Play Plaza Dix Park
Photo courtesy of City of Raleigh

A Plaza for Play

In Buzz, June 2022, Web Exclusive by Lauren KruchtenLeave a Comment

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Dorothea Dix Park is one step closer to becoming a world-class destination park—especially for the kiddos (!). Last month, Truist Bank donated $2 million to help the city build the Gipson Play Plaza Picnic Grove, which will cover 18 acres of the park and feature a play space, art installations and an adventure playground, while the historic homes on the property will be turned into cafes.

“We’re hoping Dix is living up to its mission of being a park for everyone, not just in Raleigh but from around the region and the state,” Dix Park Conservancy President and CEO Janet Cowell told WRAL.

Truist Bank’s donation makes it one of Dix Park’s 21 founding partners. (The play plaza was named after the Gipson family, who donated $10 million to the park in December 2021.) 

A large part of the city’s $275 million parks bond will also go toward paying for the play plaza. ICYMI, this is Raleigh’s largest-ever parks and greenway bond and the money will go toward building and fixing parks around the city. Raleigh voters will have to vote for or against it on their ballots in November, and if it’s passed, the city’s property tax rate will be raised between 3 and 4 cents per $100 of assessed property value.

Construction on the Gipson Play Plaza Picnic Grove is expected to begin this summer, around the same time when Dix Park’s sunflower field is going to be in full bloom (save the date for mid-July and start working on your flower field poses!). 

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