Dallas in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities

The city of Dallas is in the process of developing its budget for the next fiscal year, which runs from October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018. The city has a lot to consider and many priorities to balance. Budgets approved by the City Council in the past three years have called for increased spending on streets, public safety, neighborhood improvements, cultural services and code compliance. However, the current city budget allocates only about 8 percent, or $94 million of its $1.2 billion in general funding, to the city’s parks. As Dallas continues to grow, are its green spaces and recreational facilities keeping up?

Parks and Open Spaces are Invaluable Assets
Dallas’ parks and open spaces make the city more beautiful, more walkable and more livable. Investment in our parks is also a smart investment. According to the National Recreation and Park Association, public parks across the United States generate more than $200 billion in economic activity every year. Moreover, parks connect communities and strengthen community relationships, contribute to public health, help keep our air and water clean and preserve important aspects of our city’s history.

Help Shape the Landscape of Dallas’ Future
Dallas citizens have an opportunity to vote in favor of the city’s parks system in this November’s bond election. There is $225 million at stake: $35 million so the city can fulfill its pledge to match PfDD’s donation toward the construction of four new downtown parks, and $190 million for maintenance of and improvements to the city’s more than 400 existing parks. Regardless, Dallas operating budget supplies the core funding for our public spaces. Any opportunity to provide public input as part of the budget development process is an opportunity to advocate for parks.

We Need Your Help
This month, Dallas City Manager T. C. Broadnax will be convening meetings and asking Dallasites what they most want out of the city’s budgeting efforts. This feedback will be factored into the proposed city budget, which will be presented to both the City Council and the general public later this summer. These meetings will take place Saturday, March 4, through Monday, March 27. Though these sessions aren’t directly related to the November bond issue, they’re critically important to how Dallas charts its future growth. We hope you will attend any of these that you’re able to and to let city officials know how much our parks matter to you.

Mark Your Calendar!
Find the upcoming FY 2017–2018 Budget Development meetings schedule below and help to spread the word among your neighbors and fellow concerned citizens!


  • 11:30AM–1PM, Saturday, March 4, Latino Cultural Center, 2600 Live Oak St., 75204
  • 2–3:30PM, Saturday, March 4, West Dallas Multipurpose Center, 2828 Fish Trap Road, 75212
  • 6:30–8PM, Thursday, March 9, Lancaster-Kiest Library 2008 E. Kiest Blvd., 75216
  • 6:30–8PM, Thursday, March 16, Lake Highlands Recreation Center, 9940 White Rock Trail, 75238
  • 6:30–8PM, Monday, March 20, Janie C. Turner Recreation Center, 6424 Elam Road, 75217
  • 6:30–8PM, Tuesday, March 21, Walnut Hill Recreation Center, 10011 Midway Road, 75229
  • 6:30–8PM, Wednesday, March 22, Mountanview College (rooms W181 and W183), 4849 W. Illinois Ave., 75211
  • 6:30–8PM, Thursday, March 23, Skyline Branch Library, 6006 Everglade Road, 75227
  • 6:30–8PM, Monday, March 27, Fretz Recreation Center, 6950 Belt Line Road, 75254