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Community Matters

CFT invests in public parks to advance community equity

Trust for Public Land staff Molly Plummer, Robert Kent, and Ray Garvin at the newly opened South Oak Cliff Renaissance Park in Southern Dallas

North Star Values: Community, Collaboration, and Equity

Our vision of thriving communities for all hinges on our ability to advance community equity. One of our intentional investments from our discretionary funds focused on advancing equity is the creation and expansion of public parks. We’ve been investing in parks since our founding in the 1950s, including significant investments in Klyde Warren Park.

Since 2019, we’ve awarded $4.6 million in park-related grants, and have seen how parks can positively impact mental health, community development, and public safety.

We’ve recently invested in a number of parks in or near South Dallas and Southern Dallas County in partnership with Fair Park First, the Southern Gateway Public Green Foundation, the Texas Trees FoundationTrinity Park Conservancy, and the Trust for Public Land. We’re also working with HALL Park on an exciting new project in Frisco.

The majority of these parks will open between 2022 and 2024. For many of these investments, we’ve specifically helped fund aspects of equitable development planning and community-based park design to ensure the community gets to be involved in the park planning process.

Equitable development planning is an approach to meeting the needs of underserved communities and individuals through a participatory process that enables all residents to influence decisions that affect their neighborhood, helping to ensure that everyone benefits from an area’s economic transformation.

Many of our grant dollars to support parks come from CFT’s W. W. Caruth, Jr. Fund, which continues to carry forward the late Will Caruth’s giving priorities long beyond his lifetime. Mr. Caruth understood that the forces that shape quality of life are deeply interdependent. When he died in 1990, Mr. Caruth left $400 million — the bulk of his estate — to CFT to support his passions of health, education, and public safety. Currently the largest fund at CFT, grants from our W. W. Caruth, Jr. Fund have provided $254 million for bold, visionary, large-scale, and transformational efforts across North Texas.

Our parks investments are indicative of our desire to not only support nonprofit organizations, but to help pave the way to better, more equitable development across our community.

This story was originally featured in our 2021 annual report. For additional details and content, click here.

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