What We’re Doing
Adding 82 acres of high-quality forest land to the Dallas parks system.
Support health, education, and the environment, and the equitable development of southern Dallas.
n February 2021, 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 Glen Oaks neighborhood in Oak Cliff, 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.
Woody Branch Park is the largest land acquisition to-date as part of the Five Mile Creek Urban Greenbelt Master Plan, bringing the total amount of parkland created within the greenbelt to 124 acres. In the coming years, 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 such as a playground, gardens, picnic pavilion, paved walking paths, nature trails, and multipurpose athletic fields.
Aside from the increased recreational opportunities the park will provide, the property is home to important waterside 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 Dallas’s Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan (CECAP) and lessen the impacts of urban heat islands across the community.
In 2018, 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 and Recreation Board unanimously adopted the master plan in February 2019.
The vision for the plan is to create nearly 13 miles of new trails and three 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 percent 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.
In addition to Woody Branch Park, two other parks comprise TPL’s initial projects along the Five Mile Creek Urban Greenbelt: the 1.8-acre South Oak Cliff Renaissance Park, which opened in November 2021, and the 40.4-acre Judge Charles R. Rose Community Park, which will open in late 2022 or early 2023.
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