I’d like to tell you the story of Klyde Warren Park. It’s located in downtown Dallas and it sits on a deck that traverses the Woodall Rodgers freeway. Chicago has Grant Park and NYC has Central Park, both planned earlier in their respective city’s histories. Unlike these parks, Klyde Warren hasn’t even officially opened yet. And since developers started with a blank piece of paper, they were able to include sustainable elements at every turn. In other words, when trying to reclaim some environmental space in the heart of the city, they attempted to do it with the least amount of impact on the environment. Klyde Warren is no ordinary park.
It all started in 2009 with a ground ‘making’ ceremony, since engineers and designers used a combination of lightweight soil mixed with lightweight fill to keep the park’s entire structure from being too heavy. Trees were planted in such a way to allow for growth – but only to a certain point. An irrigation system includes a mat that collects drainage and supplies it back to plants and trees.
During the day, solar energy will be collected and used to power LED lighting at night. The main café building is being build to LEED Silver certification. Materials used during the build were locally sourced and included recycled content whenever possible.
Klyde Warren Park will also provide all the benefits other downtown parks provide: plants and trees absorbing summer heat, community activities, and positive economic impact. In addition, the deck itself will help reduce traffic noise.
There’s much more to learn about this park at its website: http://www.theparkdallas.org. So if you are lucky enough to be in Dallas at the end of October for the grand opening, I encourage you to attend and take a look at a reclaimed space that most people didn’t realize existed.