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Oncor just made the largest donation of parkland in Dallas since 1938

by Miguel Perez 30 Nov 2021 5:21 PM

A donation from Oncor Electric Delivery of 110 acres in southeast Dallas will become the latest addition to the Dallas Parks system.

Mayor Eric Johnson told reporters Tuesday that Oncor’s gift is the largest donation of parkland in Dallas since 1938, when the city acquired more than 600 acres of parkland from the W.W. Samuell Estate.

“This new park is going to mean a great deal to us,” Johnson said. “Critically, this donation gives us Parkdale Lake. It’s going to be a new lake for our residents that I personally hope is going to have recreational offerings like fishing.”

The land, about two miles east of Fair Park, used to be home to a power plant.

Councilman Adam Bazaldua said the city will transform it into an expansive, new public park.

“The acquisition of this Parkdale Lake will advance not only recreation and quality of life assets to the residents that surround it, but also act as an engine and an anchor to economic growth in the surrounding area,” Bazaldua said.

City officials said the Parkdale Lake project will be key in helping the city realize its vision for the LOOP, a unified trail system that’ll connect 50 miles of new and existing trails scattered across the city.

One of the biking and walking trails, the Trinity Forest Spine Trail, will run through the newly-acquired property and connect White Rock Lake to the Trinity Forest.

The nine-mile trail will follow the nearby White Rock Creek, and it lies mostly within the creek’s floodplain.

Philip Hiatt Haigh is executive director of the Circuit Trail Conservancy, the nonprofit heading the development of the LOOP.

“We are going to be utilizing the lake to address all of the hydrology issues that we have delivering a project in the floodplain by tapping the lake.”

Construction of the southern phase of the Trinity Forest Spine Trail is slated to begin next year. Haigh said that work and other improvements are expected to cost about $16 million. The conservancy is spearheading the fundraising effort for the project.

Got a tip? Email Miguel Perez at [email protected]. You can follow him on Twitter @quillindie.

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