Planning & Urban Design

​Direct Design Projects

​Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center

​The water conservation and landscape beautification of the Martin Luther King Jr., Community Center (MLK Center) brings those together building on prior efforts started in 2014 by the Office of Economic Development, Parks and Recreation, and the Office of Community Care-Human Services.

The landscape beautification project is an opportunity to provide a highly visible landscape environment that is engaging, welcoming and ‘demonstrative’ of sustainable best practices in design, by utilizing water-wise plant selections.  It creates a more inviting and welcoming environment that continues to honor the mission of the MLK Center - Dr. King’s legacy.

The landscape design includes, 103 new trees, over 2150 native plants and over 30 tons of stone. It also includes new walking pathways throughout the campus, retention basins to capture and re-use storm water. The number of trees around the amphitheater has been increased allowing for additional gathering spaces. 
History & Introduction

The Martin Luther King Community Center is part of the division of the City of Dallas Office of Community Care-Human Services Division; where over 300,000 Dallas citizens receive services annually. The Center is located on 10.5 acres and is comprised of five separate buildings. Each facility offers a variety of services. This allows each facility to function independently; however, collectively they provide a comprehensive service delivery system. This unique method allows the citizens of Dallas to come to one location to meet their needs, ranging from health and medical, childcare and family counseling to edu-cational needs and leisure activity.
Concept Statement

 In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, the landscape plan focuses on sustainable best practices in design, demonstrating how native plants and rain harvesting are very ‘resourceful’ measures - in a similar way to the ‘resourceful mission’ of this community center.  

When the rain falls, it does not discriminate where it falls or who it falls on, what we do with the water is our choice. We can either drain it, direct it, purify it and then pump it back to the landscape or we can simply capture it and irrigate our trees, grasses and shrubs.

If we harvest rain water from above and direct it to our gardens, then we are utilizing a life-giving resource.  For the MLK Community Center, it’s all about utilizing our resources. The goal of this landscape, is to translate that mission for both inside and outside our buildings. 

Timeline                                         2015 to 2018
Project Impact                           Direct Design, Public Outreach, Advisory Services, Project Management
Funding Award Amount     $300,000 City Leadership Grant Program
Funding Source                         Dallas Water Utilites

For more information, see the Conceptual Plan and the Community Outreach Summary.