Checking in With the Trinity River Park Project in Dallas
Peter Simek provides in-depth coverage of the current state of park and open space planning along the Trinity River in Dallas.
Plans first announced in 2016 for a new park designed by acclaimed landscape architect Michael van Valkenburgh lead to the "creation of a new quasi-governmental agency—a Local Governmental Corporation—to oversee the construction of the new park," explains Simek. As reported in 2017, river boosters lead by former councilmember Angela Hunt have also hatched plans for another park.
The planned Harold Simmons Park is only slated to be constructed between a 200-acre section of the floodway between the Ron Kirk Pedestrian Bridge and Interstate 30, a relatively small portion of the overall floodplain. What if there was a way to extend the restoration of the floodplain to a greater portion of the floodway?
Since that time, Hunt and her collaborators have been kicking the tires and gathering supporters that include the National Audubon Society, which also helped coordinate last Saturday’s initial meeting. The group has identified a portion of the Trinity just north of the planned Simmons Park—between the Kirk Bridge and the Sylvan Avenue overpass (but excluding the existing Trammel Crow Park in the floodway). They believe this area can be restored into the kind of river-driven landscape that once characterized the Trinity floodplain before humans settled it.
Simek examines the politics of planning along the Trinity River, while also describing the planning and visioning exercises of the multiple groups working to implement a new vision for the Trinity River.