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Friends of The Park To Launch in Sept. 2010

DALLAS (July 6, 2010) — The Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation announces the formation of The Friends of The Park, a membership group founded to capture the momentum and excitement for The Park’s opening, planned for 2012. The group will increase awareness and support for The Park through social and educational events, community involvement and fundraising.

“There is already a groundswell of enthusiastic, diverse, experienced, highly-networked people who share a sense of civic pride for Dallas and The Park project,” said Missy Wyszynski, co-chair of the new Friends of The Park group. “We are providing a way for people to help make The Park a success from day one.”

The Friends group will officially launch with an annual kick-off event in Sept. 2010. Members will receive the latest information about The Park and be invited to numerous membership social events held by the Friends of The Park and the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation. The group’s primary purpose is to educate and build support for the project, which promotes pedestrian and bicycle connectivity, supports sustainability and enhances Dallas’ city center.
 
The Friends of The Park is a membership-based group operated by volunteer support. The Steering Committee, led by co-chairs Glenn Singleton and Missy Wyszynski, includes Josh Ellis, Melinda Jones, Gianni R. LaBarba, Katherine Mathes, Robert Mead, David Owen, and Steve White. A group of approximately 30 founding members have been invited to help launch the group.

“We are thrilled that this group of passionate, energetic people have devoted their time to building an active fan base who will enjoy The Park in just a few short years,” said Linda Owen, president of the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation. “Volunteer support is a huge part of how Dallas succeeds, and we are grateful.”

For more information regarding membership, visit http://friendsoftheparkdallas.org to register your interest.

About The Park

The Park will serve as a central gathering space for Dallas and its visitors to enjoy in the heart of the city. The 5.2-acre deck park will create an urban green space over the existing Woodall Rodgers Freeway between Pearl and St. Paul Streets in downtown Dallas. Plans include a performance pavilion, restaurant, shaded walking paths,  dog park,  children’s discovery garden and playground, great lawn, water features,  area for games and much more.

Connectivity is central to The Park's purpose. The Park will promote increased pedestrian, trolley and bicycle use between Uptown, Downtown and the Arts District, contributing to a more walkable city center.

The Park will create a front lawn for the surrounding cultural offerings including the AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dallas Museum of Art,  Morton Meyerson Symphony Hall, Nasher Sculpture Center, Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art, Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual &Performing Arts and the future Perot Museum of Nature and Science.

Construction on the deck plaza began in October 2009. The base park is expected to be complete in early 2012 with amenities expected to be complete in mid-2012.
 
Design, deck and tunnel construction are funded through a public-private partnership including $20 million in bond funds from the City of Dallas, $20 million in highway funds from the state and federal government through TxDOT, and over $26 million from private donations, including a gift from Chase Bank. In March 2009, The Park was selected to receive $16.7 million in stimulus funds that are specifically for transportation enhancement construction. The Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation continues to raise private funds, including the naming rights for park features, to fund amenity construction, operations and programming.

The Park will be owned by the City of Dallas and managed by the private Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation. The Foundation has studied great public parks across the country and plans to bring best practices to The Park's operations, programming and maintenance.

The Park’s design is led by The Office of James Burnett, Thomas Phifer and Partners, Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. and Bjerke Management Solutions. The Texas Department of Transportation selected Archer Western as the contractor for construction of the deck plaza.

Jody Grant serves as Chairman of the Board of the Woodall Rodgers Foundation and is joined by President Linda Owen, and board members Nancy Best, Garrett Boone, Leo Corrigan, Ed Fjordbak, Sheila Grant, Jeff Jackson, John Muse, Rob Walters and John Zogg.

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