Aug 1, 2022 - Things to Do

Lyda Hill donation brings Dallas closer to opening Parkdale Lake park

A rendering of a park with boardwalks

The new park could look something like this. Illustration courtesy of Dallas Parks and Recreation Department

The City of Dallas received a donation that will pay for the master planning required to turn Parkdale Lake — and the entire 110-acre plot given to the city by Oncor last December — into a public park.

Driving the news: Philanthropist Lyda Hill donated the money, which will expedite planning, park board president Arun Agarwal tells Axios.

  • While the exact amount donated hasn't been made public, most master plans like this one usually cost around $200,000, according to city officials.

Why it matters: The land, seven miles east of downtown Dallas and just south of Interstate 30, has been locked away from the public for decades, making it the largest unadulterated swath of nature in Dallas.

  • It's the largest land donation to the Dallas parks system since 1938.
  • The new park will also help complete the LOOP, the 50-mile walk-and-bike trail that will connect northern, southern, eastern and western Dallas.

What's happening: Agarwal personally funded the conceptual drawings of the new park, which show a series of boardwalks across the lake and spots for picnicking, bird-watching and canoeing.

Of note: The "placeholder" name for the park is "Parkdale Lake Nature Park."

Between the lines: The new park could also spark more investment in the southern part of the city, something local officials have been championing for years.

What they're saying: "I am incredibly grateful to Lyda Hill Philanthropies for assisting our efforts to create a park that can become a true southern Dallas gem," Mayor Eric Johnson tells Axios. "Parkdale Lake Park represents 110 acres of potential for our communities, and I cannot wait to see it come to life."

What's next: Part of the master planning process will include input from the public.

  • Agarwal says he expects the city will have "untraditional funding options" for the project within the next few months.

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