Oncor has donated Parkdale Lake and the land surrounding it to the city of Dallas to help complete The LOOP, a 50-mile walk and bike trail connecting north, south, east, and west Dallas. It’s the largest parkland dedication in Dallas since 1938.
The 110-acre lake and surrounding land is west of White Rock Creek in Southeast Dallas. The nonprofit Circuit Trail Conservancy will use the land to address flooding in addition to completing The LOOP; the Park and Recreation Department will use it as future park land for the community.
“A critical piece of The LOOP is the Trinity Forest Spine Trail, a nine-mile connection from White Rock Lake to the Great Trinity Forest,” said Philip Hiatt Haigh, executive director of the Circuit Trail Conservancy, in a statement. “With this donation, the Circuit Trail Conservancy can complete the Trinity Forest Spine Trail, and The LOOP, in its entirety, bringing together neighborhoods that have long been disconnected and make walkable, bikeable green space a strong part of Dallas’ identity.”
Mayor Johnson: ‘huge for the city of Dallas’
“Dallas is flourishing because we are intently focused on providing an amazing quality of life for our residents,” Mayor Johnson said in the statement. “We’re eliminating blight and building new parks, trails, and green spaces across our city. The donation of Parkdale Lake and the surrounding land is huge for Dallas. It will create new recreational opportunities and help us connect our neighborhoods through our trail system.”
“I’m excited about the possibilities, and I’m grateful to our partners at Oncor and the Circuit Trail Conservancy for helping us make this new park possible,” the mayor added.
Donation process began in 2020
Oncor Electric Delivery began the process of donating the lake to the city in 2020.
“The initiative by the City of Dallas and the Circuit Trail Conservancy to unite Dallas’ neighborhoods is a big win for our entire community,” said Allen Nye, CEO of Oncor, in the statement. “The LOOP will connect Dallas in a way that increases access for all residents to our city’s economic resources, enhances green space and improves overall quality of life. We’re so proud to be a part of making this project a reality.”
Parkdale Lake was built in 1953 as a water storage site for the Parkdale Steam Electric Station, which was decommissioned in 2005. Prior to that, the area was farmland in the 1930s and was abandoned in the early 1950s because of flooding.
Oncor Electric Delivery has owned Parkdale Lake and surrounding land totaling 280 acres since 2010. In 2019, the CTC, and then Park and Recreation Department Director Willis Winters, approached Oncor about donating the lake and land as key ingredients for delivering the Trinity Forest Spine Trail and The LOOP.
Completing the Trinity Forest Spine Trail
The North Phase of the Trinity Forest Spine Trail will be completed in two phases. Phase 1, which broke ground in July, extends from just below the White Rock Lake spillway to Samuell Road. Phase 2 will extend to the Lawnview DART Station in the Parkdale/Lawnview neighborhood of Southeast Dallas. The southern phase will extend from Scyene Road to Pemberton Hill Road, passing through Roosevelt Heights, down to U.S. 175, with construction slated to begin in 2022.
“We know there is an infrastructure disparity between North and South Dallas that has left neighborhoods—like Parkdale—without dedicated, safe pedestrian connections to surrounding neighborhoods or the rest of Dallas,” Hiatt Haigh said. “Completing The LOOP is a step in the right direction toward connecting and uniting Dallas.”
“Parkdale is less than five miles from White Rock and because of this land donation, and public funding from the City of Dallas, County of Dallas and privately raised CTC funds, these neighborhoods will now be connected,” Hiatt Haigh added.
Helping Southern Dallas ‘grow in a healthy way’
“This is a real win for Dallas’ vision to have a comprehensive system of parks, trails, open spaces and recreation facilities that sustains, inspires and invigorates,” said Arun Agarwal, president of the City of Dallas Park Board. “This is the largest land commitment for the Dallas Park system since the 1930s. It will help the City of Dallas, and specifically Southern Dallas as this donation is south of 30, grow in a healthy way. Great partnerships like this one between the City of Dallas, Oncor and the Circuit Trail Conservancy bring more beautiful, open greenspace to residents and visitors.”
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