Texas Trees Foundation set to Create Urban Oasis in Dallas

New green space developed by the Texas Trees Foundation is set to transform Dallas’ southwestern medical district into a cool oasis landscape.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

New green space developed by the Texas Trees Foundation is set to transform Dallas’ southwestern medical district into a cool oasis landscape. Image Unsplash

Reading Time: 3 minutes

New green space developed by the Texas Trees Foundation is set to transform Dallas’ southwestern medical district into a cool oasis landscape.

An innovative project is underway to convert the Southwestern Medical District (SWMD) in Dallas into a verdant, pedestrian-friendly oasis that provides respite and promotes the well-being of patients, staff, and visitors. Led by Texas Trees Foundation, the redevelopment will overhaul the outdated Harry Hines corridor into a vibrant linear parkway enveloped by tree canopy. The project’s centerpiece is a new 10-acre public green space replacing an antiquated cloverleaf intersection.

According to Texas Trees Foundation, increasing green space and tree cover will help offset the excessive heat of Dallas’ urban environment. The project aims to mitigate the urban heat island effect that currently plagues the Medical District by installing vegetation, cool paving, and a thoughtfully designed landscape. Researchers have shown urban greenery provides significant cooling through shade and evapotranspiration. This can potentially reduce peak summer temperatures by 2–9°F.

See also: France Leads the Way With Green Roof Revolution.

Just as importantly, the pedestrian-oriented environment will foster community and de-stress those visiting the area. Numerous studies demonstrate access to green spaces lower blood pressure, improves mental health, and promotes healing. An appealing green corridor and park will provide an accessible oasis where patients, employees, and residents can relax, reflect, and connect with nature.

More trees and footpaths will also encourage active lifestyles and cleaner air. The calming effects of being immersed in nature have been shown to decrease recovery times and improve outcomes for hospital patients. For staff, the green corridor will provide both a literal and a figurative breath of fresh air during hectic workdays.

The Texas Trees Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to planting, protecting, and promoting trees across Texas. For over 30 years, the foundation has worked to expand and improve urban forests through tree-planting efforts, educational programs, and public-private partnerships.

Since its founding in 1982, The Texas Trees Foundation has planted over 4 million trees. Major programs include reforestation of areas damaged by storms or wildfires and tree plantings in underserved neighborhoods to provide shade, clean air, and green jobs. The foundation has helped green key areas like the Trinity River Corridor, Cool Connect Oak Cliff, and the North Texas Tree Recovery.

Education is another priority. The Texas Trees Foundation provides tree care training to youth and professional arborists. It also educates policymakers and the public on proper tree planting and urban forest management best practices. Recently, the foundation partnered with healthcare providers on a Trees & Healing program exploring the therapeutic benefits of nature.

The Texas Trees Foundation is working with the City of Dallas to assess and expand its tree canopy in other areas. It also collaborated with private donors and businesses to create the Dallas Arboretum.

The diverse projects of the Texas Trees Foundation promote healthier, more livable communities. Tree planting enhances public health through improved air quality, reduced asthma, and more walkable neighborhoods. Thoughtful urban tree management also provides energy savings and carbon storage to counter climate change. The foundation’s efforts showcase how strategic investment in urban forests pays dividends for Texan communities through environmental, economic, and social benefits.

“We’re thrilled to transform Dallas’ busiest medical district into a thriving green space,” said Texas Trees Foundation head Lannie McClelen. “Research clearly shows the cooling, restorative benefits of urban nature. Our therapeutic landscape will help improve wellbeing for the 3 million people that experience this space annually.”

The $100 million redevelopment will commence in late 2025 through public-private partnerships. It exemplifies a growing focus on evidence-based greenspace solutions to enhance livability in America’s expanding cities.

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