Texas Trees Foundation Breaks Ground on 7 New Cool School Neighborhood Parks

Construction on the outdoor spaces will begin on June 21

Cool School Neighborhood Park Entrance

 Texas Trees Foundation is proud to announce the groundbreaking of seven new Cool School Neighborhood Parks on June 21 with partners the Dallas Independent School District, City of Dallas Parks and Recreation, Trust for Public Land, and Lyda Hill Philanthropies.

The new community green spaces are located at Harold W. Lang Middle School, Alex W Spence GT Academy, Esperanza 'Hope' Medrano Elementary, Leila P. Cowart Elementary, Anson Jones Elementary, Anne Frank Elementary, and Mockingbird Elementary.

"This set of schools contains two middle schools which provided us with an opportunity create innovative spaces for those campuses. Lang Middle School will have a fitness loop with exercise stations and a versatile playground that can be used for play or social interaction. At Spence, two sites were activated with a zip-line for the students and another area with swings and climbing blocks. Their outdoor learning areas both contain a stage with amphitheater-style seating, making its use more flexible." reported Samantha Bradley, Texas Trees Foundation Cool Schools Manager. "We worked closely with our landscape designers and playground vendor to consider the needs of teens. On the elementary school campuses, play equipment varies from campus to campus, from embankment slides to parkour obstacle courses to jungle domes. Some outdoor learning areas have custom sensory paths or labyrinths for social-emotional aspects, musical instruments disguised as flowers, or sundials to tell the time of day through shadows. 

Construction will begin the first week of summer vacation and is set to wrap up right before students go back to school on Aug. 16, 2021.

During the summer, Texas Trees Foundation will implement each school's tailored landscape plan that includes a new playground, benches, community entrance and gathering space, and outdoor classroom. Dallas ISD will simultaneously be installing loop trails and additional sidewalks.

The final and "coolest" aspect of the Cool Schools Program will be added in the Fall when 900 trees will be planted in total at the seven campuses, doubling their current number of trees. The school-wide tree planting days in November will mark the official park opening for public use. The public can utilize the campus after 5 p.m. on weekdays and on weekends.   

"Trees are an important component to the design of these campuses," said Janette Monear, Texas Trees Foundation CEO/President. "By connecting both students and teachers to nature through tree plantings and fun, engaging outdoor experiential learning areas, we are ensuring that 'no child is left inside.' Additionally, the trees that we add to these campuses increase the overall percent of tree canopy for the City of Dallas, creating carbon sinks, and helps make adjoining neighborhoods cooler."

For more information about the Cool School Neighborhood Parks groundbreaking, please email Joshua Wilbanks at joshua@texastrees.org.

Source: Texas Trees Foundation