It sounds surprising, but until recently, Dallas, a city with a population of over 1.2 million, had no true city center. Sure, there was always the downtown area, but technically, the heart of Dallas was divided by a major highway that separated uptown from downtown. This lack did not go unnoticed by locals, so when the brand new Klyde Warren Park came into existence, a celebration was in order.

In October of 2022, the urban park was officially inaugurated. The dog-friendly, accessible, 5.2 urban oasis was created with quality of life in mind. It’s open daily from 6AM to 11 PM, and boasts full-time, public safety officers and security lighting after dark as well as architectural lighting.

Klyde Warren Park was named for the son of one of Dallas’ most generous benefactors, Mr. Kelcy Warren. Just ten years old now, Klyde Warren must commit to one day a month of cleaning the park if he is to inherit his father’s vast fortune, according to the senior Mr. Warren. Of course, few were surprised by Kelcy Warren’s statement during the inauguration. It goes parallel with his ethos, both in his personal life and in business.

Kelcy Warren, now an ultra-wealthy businessman and philanthropist, came from modest circumstances. Born and raised in Texas, Warren’s father was a ditch digger and his mother was a retail clerk. A true product of a hard work ethic and good family values, Kelly Warren worked hard at school and in everything he pursued, both to make his family proud and to demonstrate his beliefs and values. He went on to co-found Energy Transfer, where he remains Chairman and CEO. These are values that he is obviously passing on to his son, Klyde.

Dallas’ fortunate enclave of philanthropists includes others as well, who have come together in the style of the Medicis of the Italian Renaissance. The group of Dallas families have made a commitment to helping, not the “less fortunate,” but simply, “others.” A perfect example is the Kylde Warren Park. It’s open and accessible to everyone, a place where residents from all over Dallas can come and enjoy being outside, in nature and in a social environment.

Other members of the philanthropic community in Dallas include, but are not limited to Ray Hunt, who donated land for what is now The George W. Bush Presidential Library. Hunt is the head of a worldwide petroleum company. Margaret McDermott is considered the “Queen Mother” of philanthropy in Texas and partially funded the new bridge that crosses the Trinity River. In fact, most of the cultural institutions in Dallas only exist thanks to the philanthropy of this Dallas group of generous individuals, including the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Museum of Art and more. And those in this group ask for nothing more than for the residents and visitors of Dallas to enjoy them. The requisite mindset, as Ray Hunt tells it, is that in order to belong to the philanthropic community, there must be a personal commitment, and not just a financial commitment.

This is a requirement that Kelcy Warren certainly fulfills and it’s evident that he wants the same for his son. The Klyde Warren Park, like so many other Dallas amenities funded by generous leaders in the community, serves as a reminder that money can be used for good when it’s in the right hands.

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By Manali