Starting today with three true statements
1. Dallas has become a national leader in developing innovative green spaces.This city has continued to improve its parks and programming for families in recent years. New trails have come on line. Fantastic new parks such as Carpenter Park, West End Plaza, and South Oak Cliff Renaissance Park have replaced the sites of surface parking lots and illegal dumping grounds. More great parks, such as Southern Gateway Park and the Harold Simmons Park, are on the way. And other cities are now looking to try to recreate the success of Klyde Warren Park, which just hosted about 20,000 people for a wonderful Christmas event Saturday that also included some very special friends.
2. Dallas still needs more parks. According to Trust for Public Land, the City of Dallas and its nonprofit partners in recent years have brought new parks and trails within a 10-minute walk of nearly 300,000 residents. However, more than a quarter of Dallas residents still do not live within a 10-minute walk of a park. The goal must be to ensure 100% of residents have access to green spaces.
3. The City of Dallas owns a bunch of land, all across town. And it’s time to see whether that land can be turned into parks, playgrounds, sports courts, or other green spaces.
All of that is why, last week, I requested an inventory of all unused, underused, and vacant city-owned land from the city manager. The idea is simple: if there isn’t a feasible development plan for any piece of this existing public land, it ought to be strongly considered for parkland or for affordable housing — pronto.
This is how Dallas can take its park-development efforts to the next level. And any park that comes out of it will make this a project that is worth this city’s time and attention. Creating new public spaces — out of land the City of Dallas already owns — can improve the health and the quality of life of Dallas residents.
It’s time to be proactive and bold on behalf of Dallas neighborhoods. After all, this is a city of dreamers, not speculators. It should also be a city of doers, and not perpetual planners.
Protecting yourself and each other
Flu cases are on the rise. RSV has been spreading. COVID-19 remains a threat, especially to immunocompromised and vulnerable populations.
But you can help by getting your seasonal booster shots for the flu and COVID-19.
These vaccines are widely available and can help prevent the spread and the severity of these potentially fatal viruses. It’s quick and easy to get these shots, and it doesn’t hurt (although you might be left with a bit of manageable arm soreness for a day or two).
That’s why I went to an East Dallas CVS last week to get both shots and to encourage others to do so as soon as possible to protect themselves and their loved ones as they gather together this holiday season. Read about this visit by clicking here.
In case you missed it, I went on The Ticket last week with The Musers to talk about holiday festivities, life growing up in West Dallas and Oak Cliff, the progress being made in this city, and the guys’ “complaints” about Dallas.
It was a fun conversation, as always. Click the link below to listen to the interview.
That’s all for today. More exciting updates next week.
For now, take care of yourselves and each other. And get your Christmas shopping done! (Remember that the sales tax revenue spent here in Dallas helps pay for parks, police, and pothole repairs!)
And let’s go South Oak Cliff Golden Bears!
Until next time,