South Dallas Neighbors Get Chance to Weigh in on Fair Park Plans

Dozens of South Dallas residents along with developers and leaders from around the city gathered Tuesday for an inaugural community conversation with Fair Park First about a master plan to revitalize Fair Park.

"Fair Park means so many things to so many different people, and it's really a question of prioritization. What should we be working on first to be most impactful and to make the most impact for the neighborhood surrounding us?" Fair Park First Executive Director Brain Luallen said.

Fair Park First is the nonprofit leading the campaign to re imagine Fair Park.

They told neighbors that they're working to erase the stigma that the 277 acres are only utilized once a year during the State Fair of Texas, while bringing more programming and events to bring people in.

At Tuesday's meeting, neighbors wrote dreams for sports fields and bike trails, along with clean and safe parks where kids can play.

"We need it. We need it for the community. We want to feel like we're part of this whole development deal, too," neighbor Scottie Smith said.

But as they looked at renderings first drawn up in 2003, neighbors shared some skepticism.

"We've had great ideas before. But we need great ideas with effort, and we've got to come up with a way the community can benefit from all of the good things that's going to happen inside Dallas with this master plan," Donald Payton said.

Still, they hope it's a step in the right direction.

Tuesday's meeting was the first of several. The next is set to be held sometime after the State Fair of Texas.

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