DALLAS — Oncor is donating 110 acres of land -- including the man-made Parkdale Lake along White Rock Creek in Southeast Dallas -- to Dallas' Park and Recreation system, Mayor Eric Johnson announced Tuesday afternoon.
Officials said this will be the largest donation of park land to the city since 1938, when the city acquired more than 600 acres from the W.W. Samuell Estate. Today, part of that land makes up Samuell-Grand Park in East Dallas.
The Parkdale Lake donation, officials said, stemmed from a combined effort of Oncor, the City of Dallas Park and Recreation Department and the Circuit Trail Conservancy (CTC) -- the nonprofit completing The LOOP, a 50-mile walk-and-bike trail connecting northern, southern, eastern and western Dallas.
Oncor said it began the process of donating some of the land several years ago to help address flooding, and to develop a future park. In 2019, the Park and Recreation Department and the CTC approached Oncor about donating the lake and rest of the land in order to help add to the Trinity Forest Spine Trail, which will be connected to The LOOP.
"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. "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."
In an email sent out to his constituents on Tuesday evening, Mayor Johnson wrote that the new park land donation is "huge for Dallas" as it "will create new recreational opportunities and help connect the city's neighborhoods through the trail system."
Dallas City Councilmember Adam Bazaldua, whose district includes the Parkdale Lake area, said the donation could help the city attract and retain families.
"Parks are critical to the quality of life for our residents, and Parkdale Lake has so much potential to bring recreation programming while also acting as a catalyst for economic growth in the surrounding area," Bazaldua said. "I am very thankful for Oncor’s generous donation and for the Circuit Trail Conservancy‘s continued commitment to multimodal connection and preservation of green space in our city,."
Officials said Tuesday that the "north phase" of the Trinity Forest Spine Trail will be completed in two sub-phases. The first, which broke ground in July, extends from just below the White Rock Lake spillway to Samuell Road. The second 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. Construction is expected to begin in 2022.