DALLAS — Following a $50 million donation from the widow of late Texas philanthropist Harold Simmons last October, the Trinity Park Conservancy soon will break ground on the largest civic project in the history of Dallas — a “Nature District” along the Trinity River Corridor roughly eleven times larger than Manhattan’s Central Park.
Harold Simmons Park will cover 115 ha (285 ac) of the Trinity River floodplain, representing the first foray into the ambitious Trinity River Corridor Project. The installation will employ innovative flood management techniques to use overflow from the Trinity River as a resource. The district was designed by acclaimed landscape architectural firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA; Brooklyn, N.Y.). Planners expect construction to wrap up by 2021.
“Dallas is very fortunate to have this forward-thinking, transformational gift from Annette Simmons,” said Mayor of Dallas Mike Rawlings in a press release. “This gift changes everything. It has the ability to change the culture and image of our city in the future. And in terms of the immediate impact, it transitions us from thinking to doing. My hope is that in the near future we can begin a series of public input meetings to start building out the design of the park. By next year, we want to be building America’s next great urban park.”