The mission of Groundwork Dallas is to regenerate, sustain, and improve the Dallas Elm Fork Greenbelt and Great Trinity Forest by developing community-based partnerships that educate and empower people, businesses, and organizations to promote environmental stewardship. Everyone deserves a green, healthy, and resilient environment.
Groundwork Dallas is the foremost champion of Dallas’ urban wilderness. We do many things to accomplish our mission: educate, equip, and train young conservation leaders between the ages of 14 and 25, provide urban wilderness access to the public, remove litter and debris from parks and natural areas, and create community recreation areas and green spaces in Dallas’ Elm Fork, Trinity Green Belt, and Great Trinity Forest. We build community awareness of these places and encourage appreciation and better stewardship of these sites while working to preserve and restore them. A thriving urban forest is essential to maintaining healthy air and water quality in our communities and our region. We work with area residents and city officials to promote a safer, cleaner, and healthier environment while also engaging in community building through volunteerism, green space development, and education of underserved, urban youth.
Groundwork Dallas was started in 2004 by a group of dedicated individuals who believed that Dallas’ urban green spaces deserved to be restored and protected for future generations. We are part of the Groundwork USA network of trusts who focus on connecting communities, businesses, and local governments in implementing practices and policies to keep natural areas within cities safe from negative human impacts. Trusts focus on locally relevant issues ranging from Equity and Inclusion, Healthy Communities, Transforming Brownfields, and Urban Waters. All of the trusts have a particular focus on Youth Development.
There are twenty trusts nationally, and Groundwork Dallas is the only one based in Texas. From humble beginnings, our trust has grown to become a well-known community organization.
Some of our earliest successes include building a 1.4-mile section of the Bois d’arc soft-surface trail in 2008, removing 5,000 tires from the Great Trinity Forest in 2010, and growing our Green Team engagement from 13 to 165 between 2015 and 2018. In 2017 and 2018, we removed over 130,000lbs of trash, tires, and debris from the Elm Fork and Great Trinity Forest.