DALLAS, Texas (September 20, 2023) – The Downtown Dallas Parks Conservancy (formerly known as Parks for Downtown Dallas) and the Dallas Park and Recreation Department are thrilled to announce the grand opening of Harwood Park, the fourth and final park in a remarkable public- private partnership to create a network of neighborhood parks in Downtown Dallas. This collaboration has transformed acres of parking lots in the heart of Downtown Dallas into a green oasis, enhancing the environment and quality of life for residents, workers, and visitors.
Harwood Park, located at 408 South Harwood Street, was identified by Dallas Park and Recreation as a “Priority Park” site in the 2013 Downtown Parks Master Plan. Downtown Dallas Parks Conservancy acquired 18 parcels of land between 2014-2018 to assure that it would one day become a public park.
Designed by Austin-based Ten Eyck Landscape Architects, Harwood Park spans 3.8 acres, providing a much-needed place for respite and recreation in the burgeoning East Quarter and Dallas Farmers Market neighborhoods. Harwood Park boasts an array of features designed to cater to the diverse needs and interests of park visitors. The park includes a spectacular mammoth playground, interactive water feature, various types of swings, and a sport court for pickleball and basketball. In total, 21,000 square feet of the park is dedicated to play and active recreation. Other Harwood Park amenities include a performance pavilion, rain-harvesting gardens, two designated spaces for dogs to play and socialize, and lawns for relaxation, picnics and other recreational activities. Harwood Park Fact Sheet and Photos.
The Harwood Park opening ceremony, scheduled for September 23 at 9 a.m., will be a momentous occasion celebrating the culmination of a decade of hard work. The event will feature a ribbon-cutting ceremony and invite the community to explore the various spaces and activities in the park. Local dignitaries, community leaders, and park enthusiasts will gather to mark this significant milestone in the city’s history. Downtown Dallas, Inc. is hosting a Harwood Park Grand Opening Festival the following day on Sunday, September 24. Click here for Harwood Park Grand Opening Festival details.
The completion of Harwood Park marks a significant milestone in the evolution of Downtown Dallas. John Jenkins, Director of the Dallas Park and Recreation Department said, “Through the public- private partnership between the Downtown Dallas Parks Conservancy and the Dallas Park and Recreation Department, this ambitious $90 million program has transformed parking lots into four vibrant neighborhood parks, fostering a sense of community and providing recreational opportunities for the growing resident population in Downtown.”
Amy M. Meadows, president and CEO of the Conservancy said, “The Downtown Dallas Parks Conservancy extends our deepest gratitude to the citizens of Dallas, city staff and officials, generous park donors, and dedicated design and construction teams who made the Priority Parks program possible. Our collective commitment to greening our city is creating a healthier, more sustainable Dallas for the next generation. In an urban heat island like Downtown Dallas, parks and green space are essential.”
About the Priority Parks program
The Priority Parks program is a public-private partnership between Downtown Dallas Parks Conservancy (DDPC) and the City of Dallas Park and Recreation Department (DPARD) that has resulted in the addition of four urban neighborhood parks. The Dallas Park and Recreation
Department’s 2013 Downtown Parks Master Plan Update identified the four “Priority Park” sites to serve the growing residential, worker and visitor populations in Downtown Dallas.
DDPC and DPARD opened Pacific Plaza in October 2019, West End Square in March 2021, Carpenter Park in May 2022, and Harwood Park on September 23, 2023.
The public and private sectors jointly funded park development, including: $39.4 million in City of Dallas bonds, approved by the citizens of Dallas as part of the 2006 and 2017 Bond Programs, $2.6 million from the City Center TIF district, and $48.4 million from the Conservancy and its donors. The total development cost of this four-park program is approximately $90.4 million.
About Downtown Dallas Parks Conservancy
Downtown Dallas Parks Conservancy (DDPC) is a nonprofit organization that is advancing the long- term development and support of public parks within the urban core. We promote a livable, environmentally resilient city center through advocacy for parks and green space.
Our vision is to nurture and protect Downtown Dallas neighborhood parks, creating an urban environment that spurs moments of inspiration and restoration. As park stewards, builders and advocates, we strive to engage and serve the community through maintaining high quality public amenities and horticulture. We believe that everyone deserves access to the benefits of nature and play in Downtown. www.downtowndallasparks.org
About Dallas Park and Recreation
The Dallas Park and Recreation Department’s mission is to champion lifelong recreation and serve as responsible stewards of the city’s parks, trails, and open spaces. With that mission in mind, the Department’s vision for the future is for a comprehensive system of parks, trails, open spaces, and recreation facilities that sustains, inspires, and invigorates.
Dallas has one of the largest municipal parks systems in the nation with over 20,812 acres of parkland, which encompass 410 parks, 7 lakes, 4,658 surface acres of water and over 177 developed trail miles. www.dallasparks.org