Texas Trees Foundation Celebrates the Grand Opening of Six Cool School Neighborhood Parks

Join the celebration at John Ireland Elementary on Thursday, May 26

Cool School Neighborhood Park

Texas Trees Foundation, in partnership with the Dallas Independent School District, Dallas Parks and Recreation, Trust for Public Land, 29 Pieces, and generous donors, is proud to announce the opening of six Cool School Neighborhood Parks, which will be celebrated during the Grand Opening event at John Ireland Elementary from 9-10 a.m. on May 26.

The new community outdoor spaces are located at David G. Burnet Elementary, John Ireland Elementary, Frank Guzick Elementary, Reinhardt Elementary, Salazar Elementary, and PL Prep at Sam Houston Elementary.

This is the first set of Cool School Neighborhood Parks to open, and the second group of seven Cool Schools in Dallas will begin construction in June 2021.

"We launched the Cool Schools program to provide students with an outdoor hands-on learning experience to foster environmental education and land stewardship which, ultimately, improves the health of our children and our neighborhoods," said Janette Monear, Texas Trees Foundation CEO/President. "These outdoor classrooms and spaces will bring surrounding neighborhoods closer as a community but will also reflect the transformative learning experiences happening within each school."

The Texas Trees Foundation Cool School program transforms selected school campuses into safer, cooler outdoor learning spaces with the goal of increasing outdoor education and tree canopy coverage by supplying teachers with the necessary resources, such as an outdoor classroom, to educate students about urban forestry and environmental stewardship.

These schools are considered Cool School Neighborhood Parks and were identified through the Smart Growth study completed by the Trust for Public Land as being park-desert areas: neighborhoods that do not have park access within a 10-minute walk. 

"The Cool School program is truly a collaborative process that ensures each outdoor space is unique and reflects their school's identity and needs," said Samantha Bradley, Cool School Manager. "Teachers, administrators, and students were essential in providing input on all aspects of the program, such as creating the landscape design, selecting amenities, and developing educational opportunities."

Each Cool School Neighborhood Park has a new playground, loop trail, outdoor classroom, art mural, and 50-100 newly planted trees that students will enjoy during school hours and the surrounding community will have access to after school and on the weekends.

For more information about the Cool School Neighborhood Parks Grand Opening event on Wednesday, May 26, please contact Samantha Bradley at samantha@texastrees.org.

Source: Texas Trees Foundation