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The Trinity River Corridor Project is one of the most monumental public works and economic development projects in Dallas’ history. Trinity Watershed Management is the department overseeing the Project, which began in its current form with the approval of the 1998 Bond Program and a later 2006 Bond Program. Today, many project teams and interagency partners are focused on delivering four major components that make up the project; always mindful that flood control is the first priority. The additional components of the Project are recreation, environmental stewardship, and business development. The Trinity River Corridor Project covers 20 miles or approximately 10,000 acres along the Trinity River. The project area begins at Webb Chapel in the north and stretches along the river to slightly past I-20 in the south.

The Greater Trinity River Park is the 10,000-acre floodway within the levees between Elm Fork and the Great Trinity Forest. While its primary purpose is flood control, it also can serve as a wonderful area for recreational activities, economic development, and ecological conservation.

This is an area just outside the levees, as approved by the Army Corps of Engineers, which will provide views of the river and access to the neighborhoods along the river. The overlooks will be distinctive urban parks that better utilize the spaces between the river and neighborhoods.

Harold Simmons Park

The first Trinity River Corridor park project will be 250 acres between the Margaret McDermott Bridge and the Ronald Kirk Bridge, adjacent to downtown Dallas and West Dallas, to be named the Harold Simmons Park. Framed by the iconic Santiago Calatrava-designed bridges that connect the north and south sides of Dallas across the Trinity River, it will be easily located as a centralized gathering place accessible to all citizens of Dallas.

With the eye-catching design and use of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and the Margaret McDermott Bridge, as well as usage of the Ronald Kirk Bridge by pedestrians and bicyclists, it was a natural place to start. This area is centrally located to downtown Dallas and connects to West Dallas and Oak Cliff over the Trinity River. As the first phase of the parks along the Trinity, we hope it gives momentum to draw people to the river and spur on development of additional parks along the Trinity River Corridor.

A key focus of the Balanced Vision Plan is flood control so all designs keep this priority in mind. The Park will feature urban overlooks and a naturalized river landscape, which will take advantage of the inevitable flooding to become healthier and more vibrant. The overlooks will be positioned above flooding concerns, with urban amenities (such as playgrounds, performance spaces and restaurants).

As the Conservancy develops the infrastructure to design this project, it will begin a series of community meetings to involve citizens in sharing thoughts and aspirations for their park with the design team. As the final plan is unveiled, they will be a vital part of the ongoing programming and maintenance of the park as well.

Currently, the Trinity Park Conservancy, which received the Simmons donation, is advocating and planning for the Park. The City of Dallas has appointed the Trinity River LGC to oversee the development of the Park.

Annette Simmons pledged $50 million towards the construction of the first park along the Trinity River, in honor of her late husband, businessman and philanthropist, Harold Simmons.


The Conservancy is a 501c-3 nonprofit organization raising private funds from foundations, individuals, and corporations through donations for its operations and project development.

A local government corporation (LGC) is a corporate entity formed by a municipality or county to act on behalf of the government. LGCs are present throughout Texas and the United States for funding transportation, water and sewer infrastructure, economic development ventures, and other projects that will benefit the public. In Dallas, LGC’s have been used at the Convention Center, Love Field and most recently to help address the City’s homeless challenges. The cities of Houston and Austin have created LGC’s to govern significant recreation projects.

106 W. Commerce

The Conservancy plans to renovate this building to provide services for the nearby Harold Simmons Park and the community, as well as become the offices for the Conservancy. It has great potential as a cooperative workspace and event space for nonprofits, community groups, and small businesses. We also have an opportunity to transform the building into mixed income housing.

Projects have historically waited until after completion to take action stewarding communities. The Conservancy is acting now to encourage inclusive development surrounding the Park. To facilitate equitable development of the Park and its adjacent neighborhoods, the Conservancy is proactively linking Park investment with community development. The Conservancy began work on an Equitable Development Plan in January that positions the Conservancy and its partners to create and operate a Park that proactively tackles prominent legacies of racial inequity in the neighborhoods around the Park and the city of Dallas by recommending implementable actions.

No, the Conservancy used unrestricted funds to pay for this property.  No donations made to Harold Simmons Park have been — or will be — used for the purchase or renovation of this property.

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