You’re looking for a place that’s enjoyable for the whole family. The local park and recreation center comes to mind, but then you remember there is no shade covering the park, and the rec center is seriously lacking in activity offerings.

Q: How do I lobby for improvements to my neighborhood park and rec center?

A: Work with the Dallas Park Foundation to not only make upgrades now but also start a funding process to make sure it stays nice for years to come.

The Dallas Park Foundation acquires and distributes private funds to update the city’s parks. “We focus on the neighborhood parks all over the city,” says Craig Reynolds, president of the Dallas Park Foundation. “We want to make sure that the green space is not just maintained but enhanced.” The foundation has a collection of “subfunds,” or groups started by concerned neighborhood citizens that fundraise and lobby for their community parks, recreation centers and athletic venues. To start a subfund, Reynolds says, gather other citizens that have the same concerns, come up with some goals or a project, and then take the initiative before the foundation. “We help them to raise money among their constituents, if they desire,” Reynolds says. “We also provide them with a little bit of knowledge and know-how about how to work with the city and who the contact people are at the city for trying to do their endeavor.” Citizens can donate to a subfund by writing a check to the foundation and designating it to a specific project, becoming a foundation member and donating over a period of time, or joining the DPF Bluebonnet Society for a lifelong contribution. For more information, visit