The Oak Lawn Park Conservancy creates and maintains formal, manicured spaces for peaceful public enjoyment as well as for public and private events. In 1995, the Dallas Tavern Guild, Oak Lawn Forum, the Oak Lawn Committee, Turtle Creek Association, and Dallas Southern Memorial Association formalized their coalition and created the Lee Park and Arlington Hall Conservancy, modeled after the Central Park Conservancy in New York.
The nonprofit Conservancy assumed responsibility for the renovation, development, and conservation of the historic Arlington Hall site and started by raising $3 million for the renovation. The plans were sensitive to the Texas Historical Landmark status and approved by the Dallas Landmark Commission. After completion of the Hall, the Conservancy turned its attention to the surrounding parklands. The current project is designed by Armstrong Berger and includes new features to the portions of the park contiguous to Arlington Hall. The Oak Lawn Park Conservancy is focused on thoughtfully developing and enhancing areas of the park so that people can more comfortably connect with nature and each other.
The Conservancy raises funds to provide the special attention required to preserve this Texas Historical Landmark and 20-acre park, home to 1,500 trees, almost four miles of path, and thousands of visitors each year. The annual budget for caring for the park and hall does not include city funds. Private donations, memberships, and events are responsible for the work it takes to keep both beautiful.
Each year more than 4,000 people gather in Oak Lawn Park for the Conservancy's Easter in the Park, an afternoon of festivities including The Conservancy Pooch Parade, live music, an Easter egg hunt, a special appearance from the Easter Bunny, and a variety of food trucks. A portion of sales from the food trucks are donated to The Conservancy. The Conservancy Pooch Parade meanders down Turtle Creek Boulevard, with winners selected by a panel of local celebrity judges. Registration is $10 in advance per costume entry, and day-of registration is $15.
By becoming a member of The Conservancy, you are helping to care for 20 acres of urban green space where the Turtle Creek Corridor, Uptown, and Oak Lawn come together. Members gain discounted access to fun events, a discount on the rental of Arlington Hall, and a complimentary ticket to a festive holiday party. Every membership is tax deductible as allowed by law.