East Overlook land will be donated, completing the boundaries for Harold Simmons Park
DALLAS – Trinity Park Conservancy has been working to finalize the boundaries for the entirety of Harold Simmons Park, including two Overlooks and more than 200 acres of land in the Trinity River Floodway. With the pivotal donation of land at 505 Riverfront for the East Overlook, all of the land that is needed for the overlooks will be acquired. Additionally, a memorandum of understanding is in place, and the Conservancy will begin working through design on the East Overlook throughout 2021 with the potential for groundbreaking in mid-2022. Both the East and West Overlooks will be situated above and outside of the levees making them visible on the east and west sides of the river and will include park amenities such as playgrounds, cafes, performance spaces, etc.
“The addition of this land helps the Conservancy continue the work of bringing a transformational Park to the City of Dallas,” said Walter Elcock, Interim CEO of the Conservancy. “We are excited to have the opportunity to use this land to create connectivity and visibility to the Park as we turn the under-utilized natural resource of the Trinity River into a great asset for the City and surrounding neighborhoods.”
The Conservancy, in close coordination with the City and Trinity River Local Government Corporation, has been evaluating a number of potential sites for the East Overlook, taking into account a variety of factors, including accessibility and connectivity to surrounding neighborhoods; site configuration in regard to programming/visitor experience and access to the Floodway. The acquisition of land at 505 Riverfront, which is over 4 acres and will be combined with adjacent public land, has several critical advantages. The large open space it presents is well-suited for a variety of programs the Conservancy is developing, in partnership with the community, for the Park including performances and festivals. Also, the proximity of the location to the Ron Kirk Pedestrian Bridge will provide an important pedestrian connection, linking the east and west sides of the Park and surrounding communities.
The Conservancy is advancing design on the East and West Overlooks as quickly as possible. However, because of its proximity to the levee on the West side of the River, the West Overlook requires more time and coordination with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is currently undertaking critical flood risk management/levee improvement work.
Therefore groundbreaking on the East Overlook may happen before the West Overlook, but the Conservancy is in the early stages of planning for programs on both sides of the River that will begin before groundbreaking. The Conservancy will continue to work with communities in the surrounding neighborhoods to create programming, such as large-scale free events, food and play that will bring Dallas together across demographics and divides. The programming plan will be designed for a range of audiences from communities both near the Park and across the City. If you have suggestions or would like to get involved with our future programming please contact [email protected].