The City of Dallas recently received a $6.4 million grant from the federal government for the Five Mile Creek Trail Greenbelt project.
The taxpayer money was awarded through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) policy under President Joe Biden’s administration. The funding was awarded on June 28, but a ceremonial check was given to City leaders on Tuesday.
The funds will be used for the “planning, design, and engineering for Five Mile Creek Trail Greenbelt,” according to a press release sent to The Dallas Express.
In a statement on social media, Mayor Eric Johnson said, “This project will create nearly 17 miles of new trails and three signature parks, connecting more than 186,000 southern Dallas residents to a trail and/or greenspace!”
The City of Dallas was awarded a $6.4 million RAISE grant to support the Five Mile Creek Greenbelt. This project will create nearly 17 miles of new trails and three signature parks, connecting more than 186,000 southern Dallas residents to a trail and/or greenspace! pic.twitter.com/6TP8QPvVas
— Office of Mayor Eric L. Johnson (@DallasMayor) September 5, 2023
Johnson spoke at the ceremonial check presentation, which was also attended by Dallas City Council Members Tennell Atkins (District 8) and Zarin Gracey (District 3), along with U.S. Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-TX) and Texas Rep. Toni Rose (D-Dallas).
The Dallas Express asked the City of Dallas for more information about the funds but received no response by press time.
RAISE grants are awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation to boost local spending on infrastructure projects across the nation, including trails and parks.
“This round of RAISE grants is helping create a new generation of good-paying jobs in rural and urban communities alike,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a June press release, anticipating “projects whose benefits will include improving safety” and “strengthening our supply chain.”
Public parks have been one of Mayor Johnson’s top administrative priorities, along with increasing public safety and implementing property tax reform. Johnson recently launched a new Dallas Parks Coalition to support public parks throughout the city, as reported by The Dallas Express.
“Great cities need and deserve great parks,” Johnson said in his Monday newsletter. “And now is the time to take this city’s efforts to make Dallas greener and greater for all to the next level.”
“The focused advocacy of the Dallas Parks Coalition will give Dallas a competitive advantage as we work to become the major city with the best park system in Texas!” the mayor said.
The Dallas Park & Recreation Department requested $399 million from the planned $1 billion 2024 Capital Bond Program during a Tuesday meeting of the Dallas City Council Parks, Trails, and Environment Committee.
However, some council members appeared resistant, questioning the wisdom of allocating more than a third of the bond proposal toward parks.
“How do we justify putting $400 million of a $1 billion bond to parks?” asked Council Member Chad West (District 1). “Why is this the biggest need of the city?”