Fair Park First announced today that it received a generous gift of $5 million from The Rees-Jones Foundation to fund the all-abilities, all-ages Children’s Playground at the Community Park. The Community Park Complex at Fair Park is set to break ground in 2023.

“The Rees-Jones Foundation is honored to support the new Fair Park Community Park and, in particular, the Children’s Playground,” said T. Hardie, President of The Rees-Jones Foundation. “Our hope is to see children, parents and families in the 13 surrounding neighborhoods experience more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, engage with their friends in this unique greenspace and participate in the renewed vitality that the Park will bring to our city and especially to these nearby communities.”  

The Children’s Playground is one of three playgrounds slated for the Community Park that will provide children in the surrounding neighborhoods and DFW Metroplex with a state-of-the-art, safe, inclusive place to play. It will feature various custom play structures inspired by the native ecology of North Texas, interactive water features, sensory gardens, slides carved into the topography, and whimsical sensory pieces that provoke joy and discovery. The playground will also include a splash pad, additional interactive water features, and an adjacent tot lot.

“Greenspace is vital to our children’s overall health – physically, socially, and cognitively,” said John Jenkins, Director, Dallas Parks and Recreation Department. “Children need a place to play every day in order to be active, happy and healthy. We are focused and committed to providing greenspace access for our community. We are thankful for our partnership with Fair Park First and the generous support of The Rees-Jones Foundation to continue making the Park a reality.”  

“The focus of the Children’s Playground will be creating opportunities for multi-generational play,” said Matrice Ellis-Kirk, Unity Co-Chair of the Fair Park Your Park Phase 1 Campaign. “No matter the family composition, there will be something for everyone to enjoy.”

The Fair Park Your Park Phase 1 Campaign Honorary Co-Chairs are President George and Laura Bush. The Unity Co-Chairs are Ambassador Ron Kirk and Matrice Ellis-Kirk along with Margo and Jim Keyes.   

The primary goal of the Community Park Complex is to create access to greenspace for residents of the surrounding neighborhoods. The Community Park is the signature capital component in Phase 1 of the 2020 Fair Park Master Plan Update and has a funding goal of $93 million from philanthropic support.   

“We have been focused and diligent in delivering on a promise made to our neighbors in providing a Community Park accessible to all and open year-round,” said Darren L. James, President, Fair Park First. “This Park is designed to be a true community asset and a direct investment in families. The significant gift from The Rees-Jones Foundation to fund the Children’s Playground supports turning this promise into reality.”