Lakeside Park & Teddy Bear Garden Improvements


Project Details

  • Project Description: Improvements for Lakeside Park will include improved grading and drainage, landscaping, sidewalk connections, bench pad locations, and an ADA accessibility ramp east of the pedestrian bridge. Landscape rehabilitation will focus on areas where tree coverage, pedestrian traffic, and ducks have compromised existing sod and/or ground cover. Lakeside Park is expected to reopen in July 2024, weather permitting.


  • Current Update- 6/12/24:  Due to recent storms, crews have been delayed with the final landscape installation. Hardscape improvements including the ada ramp, bench pad and sidewalk replacements are finished. Landscaping crews are nearing completion of sod, color bed, and groundcover installation. Dredging near the Teddy Bear Garden will be taking place over the next few weeks. 
  • Estimated Completion: July 8, 2024
  • Hardscape Improvements Contractor: Cole Construction
  • Landscape Improvements Contractor: SRH Landscaping
  • Contact Information: Chelsey Gordon, Assistant Director of Development Services, [email protected]


Capital Plan Information

  • Total Appropriated: $2 million
  • Project Funding Sources: Capital Improvement Fund

Current Progress

Landscape acrhitectural prints for a portion of Lakeside Park - 1
Landscape acrhitectural prints for a portion of Lakeside Park - 2
Landscape acrhitectural prints for a portion of Lakeside Park - 3


Examples of the deteriorated state of landscape and green spaces within Lakeside Park prior to improvements

Compacted earth

Lakeside Parks ducks on dirt ground under trees

In areas that should be green spaces, heavy traffic from water fowl and pedestrians, as well as flooding, have compromised the earth and prevents the growth of ground cover and sod.

Brick bench pads

Bench pad of brick

The foundation for the teak benches in the park are currently constructed of brick. The current, adopted Parks Plan has changed the construction to be made of stone, a more natural and beautiful foundation to enhance the environment.

Deterioration of pathways

Deteriorated sidewalk

Much of the hardscapes, such as sidewalks, are beginning to deteriorate and become hazards.


Completion Date: August 2023

Improvements Made: To provide better access to the Teddy Bear Garden within Lakeside Park and to eliminate confusion for visitors, an ADA pathway/ramp was constructed. Enhanced landscaping and hardscape elements were also added. The pathway design now mimics the Exall Pedestrian Bridge design utilizing the IPE wood for the cross bars and decking, as well as the airline wire for the railing.


The Teddy Bear Garden will remain closed for the remainder of the overall Lakeside Park Improvement Project.


Capital Plan Information

  • Total Appropriated: $500,000
  • Actual Expenditure: $542,977
  • Project Funding Sources: Capital Improvement Fund


Teddy Bear garden after improvements

Previous Improvements

As part of the Philadelphia Place Land Development, Exall Dam was constructed on Turtle Creek circa 1890, forming Exall Lake. A pedestrian bridge was constructed atop the dam in the 1940s. Over time, various railings and other accessibility-related additions had also obscured some of the bridge’s interesting architectural and structural features. In FY2017-2018, Exall Dam Pedestrian Bridge was rehabilitated. The rehabilitation included repairing structural members, replacing decking and railing, removing existing paint, and repainting the entire bridge system. IPE wood and airline cable were selected for the decking and railings due to their durability and unique aesthetic appeal. The design also allows users clearer views of the lake and surrounding park.


  • Total Actual Expenditure (design & construction): $820,300
  • Project Funding Sources: Capital Improvement Fund

Exall Bridge Prior to Rehabilitation

Exall Bridge prior to rehabilitation


Address: 4601 Lakeside Drive, Highland Park, TX 75205