Trust For Public Land Looks Ahead To Bright Future In Texas

After a decade of growth and success, Trust for Public Land (TPL) will seek new leadership in the Lone Star State, as current Texas State Director Robert Kent announces his departure from the organization to become the next Chief Philanthropy Officer at Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT).

During the past decade at TPL under Kent’s leadership, the percentage of Dallas residents served by a park within a 10-minute walk of home increased from 54 to 73 percent. TPL enjoyed numerous successes in the conservation space, including the preservation of the 300-acre Big Cedar Wilderness in southwest Dallas, leading the effort of the Dallas Greening Initiative, and executing on a plan to finally realize the 80-year-old vision of the Five Mile Creek Greenbelt, a network of 17 miles of new trails connecting three signature parks in Dallas’ Oak Cliff neighborhood.

“Trust for Public Land is grateful for Robert Kent’s decade of service to the organization,” said TPL Texas Advisory Board Chair Asheya Warren. “Under his leadership, TPL has become a recognized leader in the parks, trails and land conservation space in Dallas and throughout Texas. Robert, together with the TPL Texas team, has secured numerous victories, including opening South Oak Cliff Renaissance Park, launching the Dallas Greening Initiative to transform 15 vacant lots into new neighborhood greenspaces, and catalyzing the effort to bring to life the Five Mile Creek Greenbelt. As we look forward, our Texas Advisory Board, local team members and TPL’s national leadership have begun a collaborative search to find the next leader for TPL Texas so we can continue the strong momentum toward our goal of ensuring everyone in Dallas has close-to-home access to a park.”

Kent also thanked TPL for the opportunity to make significant impacts on the quality of life of residents across the state.

“It has been a privilege to lead our Trust for Public Land team over the last ten years to make sure every Texan is able to enjoy the benefits of close-to-home parks and trails,” Kent said. “From building parks in Dallas to securing funding at the local, state, and federal level, I am proud of the work our team has accomplished and grateful for the opportunity to have worked with such outstanding people. With the recent passage of the Dallas bond program, which included $10 million for TPL projects, the organization’s momentum will only grow, and I will continue to cheer for TPL.”

TPL Texas Advisory Board Vice Chair Charles Elk underscored the sentiment that TPL’s future is bright, and momentum for the organization is strong.

“Trust for Public Land is in an outstanding position to continue its transformational work here in Dallas and in our great state,” said Elk. “Our Texas Advisory Board has already begun the process of executing a thorough search for a new state director to lead TPL into the future. TPL will continue our goal of making a generational impact on the lives of residents, and our board remains committed to working hand in hand with our outstanding team, donors, and community stakeholders to ensure this impact is realized.

Local leaders also voiced support for TPL’s continued leadership in Dallas and Texas.

“Trust for Public Land has proven their commitment to Dallas through unmatched community engagement, advocacy and hard work,” said Dallas Park Board President Arun Agarwal. “They have the knowledge, experience, and team to execute on projects like the Five Mile Creek Greenbelt and the Dallas Greening Initiative, and I know they will continue to advance their important work in Dallas and beyond.”

“I know that TPL will continue to serve as a great partner to communities across Dallas as they have done with residents in South Oak Cliff,” said community leader Derrick Battie. “I look forward to working together with the organization’s outstanding team to help everyone enjoy the benefits of parks.”

TPL’s work on its many projects—including the Five Mile Creek Greenbelt, the Dallas Greening Initiative and others—will continue without pause during the search. In her role as TPL Texas’s Parks and Schoolyards Director, Molly Plummer will continue to lead the organization’s programs in Dallas. TPL’s Texas Director of Philanthropy Ray Garvin will continue to lead fundraising and board management. TPL’s Texas Project Manager Carrie Kasnicka will continue to lead land protection work. TPL’s Mountain West Region Vice President Jim Petterson will function as Interim Director and be responsible for financial and legal matters.

In addition, TPL has a longstanding relationship with CFT, as the charitable organization has provided over $1 million in grants in support of local TPL projects.

Information on the job listing for the new Texas State Director will be available in the coming days. For more information on TPL’s work in Texas, please visit

About Trust for Public Land

Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit that works to connect everyone to the benefits and joys of the outdoors. As a leader in equitable access to the outdoors, TPL works with communities to create parks and protect public land where they are needed most. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 4 million acres of public land, created more than 5,420 parks, trails, schoolyards, and iconic outdoor places, raised $94 billion in public funding for parks and public lands, and connected nearly 9.7 million people to the outdoors. To learn more, visit