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Master Plan

The Turtle Creek Association has, for over a quarter of a century, been a caring guardian of the Turtle Creek area. Its investments and efforts have ensured that this noted crown jewel of our City received an adequate measure of much-needed additional assistance. Notwithstanding these efforts, the need to be more holistic and comprehensive spurred the Association to take the next step, which was to commission a comprehensive study that resulted in a Master Plan for Turtle Creek.

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There are five areas of the Turtle Creek Corridor in which improvements are presently underway.

  1. First, the establishment and improvements planned for the Katy Trail and the connections proposed to the Turtle Creek Corridor parks.
  2. Next, there is the ongoing Lee Park development plan and renovation.
  3. Third, the City of Dallas in their needs assessment for Turtle Creek Corridor has approved the proposed plan and recommendations of the Halff Report, which highlights environmental issues in and around Turtle Creek.
  4. Fourth, the Reverchon Park development plan and renovation is underway.
  5. And finally, Dallas Theater Center and the City of Dallas have begun efforts on a development plan for Dean Park and the theater designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Notwithstanding these efforts, Turtle Creek Association saw a need for a Master Plan to serve as a framework to interlock the many plans into a holistic system of “whole”. Hoping for coordination, collaboration, and a centralized vision of the many parts, Turtle Creek Association has sought a balanced Master Plan for the Turtle Creek area: at once broad enough to encompass the various planned agendas, specific enough to establish a standard, and flexible enough to adapt to time and circumstance. Towards that end, Turtle Creek Association began a multi-stage process by initially commissioning a comprehensive study and conceptual plan of recommendations by Di Mambro & Associates in 2004; followed by obtaining community comment and input; resulting in the final edits and draft of the Turtle Creek Corridor Master Plan by Katherine Kosut, AIA, in 2009.

The Turtle Creek Corridor Master Plan assesses Turtle Creek's existing conditions, defines a coordinated integrated vision for the area, offers opportunities to create awareness, and allows for support of a comprehensive fund raising effort. The Turtle Creek Corridor Master Plan proposes a balanced “holistic” approach utilizing the latest technology and responsible ecology, yet is realistic, attainable and is rooted in community consensus.

The Turtle Creek Master Plan recommendations are organized into five categories:

  1. Waterway and floodplain improvements to restore the ecological balance.
  2. Urban design improvements to roadways; pathways; bridges; nodes and special places; urban furniture; and lighting.
  3. Landscape and vegetation improvements to reverse decay and establish biodiversity within the Turtle Creek Corridor through a variety of measures such as a reforestation and tree maintenance plan.
  4. Maintain and upgrade multi-functional open green spaces with the parks.
  5. Connecting transit options such as the trolley system to the Turtle Creek Corridor.

An implementation plan is also outlined. The Turtle Creek Corridor Master Plan is proposed to be developed over a twenty-five year period. Phasing is portrayed broadly since the goal is to establish a framework for future design and analysis in which a selection of consultants will develop specific proposals, and oversee the approval, bidding and construction process. Implementation also focuses on providing an institutional structure for the development of the parks. Finally, a broad-brush budget is presented, which sketches out the need for private fund raising and public grants for implementation of the plans.

In the end, the Turtle Creek Master Plan will establish a vision, define standards, and identify implementation projects for the protection and management of an irreplaceable resource. The hope is to continue to preserve a running creek and greenbelt of land; protect and restore a natural environment; and provide for an ecologically sensitive community that will be a continued source of pride and enjoyment. The Turtle Creek Corridor Master Plan will serve as the framework to ensure that the Turtle Creek Corridor continues to be one of the City of Dallas' crown jewels. The Turtle Creek Master Plan was adopted by the City of Dallas Park Board in December 2009.