Jun 26, 2022 - News

With Community Park, Dallas aims to right historic wrongs

A colorful rendition of a park
The Community Park planned for Fair Park. Illustration courtesty of Biederman Redevelopment Ventures

More than 50 years after Dallas leaders forced hundreds of families out of their homes near Fair Park, promising a new space full of picnic areas and beautiful landscaping, the neighborhood is closer to getting the park it was promised.

Why it matters: "We're trying to remedy historic wrongs in ways that will be good for current residents of the neighborhood," Ashley Langworthy, a landscape architect with Biederman Redevelopment Ventures, the company partnering with Fair Park First to design and program the new 14-acre Community Park, tells Axios.

Catch up quick: In the 1960s, the city used eminent domain to raze houses in a historically Black and Hispanic neighborhood southeast of Fair Park.

  • Instead of building a new park as promised, the city paved the area to create more parking space for people visiting the State Fair.

Details: The Community Park plans include gardens and nature walks, picnic tables, a dog park, a stage and amphitheater, two children’s playgrounds, a mist canopy and an observation tower with views of Downtown.

  • Langworthy says designs for the play areas were inspired by the Blackland Prairies native to North Texas.

Of note: The groups building the park have asked for input from the surrounding community on both design and programming.

Yes, but: The nonprofit management group in charge of Fair Park’s operations, including Fair Park First, are still raising funds for the new park, which they hope to complete in 2024.

What they're saying: "The goal is to have a highly activated gathering space for the neighborhood and for the full city of Dallas, but there's a strong concentration on fulfilling the needs of the surrounding area," Langworthy says.

  • "This is really going to be amazing."

What we're watching: The first cost estimates for the project will come in soon.

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