DOROTHEA DIX PARK CONSERVANCY: Park Master Plan adoption process was inclusive and heard diverse voices

Posted February 6, 2019 5:00 a.m. EST
Updated February 6, 2019 3:13 p.m. EST

The master plan for Dorothea Dix Park calls for developing six primary areas with a mix of natural elements and amenities.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a letter sent this week by the Dorothea Dix Park Conservancy board of directors to Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarland and City Council members Corey Branch, David Cox, Kay Crowder, Stef Mendell, Russ Stephenson, Nicole Stewart and Richard Thompson.

Dear Mayor McFarlane and Council-Members Branch, Cox, Crowder, Mendell, Stephenson, Stewart, and Thompson,

I am pleased to share that the Board of Directors of the Conservancy has unanimously approved the following resolution:

Dorothea Dix Park Conservancy endorses the Master Plan for the Park and strongly urges the Raleigh City Council to adopt the Master Plan and to direct City staff to develop an implementation plan for Phase 1. 

Thank you for making this possible for our community. Dix Park is an unparalleled opportunity – and the City of Raleigh created that opportunity. Thank you for acquiring the Dorothea Dix Hospital property and launching the master planning process.

Congratulations on an engagement process that listened to the entire community. All voices have been heard and considered, resulting in a Master Plan that reflects our community’s diverse perspectives. City staff has led a remarkable community engagement process. This Master Plan is the result of more than 18 months of deep and broad engagement, with over 65,000 voices heard. City staff and the designers have done an impressive job of hearing and considering everyone’s perspectives, desires, and needs – resulting in a final Master Plan that is thoughtful, inclusive, and visionary.  The Conservancy is committed to celebrating and supporting the ongoing vigorous public process for the park, with Council approval throughout, ensuring the best interest of the entire community is realized in the Park… ensuring that Dix Park truly and always is “a park for everyone, built by everyone.”

The Conservancy has been thrilled to support the Master Planning process. We are happy to have provided over $4.6 million in funding/commitments to the City to-date, thanks to the generosity of hundreds of donors (with gifts ranging from $1 to $1 million).  And we are happy to continue to serve the City in its efforts to create a public space that will enrich our entire community’s quality of life.

Adoption of the Master Plan is critical.
It is critical to:

  • demonstrate the commitment of the City to the creation of the Dorothea Dix Park,
  • give the City Staff and design teams the ability to effectively proceed to the next phase of work on the Park,
  • enable the Conservancy’s to successfully fundraise from the private sector to help support the Park’s future design and creation.

The Council-appointed Master Plan Advisory Committee has unanimously endorsed the Plan and recommended that Council adopt it. So has the Master Plan Executive Committee. So has the Conservancy Board. So have leading educational,
civic, cultural, and business organizations.

And, of course, you’ve seen the enthusiasm of the tens of thousands of citizens who participated in the planning process and support moving forward with Dorothea Dix Park.

At your February 19 Council meeting, we urge you to unanimously adopt the Master Plan and direct City staff to develop an implementation plan for Phase 1. The community needs your strong leadership to move this project forward.

Yours most sincerely,
Jim Goodmon, Board Chair,
on behalf of the Board of Directors of Dorothea Dix Park Conservancy
Ann Goodnight – Board Vice Chair
Charles B. Neely, Jr. – Board Treasurer
Bill McNeal – Board Secretary

BOARD MEMBERS: Dhamian Blue; Lucy Bode; Jay Chaudhuri; Ashley Christensen; Jack Clayton; Zach Clayton; Janet Cowell; Tyler Craft; Paulette Dillard; Kate Dixon; Charman Driver; Dennis Edwards; David Fountain; Anne S. Franklin; Ed Fritsch; Susan Goodmon; Jim Hansen; Marjorie Hodges; Olivia Holding; Terrence Holt; Myrick Howard; Russ Jones; Willa Kane; Wayne Maiorano; Sean Malone; James Maynard; Assad Meymandi; Carlton Midyette; Siobhan Millen; Bill Padgett; ​​​​​​
Joyce Pope; Orage Quarles III; Lee Roberts; Bill Ross; O. Temple Sloan Jr.; Jay Spain; Kari Stoltz; Matt Tomasulo; Steve Troxler; David Weaver; Jim Whitehurst; Blount Williams; Carter Worthy

NOTE: Dix Conservancy Board Chairman Jim Goodmon is chairman of the board and CEO of Capitol Broadcasting Company.

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