Monday, August 6, 2012
Klyde Warren Park will be a breath of fresh air
The park’s temperature will lower by about 10 degrees because of green elements.
Dallas is long overdue a breath of fresh air. Once the five-acre Klyde Warren Park opens to the public this fall, its visitors can finally open up and say “ahhh” – without inhaling a lungful of pollution.
In fact, the organization charged with creating the park expects LEED certification soon, which denotes a high level of environmental responsibility in design. A Silver certification level is expected for all the buildings and structures in the park.
“That’s been our pledge and objective from the beginning,” said Mark Banta, president of The Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation, who noted that Klyde Warren Park is being used as a model for parks across the country, hailed as a green space that is implementing environmental best practices. The park, which connects uptown, downtown and the Arts District, is expected to quell noise, water, and urban pollution – and even to cool the air. Banta said the respiration and plant material will actually lower the park’s temperature by about 10 degrees. Each acre is equivalet to six tons of air conditioning, he said.
Additionally, the park will serve as a bio filter, reducing the polluted storm water that would’ve otherwise flushed through the city’s sewage system. Rainwater will be absorbed by the natural elements and return cleanly into the environment.
Banta said “scrubbing the air” and working further to clean the atmosphere. He said almost all plants are native to Texas: “They will perform beautifully in the green space,” he said. Water savings is estimated at $386,800 yearly due to xeriscaping.
This emerald nest is expected to offer reprieve to many in the urban landscape, as it is connecting the city “in a way that’s never been done before,” Banta said. “It’ll be hugely popular.” Banta said the park is well on its way to completion, which is expected in October. The grand opening, which is October 27-28, will celebrate the many amenities the park offers, which include a performance pavilion, a dog park, a discovery garden, playground, water features, and more.
“We are opening a new landmark for Dallas. Whether you call the park the city’s heart, the front lawn or the town square, it’s clear that Dallas is ready to turn an old freeway into a truly special destination,” said Jody Grant, chairman of the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation Board. “During our grand opening, Klyde Warren Park will be buzzing with energy as people celebrate a major addition to our city’s identity.”
Banta said the grand opening honors private and public partners, adding that while Klyde Warren Park is nearly completely built, additional donations will enhance the landmark. Donors can make their mark with named signage in the park on fixtures like the botanical gardens, the children’s discovery garden, the Grand Plaza, and more.
The park is named for Klyde Warren, the 9-year-old son of billionaire Kelcy Warren. According to Wikipedia, "Kelcy Warren is Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Energy Transfer Partners. Mr. Warren also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the general partner of Energy Transfer Equity. Prior to the combination of the operations of ETP and Heritage Propane in 2004, Mr. Warren co-founded the entities that acquired and operated the midstream natural gas pipelines that were contributed in the merger. From 1996 to 2000, Mr. Warren served as a Director of Crosstex Energy, Inc. and from 1993 to 1996, he served as President, Chief Operating Officer and a Director of Cornerstone Natural Gas, Inc. Mr. Warren has more than 25 years of business experience in the energy industry."
For more information on the event, or to consider donating, visit www.KlydeWarrenPark.com.
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