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WEB EXCLUSIVE The COVID-19 pandemic may have put the whole world on pause, but Dorothea Dix Park is still moving ahead with plans to make the park the “most important and exciting park project in America today.” Dix Park Conservancy president and CEO Sean Malone says the conservancy is committed to raising and contributing $10 million to move the creation of Dix Park forward, before the temporarily deferred bond initiative to support Raleigh parks and greenways makes additional public funds available.
Most recently, the city and Conservancy established a new Community Committee that ensures the conservancy is successful in creating “a park for everyone, built by everyone.” Members of the committee will represent the broad interests of the entire community and support outreach efforts in order to make sure that all voices are heard in the planning of the park.
“Both the Conservancy and the City are committed to ensuring that the creation of Dix Park is informed by diverse community voices,” Malone says. “[The Community Committee] embraces the importance of diversity at the decision-making table by being inclusive, equitable and representative of Raleigh’s population.”
The first big project in the Dix Park Master Plan that’s underway is the grand plaza and adventure play area. Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, the Master Plan’s design team, is leading the creation of the area which will include spectacular fountains, one-of-a-kind play structures, family gathering spaces and inspirational public art. It’s sure to be a fun space for both the young and the young at heart.
Additional projects include rehabilitating the hospital’s historic All Faiths Chapel into the Park’s first public building to be used as a gathering space featuring gardens and an outdoor event space, as well as developing signs to be placed throughout the park to share its history and help with navigation. An urban path that will connect Dix Park, through downtown, to John Chavis Memorial Park is also in planning.
These exciting plans are shared in conjunction with Dix Park’s fifth birthday tomorrow (Friday, July 24), marking five years since the City of Raleigh purchased the 308 acres from the state. Follow Dix Park on Instagram for more birthday fun. Happy Birthday!
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