Big D to show off Klyde Warren Park, Dallas Arboretum

by Yvette Walker Published: October 26, 2012

So, how big is it? At 5.2 acres, it certainly would fit inside the 17-acre Myriad Gardens here in OKC. But the idea of a green haven over an existing freeway screams urban downtown in a big way. Skyscrapers literally surround the park. Plans include a performance stage, restaurant, shaded walking paths, a dog park, a children's garden, great lawn, water features, an area for games and much more.

By the numberss

The Great Lawn can comfortably hold approximately 2,000 to 2,500 people seated.

The capacity of the children's park is approximately 100 children.

Maximum capacity of Klyde Warren Park is 10,000.

And it's green, too. More than 300 new trees will act as a natural bio-filter and reduce stormwater runoff and mitigate urban heat. The park's irrigation system will be mostly below surface to control water irrigation use and save an average of over 300,000 gallons per year (as compared to a conventional overhead spray system). Klyde Warren Park will have solar panels on the light poles and a high-efficiency lighting management system.

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Chihuly days and nights

Placing priceless Chihuly glass outside in the garden? It's a chilling thought, especially after Dallas' hailstorm in June. But the Dallas Arboretum is doing just that now through Nov. 5. The intriguing garden sculptures of legendary glass artist Dale Chihuly bring bold colors and imagination to more than 15 locations throughout the arboretum's 66-acres.

Colorful round balls sit on grass, curly, corkscrew glass tendrils extend into the air, glass lily pads float on water.

Chihuly's work is seen in more than 200 museums and other venues around the world, including in the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. His designs are inspired by nature, so the garden exhibition is a perfect installation. It is being shown for the first time in the five-state region (Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and New Mexico).

The exhibit is on view day and night, but the effect changes significantly. During the day, visitors can tour the arboretum and see the sculptures and installations. But Wednesday and Thursday nights, the gardens and the glass are lit with colorful lights, turning the exhibit into a fantasyland with extended garden hours until 10 p.m. On Thursdays, the arboretum adds music to the mix, with bands and classical combos playing under the stars.

Fans can have dinner there as well, with several dining options.

Because Dallas and Oklahoma City residents know too well what happens to glass in a storm, the question has to be asked: What will happen in the event of inclement weather?

From the arboretum's website: Chihuly exhibitions have been up during all sorts of weather conditions throughout the years in various parts of the country. Over the years, the exhibits have faced everything from heavy rains to wind, hail, snow and even a hurricane. While the artwork is well secured during installation and quite sturdy, it is glass and can break with a good amount of force. Should any damage from inclement weather occur, the Studio will immediately work with the arboretum to replace any damaged artwork.

Accommodations were provided by Dallas Marriott City Center.

by Yvette Walker
Night News and Presentation Director
Yvette Walker is Director of Presentation and Custom Publishing at The Oklahoman. She supervises the look and feel of the paper, as well as coordinates content in several special sections and niche publications. Previously, she managed online...
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