The Trust for Public Land, Community of South Oak Cliff Celebrate Opening of South Oak Cliff Renaissance Park
Today, The Trust for Public Land, City of Dallas, the South Oak Cliff community, and our partners, celebrate the opening of South Oak Cliff Renaissance Park. The park, located in the South Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas, will bring needed open, green space to the community as part of the Five Mile Creek Urban Greenbelt.
“As we strive to build a healthier, safer, and more equitable city, we must consider quality neighborhood parks to be critical infrastructure,” said Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson. “That’s why, in one of my first acts as mayor in 2019, I joined the ‘10-Minute Walk to a Park Campaign,’ the goal of which is ensuring all of our residents have a park within walking distance of their homes. South Oak Cliff Renaissance Park helps us get another step closer to that goal and provides this community with a wonderful new place to relax, to have fun, and to spend quality time with their friends, family, and neighbors.”
In 2018, the school and neighborhood leadership invited The Trust for Public Land to transform the vacant lot into a community greenspace, and in November 2019 TPL purchased the vacant lot to develop into a park. During this time, TPL worked closely with neighborhood residents and students and faculty from South Oak Cliff High School to create a community-centered master plan for the park. TPL and its partners organized dozens of community engagement events, including a pop-up park, community hikes, and clean-up days.
Since construction began in 2020, the property has undergone a remarkable transformation from illegal dumping ground to high-quality park designed by the community to serve their needs. The 1.8-acre park will benefit the thousands of residents and students who live and study within a 10-minute walk of it.
The park is a recipient of a grant from Green Mountain Energy Sun Club which funded fully off-grid solar powered lighting, Wi-Fi, and security surveillance throughout the park. The park also received a grant from The North Face to install a rock-climbing boulder wall on site, which is in direct response to a community request for a climbing feature suitable for teenagers. Students from nearby schools worked with professional climber Fred Campbell to provide input on the climbing wall’s design. Other park amenities include an all-abilities playground, all-weather exercise equipment, an outdoor classroom, a picnic area, and rain gardens designed by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and The Nature Conservancy to help filter stormwater runoff.
South Oak Cliff Renaissance Park is the first park to open within TPL’s Five Mile Creek Urban Greenbelt Master Plan. Adopted by the City of Dallas in 2019, the master plan calls for a network of parks and dozens of miles of trails across Oak Cliff, following Five Mile Creek and its tributaries. The new trails will connect this part of Dallas with the city’s existing trail network. Other parks within the Five Mile Creek plan include the 40-acre Judge Charles Rose Park in Highland Hills, and the 82-acre Woody Branch Park in Glen Oaks, which will open to the public in the coming years. This greenbelt network will provide new recreational opportunities and unparalleled access to the natural beauty of the hills and valleys of southern Dallas.
“Parks have the power to improve health, benefit the environment, build equity, and bring the community together. Today at South Oak Cliff Renaissance Park we are witnessing that power in action,” said Robert Kent, Texas State Director for The Trust for Public Land. “This park is an expression of the vision, spirit, and power of the South Oak Cliff community, and it has been our honor to help bring it to life.”
Of the 186,297 people living within the Five Mile Creek 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.
“The Trust for Public Land has been the city’s partner in bringing residents and communities together with easy access to comfortable green spaces within their neighborhoods,” said Park Department Director John D. Jenkins. “Their expertise in planning and development ensures families can get to a park within minutes. As our city’s need for unique outdoor places grows, we will continue to co-create with them to make sure Dallas parks are a place where everyone can gather for years to come.”
“We are excited to welcome South Oak Cliff Renaissance Park to our growing park system,” said Arun Agarwal, president of the Dallas Park and Recreation Board. “Working with The Trust for Public Land will ensure Oak Cliff neighborhoods remain healthy and vibrant with the development of new green spaces. The organization’s vision to design new parks along Five Mile Creek gives life to Dallas’ pledge to build an equitable, inclusive and quality system of parks that everyone can enjoy. Our board and department value the support of Mayor Johnson, the city council and The Trust for Public Land.”
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 within a 10-minute walk of 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.
About the 10-Minute Walk Campaign
Led by The Trust for Public Land, National Recreation and Park Association, and the Urban Land Institute, the 10-Minute Walk™ Campaign works to accelerate the creation of parks that drive equitable, healthy and thriving communities by calling on mayors to ensure that everyone in US cities have access to a quality park within a 10-minute walk of their home. Read more here.