh burgers and fries. They decided to open a burger joint in Richardson because everyone loves a good burger and it’s something people will eat more than once a week.

They wanted to open their business in the neighborhood they love and have lived in for almost 15 years while raising their two daughters, Kallie and Lindsey. They saw a need in the neighborhood, and they went for their dream!

Lindsey came up with the name Haystack after driving by a field of hay bales one day. The name stuck, and they eventually added “Burgers and Barley” on to the name to begin their journey.

Jenny and Kevin ran many of their ideas on restaurant décor past Kallie, who has impeccable taste and is always happy to offer a helpful opinion. They could not be happier with the look and feel of Haystack.

Some of the items neighbors have enjoyed, besides one of Richardson’s best burger, are the fried pickles and the Haymaker — a unique frozen drink made with orange juice, lemonade, iced tea, Maker’s Mark bourbon and an orange slice on top. When Kevin and Jenny first developed the recipe, they went door-to-door to their neighbors on Winchester to see what changes needed to be made. Feedback from residents of the 600 block of Winchester tweaked it to what it is today!

Haystack is family-owned and they make each customer feel as if they are a part of the family. Grab a neighbor and check it out!



How You Can Help Save Bees — And Your Food

bee on flower

Image source: Pixabay

Editor’s note: The following blog post is by Heights Park resident Christy Erickson. If you are interested in writing for HeightsPark.com, email contact@heightspark.com.

By Christy Erickson

The latest news about bees is not good.

The worldwide population of bees has dropped dramatically. In the United States, 44 percent of bee colonies have disappeared, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently declared a species of bumblebee as endangered.

This is a big problem for our country and our food supply. A strong bee population is vital to crops like apples, berries, coffee, cotton and others. If the bees disappear, our diet will suffer. That’s why it’s important for us to take a few steps to support bees. One of the best ways you can help is by building a garden. Thankfully, that’s easy to do, even if you’re new to gardening.

Pollination Is Absolutely Necessary

Here’s why bees are so important to your food supply — pollination. When bees visit flowers for their food, they collect pollen. When they visit another flower, that pollen fertilizes the plant and helps a new generation grow. Without pollination, a crop will disappear without any replacement.

Many of the crops bees pollinate are ones you depend on for food, such as:

  • Apples
  • Coffee
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers

Bees even pollinate crops that cows eat, such as alfalfa. If the bee population continues to dwindle, many foods will become scarce — and thereby expensive — or even disappear completely.

Even Small Gardens Can Help When Done Right

You can help. It’s as easy is building a garden that’s friendly to bees.

Adding a simple garden to your yard provides bees with a great food source. Keeping them well-fed can help them reproduce and increase their population.

Honey Love, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting bees, offers tips for designing bee-friendly gardens. Some of the recommendations are:

  • Use a wide variety of native plants.
  • Pick different kinds of plants so you have flowers from March until October.
  • Include some patches of uncovered dirt.
  • Add some water so bees can bathe and drink.

To pick which flowers to include, talk to your local garden supply store or read this article by Bee Friendly. Just remember to focus on flowers that are native to your region. Those are the plants that bees in your area know to find, so it can make it easier for them to reach your garden.

You also don’t need a ton of space or a “green thumb.” You can create a great garden in pots or window boxes. And all the gardening know-how you really need is how to dig and water.

Support for Bees Beyond Flowers

Maintaining a garden is a great way to help bees. To go beyond this, National Geographic lists some other ways you can help.

  • Don’t cover all the spare ground near your home in mulch. Bees can nest in the ground, so leaving some open patches of dirt can help bees thrive.
  • Avoid pesticides and weed killers. These poisons can kill bees. Instead, use natural pest-eaters like aphids, and hand-pull weeds.
  • Install a bee block in your backyard near your new garden. You can find them in garden stores, and they’re good homes for bees.
  • Get involved. Contact the City of Richardson about adding bee-friendly plants to public parks and similar spaces.
Protecting Bees Helps You

Some people view bees as stinging insects that need to be eliminated. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Bees are vital to the food supply in this country. That’s why you need to take action now to help bees. A nice garden, some spare ground, and skipping pesticides can make a big difference in helping the bee population recover — and keep our food supply out of danger.