City Council Approves Acquisition of over 80 Acres for Five Mile Creek Greenbelt in Southern Dallas
Today, the Dallas City Council voted unanimously to approve the city’s acquisition of nearly 82 acres of high-quality forest land on the banks of the Woody Branch of Five Mile Creek in Oak Cliff. This acquisition represents the largest addition to the Dallas park system in over 20 years.
The acquisition will provide new park amenities for the community, as part of the Five Mile Creek Urban Greenbelt Master Plan and was secured with funding from the City of Dallas Reforestation Fund. This is the first time the Reforestation Fund has been used to acquire parkland, therefore protecting the trees for future generations.
“In our effort to make high-quality parks accessible to everyone in Dallas, the acquisition of the Woody Branch tract is another major step forward,” said Robert Kent, Texas State Director for The Trust for Public Land. “This project epitomizes the benefits parks can bring to our city by providing opportunities for healthy exercise, climate mitigation, equitable access to the outdoors, and building community.”
Woody Branch is the largest land acquisition to-date as part of the Five Mile Creek master plan, bringing the total amount of parkland created within the greenbelt to 124 acres. Once the acquisition is complete, The Trust for Public Land will work with nearby neighbors, residents, and students to design and develop the land into a community park. Potential features could include amenities like a playground, gardens, picnic pavilion, paved walking paths, nature trails, and multi-purpose athletic fields.
“The promotion of the stakeholder engagement and planning is at the heart of this project,” said City Council Member Carolyn King Arnold, who represents District 4 where the new park will be located. “I am excited about working with the Park Department, The Trust for Public Land and Community members – neighborhood, business and public safety stakeholders – to create a wonderful park that will be a landmark asset for generations to come.”
Aside from the increased recreational opportunities the park will provide, the property is home to important riparian habitat and over 16,000 high-quality trees. These trees will capture over 3,700 metric tons of carbon each year which will help mitigate climate change impacts as part of the Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan (CECAP) and lessen the impacts of urban heat islands across the community.
“Acquiring this land along Woody Branch is a win-win for the park department and the City of Dallas’s climate goals,” said Calvert Collins-Bratton, President of the Dallas Park and Recreation Board. “Not only will this acquisition bring new park access to thousands of residents in the Glen Oaks neighborhood, but it will also protect thousands of carbon-capturing trees—an essential strategy within the city’s climate plan.”
In 2018, The Trust for Public Land collaborated with the Dallas Park and Recreation Department and hundreds of local residents to create of the Five Mile Creek Urban Greenbelt Master Plan. The Dallas Park Board unanimously adopted the master plan in February 2019.
The vision for the plan is to create over 23 miles of new trails and four new parks following the main stem and tributaries of Five Mile Creek. This greenbelt network will provide new recreational opportunities and unparalleled access to the natural beauty of the hills and valleys of Southern Dallas.
Of the 186,297 people living within the creek’s watershed, only 54% have access to a park or trail within a 10-minute walk of home. By expanding park and trail access to impacted neighborhoods, the Five Mile Creek Urban Greenbelt will directly improve health, education, and the environment, and play a foundational role in the equitable development of Southern Dallas.
As part of the Five Mile Creek plan, two new parks, have been approved and are under design and development. The 1.8-acre Alice Branch Creek Park and the 40.4-acre Judge Charles R. Rose Community Park and are slated for completion by 2021, 2022 respectively.
About The Trust for Public Land
The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.
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