Parks were the primary focus of the annual meeting in Downtown Dallas and they have already set the largest park’s opening which will be in May according to a DMagazine article from March 11. They say,
“Carpenter Park, downtown’s largest stretch of greenspace, will officially open to the public following a dedication on Tuesday, May 3. That news comes from Robert Decherd, the chairman of Parks for Downtown Dallas and the president and CEO of the DallasNews Corporation, who made the announcement during Downtown Dallas Inc.’s annual meeting on Friday afternoon.
But the spotlight was on the parkland, how downtown Dallas has added 23 acres of greenspace over the last 15 years, more space than any other American city. Main Street Garden and Belo Garden came first. Then came Klyde Warren Park over Woodall Rodgers Freeway, Pacific Plaza, and West End Square.
The last two are Harwood Park and Carpenter Park, which now has an opening date. Carpenter is 5.7 acres in the shadow of IH-345, that freeway that separates downtown from Deep Ellum, the one we’ve been known to talk about on this website. There will be lawns, walking trails, a basketball court, a dog park, and public art, including the restored Robert Irwin work Portal Park Piece (Slice).”
Mary Margaret Jones, the landscape architect that was hired way back in 2004 to develop the Dallas downtown greenbelt was present during the meeting and was more than happy to share her thoughts on the ongoing development of her master plan according to a Dallas Morning News article from March 11 which reports,
“Mary Margaret Jones, whose résumé as a landscape architect includes notable redesigns in London and Moscow and U.S. cities as far flung as San Jose and Philadelphia, came to Dallas to serve as keynote speaker of the “annual meeting and luncheon” of Downtown Dallas Inc.
Jones noted that 23 acres of new parks have been developed since 2004, when she was hired to develop the master plan.
Jones, the president and CEO of Hargreaves Jones, an international landscape architecture and planning firm, said she was happy to come to Dallas to talk about “the power of parks,” Carpenter being the latest entry in her portfolio.
Vibrant downtown parks can, she said, act as agents of change in otherwise blighted urban areas. They do so, she contends, by transcending “social, cultural, economic and ecological” conditions to culminate in a kind of shared “joyfulness.”
Unmitigated joy, she said, “is at the heart of these parks. You don’t need to over-program parks. Nature itself has value — places we can go to decompress.”
After accomplishing the funds needed to update and develop the parks, there will now be a 23 acre space of parkland that will include Carpenter Park, Civic Garden, Harwood, Klyde Warren Park, Main Street Garden, Pacific Plaza and West End Square