Bushmills Project, Black Walnut entrance

Dallas “Greening Czar” Garrett Boone joined Councilmember Kathy Stewart, Park and Recreation rep Scott Goldstein and members of the Trust for Public Land Tuesday night to discuss plans for a new park in District 10. The park is part of Mayor Eric Johnson’s larger initiative to transform vacant, unused and underused city-owned land into greenspace.

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“Neighborhood greenspaces help improve public health, keep temperatures down in summertime heat waves and build equity,” said Robert Kent, Lake Highlands High School graduate and Texas state director of the Trust for Public Land. “In listening to communities across Dallas, we have heard time and again that people understand these benefits and want greenspaces close to home where they can walk, experience nature and connect with their neighbors, families, and friends.”

The proposed park runs along the Woodbridge branch of White Rock Creek. Nestled in the Black Walnut Estates neighborhood near Forest Lane and Plano Road, the land has access via a cul-de-sac at the north end of Bushmills Road or at 10600 Black Walnut Drive across from Black Walnut Court.

Neighbors who attended Tuesday’s meeting were asked to share their ideas about preferred amenities for the park, including playgrounds, public art installations, picnic tables, pavilions, bird watching stations and solar lighting. Most agreed they didn’t want “a big flashy Klyde Warren in their backyard,” but instead supported simple trails and benches with a view of nature.

“We heard this loud and clear at last night’s community meeting, where neighbors expressed excitement for the potential to clean and green the pond and add walking trails and benches to make it more accessible,” Kent said. “Over the coming months, we look forward to continuing to listen to and collaborate with the community, and ultimately bring to life their vision for a neighborhood greenspace that they will be proud of.”

The park hasn’t been officially named, but it’s currently being called the Bushmills Project due to its access via Bushmills Drive. A $400,000 budget has been allocated for completion, and a 2025 ribbon cutting and grand opening has been planned.

If Mayor Johnson has his way, there will be more Bushmills-style projects all over Dallas. He appointed Boone as his Greening Czar earlier this year in a quest to bring a city park within ten minutes’ walking distance to every citizen of the city.

“Creating new greenspaces out of land the City of Dallas already owns can improve the quality of life of countless residents, children and families across Dallas,” Johnson said in April.

Boone, co-founder and chairman emeritus of The Container Store, has advocated for transformational park projects across the city for decades.

“Dallas is full of natural beauty hidden in plain sight,” he said upon accepting the challenge. “This initiative will help elevate neighborhoods.”

Bushmills Project site plan by Studio Outside

Bushmills Project, Bushmills Drive entrance