DALLAS, Texas —Last week, the Five Mile Creek Greenbelt was named as an
award winner of the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) 2023 Transportation
Alternatives Set-Aside program, providing $6.6 million in state grant funds for the critical
connector trail that runs across Dallas’ Oak Cliff community. The project is being developed by Trust for Public Land (TPL) in partnership with the City of Dallas.
The award will be matched with an additional $1.65 million by TPL’s local philanthropic partners bringing the total dollar amount to over $8 million. The funds will be used to begin construction of a 1.1-mile long shovel-ready portion of the planned 17-mile trail, and will help the project’s strong momentum continue to grow.
This grant is a gamechanger for the Five Mile Creek Greenbelt because the dollars will go
directly to construction of the trail, making the transportation benefits of this trail available to the community even sooner than planned,” said TPL State Director Robert Kent. “We are
grateful to TxDOT and our generous supporters for believing in this effort to connect the
residents of Oak Cliff to the outdoors.”
TxDOT administers the Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Program (TA), providing funds for locally sponsored bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure projects in communities across the state.
In December 2022, the announced the Call for Projects for this most recent round of funding.
Thursday, the Texas Transportation Commission voted to approve various projects that had
applied for the funds at the commission’s regularly scheduled meeting.
“This is a major investment in communities across the state that will help make it safer and
easier to get around on foot or a bike,” Texas Transportation Commissioner Robert “Robie”
Vaughn said. “This optionality supports safety, active lifestyles, health and wellness, and can provide alternatives to traveling by vehicle.”
“People who walk and bike make up about 1 out of every 5 deaths on roadways here in Texas,” Texas Transportation Commissioner Alvin New added. “These projects will help the state move closer toward the goal of zero deaths by giving people a place to walk and bike separate from traffic.”
Once complete, the Five Mile Creek Greenbelt will provide nearly 17 miles of new trails and
three signature parks, connecting nearly 200,000 residents with a park or trail, providing
mental and physical health benefits, as well as a safe alternative transportation route for people traveling to retail sites, healthcare facilities and educational institutions across Oak Cliff. Many see this project as a key piece of Dallas’ current focus on parks.
“This is yet another exciting milestone for the Five Mile Creek Greenbelt and shows once again that Dallas is in the midst of a parks renaissance,” said Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson. “I look forward to seeing continued progress on this project that will help fulfill my vision of making Dallas the greenest and greatest city in Texas.”
Johnson’s sentiments were echoed by Dallas Park & Recreation Board President Arun Agarwal. “The Five Mile Creek Greenbelt is a transformational project for Southern Dallas, and will provide access to the benefits of parks and trails to thousands of residents,” said Agarwal. “Our thanks to our partners at TxDOT for their commitment to this shared vision.”
With this grant funding now official, construction on a section of the trail could start as early as next year. In addition, TPL has now raised more than $35 million of the estimated $78 million needed to complete the Five Mile Creek Greenbelt’s planned parks and trails.
The nonprofit will soon launch the public campaign for the project, and look to leverage this and other public grants and awards to raise more philanthropic dollars.
About TPL in Texas
Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit that works to connect everyone to the benefits and joys of the outdoors. As a leader in equitable access to the outdoors, TPL works with communities to create parks and protect public land where it is needed most.
Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 4 million acres of public land,
created more than 5,364 parks, trails, schoolyards, and iconic outdoor places, raised $93 billion in public funding for parks and public lands, and connected nearly 9.4 million people to the outdoors. To learn more, visit tpl.org.
About Dallas Park & Recreation Department
The Dallas Park and Recreation Department is one of the largest municipal park systems in the nation and provides for the management, supervision, coordination, and implementation of an array of leisure service opportunities, including such organized activities as athletics, sports, arts, crafts, drama, physical fitness, music, and aquatics,
utilizing recreation centers, athletic fields, swimming pools, open space, schools, and special facilities. The parks system includes over 20,812 park land acres which encompass 410 parks, 7 lakes, 4,658 surface acres of water and over 177 developed trail miles. Park amenities include playgrounds, picnic shelters, tennis courts, soccer and football fields, baseball and softball diamonds, multi-purpose fields, basketball and volleyball courts and disc golf.