Green Space Visionary Arun Agarwal Embarks on Second Term as Dallas Park Board President

Dallas business leader Arun Agarwal's executive eye and passion for parks has driven strategic green space projects spurring growth and community. Milestones under his Dallas Park and Recreation Board leadership include Harwood Park, Parkdale Lake Park, Southern Gateway Park, the Cedar Crest Preserve land donation, and more.

Arun Agarwal, CEO of Dallas-based company Nextt, has been reappointed as president of the Dallas Park and Recreation Board for a second two-year term. With a unanimous decision, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson and the city council doubled down on Agarwal as a champion of parks and open spaces in Dallas.

The Dallas leader, entrepreneur, and investor has been on the board since 2019 and became chair in 2021. He’s been noted for bringing business savvy to his green vision, seeing the city’s parks as crucial catalysts for economic development, community engagement, and environmental sustainability.

“Every citizen has a personal connection to the park system and ensuring the beautification of our city is a top priority for myself and the board, and this initiative continues to be one of the top priorities for Mayor Johnson,” Agarwal said in a statement.

Agarwal works alongside the mayor and council to make Dallas’ parks, lakes, trails, open spaces, and recreation facilities some of the best in the country. 

Woolly mammoth slides at Harwood Park in downtown Dallas. [Photo: David Woo]

Over 20,000 acres of green space

Dallas is home to one of the largest municipal park systems in the U.S., with over 20,812 acres of green space. According to a news release, Dallas parks have seen a “renaissance” under Agarwal’s leadership. Significant milestones include opening Harwood Park in September, a 3.8-acre “much-needed” space in the East Quarter and Dallas Farmers Market neighborhoods.

Agarwal also played a pivotal role in the conception of the 110-acre Parkdale Lake Park project, aimed at flood mitigation and completing The Loop, a 50-mile trail connecting the Great Trinity Forest to White Rock Lake, the Trinity River, and Uptown. Agarwal, who “personally paid for conceptual drawings of the park,” collaborated with Lyda Hill Philanthropies, which provided funds to finish the Parkdale master plans.

The passing of Fair Park Proposition A, which earmarks $300 million for renovations and repairs at Fair Park, was also a hallmark during Agarwal’s last term.

Rendering of Southern Gateway Park. [Image: HKS]

Another major project is the phase-one completion of the deck for Southern Gateway Park. When finished, a 5-acre bridge park over I-35 will reconnect the east and western parts of historic Oak Cliff. Agarwal also championed the 200-acre Cedar Crest Preserve land donation to the city.

The Dallas business leader is set to tackle his consecutive term and  is “honored to be reappointed by the mayor, the city council, and the Park and Recreation Department” to make Dallas an outdoor recreation destination.

“From local neighborhood parks to our crown jewel, the Dallas Arboretum, parks help improve our quality of life and help drive economic development,” he said.

Arun Agarwal with the Director of Parks John Jenkins [Courtesy photo]

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