DALLAS — Fair Park First has teamed up with local and statewide dignitaries as they kick-off fundraising efforts to revitalize Fair Park, a National Historic Landmark in South Dallas.

The non-profit organization has called in former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush as honorary chairs to help raise $85 million for park improvements.

What You Need To Know

  • Fair Park First has kicked off its fundraising efforts to redevelop Fair Park over the next 10 to 15 years

  • Former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush have been named honorary chairs of the project 

  • The City of Dallas unanimously approved the master plan for the 277-acre area back in October

Besides the Bushes, former mayor and ambassador Ron Kirk and his wife, Matrice Ellis-Kirk as well as Jim Keyes and Margo Ramirez Keyes will serve as unity co-chairs. Each will help in managing the campaign. This month, Fair Park First plans to launch its community meetings to allow residents to offer input and feedback regarding the ongoing project.  

Dubbed “Fair Park, Your Park” the monies raised from the fundraiser will go toward making the destination a year-round attraction not only to residents but also visitors.

In October, the Dallas City Council unanimously approved a master plan for the 277 acres that include transforming by adding more green spaces. It’s expected to include a biking and walking trail, a children’s area, and a pavilion that will host outdoor gatherings such as fitness classes and outdoor movies.

To try to right the wrongs of the past, the redevelopment will also include a 14-acre community park connecting Fair Park with a South Dallas neighborhood that was paved over in the 1960s by both the City of Dallas and the State Fair of Texas.

Spectrum News 1 reached out to Fair Park First for comment but did not get a response prior to publication. During a Rotary Club of Dallas luncheon, Executive Director of Fair Park First, Brian Luallen, said it was the organization’s mission to put “park” back in Fair Park.

The work on the project will take place over the next 10 to 15 years.