Media contact: Vikki J. Martin, President, Ferguson Road Initiative 469.939.9631,

Opportunities for the Far East Dallas center increase as the partnership between Ferguson Road Initiative and Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society evolves

DALLAS (February 23, 2015) – The Ferguson Road Initiative (FRI) and Dallas Park and Recreation Department received preliminary results for the White Rock Hills Recreation Center feasibility study and master plan at its February 17 Steering Committee meeting at the White Rock Hills Library. The Center, which is estimated to cost approximately $25 million, will be one of the largest recreation centers in the Dallas park system. Funding for the Center will be through a public-private partnership between FRI and the City of Dallas. As the concept for the Center is honed, so are its partnerships and opportunities.

After several town hall meetings and a communitywide survey, input from residents was factored into the overall design of the center. Jacobs Engineering developed a conceptual site plan and Snøhetta, an internationally recognized architectural design firm on the team, presented an iconic building with modern architectural lines. Nestled into the hillside, the building’s design highlights the wooded slope as a key feature of the site, integrating the existing parkland and 40-foot drop in elevation. The Center’s features include a water wall, a spray fountain for children, an outdoor amphitheater, community gardens and areas for recreation, in addition to space for arts and cultural programming for all ages. The Center will eventually connect to the Trinity Trail system and include a trailhead and city park, which will come in a later phase of the project.

In addition, FRI approached the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden to explore the possibility of locating its Horticultural Center, greenhouses and planting beds on the site. After first ensuring that the needs of the Center were met, the Arboretum then explored the feasibility of using this location for these purposes. The feasibility study revealed that this site only met half of the Arboretum’s requirements, and the option to expand to the adjacent land was cost prohibitive. The Arboretum has removed itself from consideration and expressed its appreciation for being a part of FRI’s vision for this property, giving FRI the opportunity to explore new partnerships and additional offerings at the Center.

“Even though we will not be partners in the White Rock Hills Recreation Center, we have formed a wonderful relationship with the Arboretum that will continue to grow as our two visionary organizations work to improve Far East Dallas,” said Vikki J. Martin, President of Ferguson Road Initiative. “While we regret that this site was not advantageous for the Arboretum, we support their decision and will embrace the opportunity to work together in the future.”

“FRI now has the exciting opportunity to explore additional amenities and programming for this beautiful site,” said Mary Brinegar, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. “We’re looking forward to seeing what develops and will continue to support FRI’s efforts to revitalize Far East Dallas.”

The Steering Committee will now suggest additional amenities and programming that can be explored for the site using the information already gathered from the community. They will present options in a final town hall meeting to be held at the Arboretum. Check the FRI website at for the date and time.

About the Ferguson Road Initiative
Established in 1998 as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, the Ferguson Road Initiative (FRI) is a grassroots community-based organization comprising 30-plus Neighborhood Associations and Crime Watch groups, law enforcement, nonprofits, apartments, businesses, faith-based organizations, schools and other concerned groups and individuals, all working toward accomplishing a shared vision for the complete economic revitalization of Far East Dallas. FRI’s mission is to transform Far East Dallas into a safe, beautiful, prosperous and proud community for all of its 73,000 residents. For more information, visit