A Park for Everyone, Built by Everyone
This community has an extraordinary opportunity. The chance to create a new public space of this size in the heart of a city is remarkable – and simply unparalleled in the United States. This is especially true with land of such beauty, history, and potential: rich and varied landscapes, dramatic hills and old growth oaks, historic buildings, beautiful prairies and rolling fields, iconic skyline views – all in a bucolic, campus-like setting.
For thousands of years, Indigenous people crossed this land hunting, gathering, and potentially cultivating the site for sustenance. For 150 years this land was part of the Spring Hill Plantation, worked by enslaved African Americans. For the next 160 years it was the site of North Carolina's first mental health facility, Dorothea Dix Hospital – including the past decade as the headquarters for North Carolina DHHS. This rich and complex history prompted the City of Raleigh to have Dix Park become a member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, a global network of historic sites, museums and initiatives that strive to turn memory into action in ways that let us draw on the past to paint a better future.
If we rise to this opportunity, Dorothea Dix Park will have a unique ability to bring us together. By honoring the park's history we can build together a unique place of belonging for all individuals and families, for all communities, economic levels, backgrounds, and interests. The benefits of a great urban park are profound – improvements to physical, mental and emotional health; community health (safety, cohesiveness, empathy, civic pride, belonging); health of our environment, and much more. The park will transform individual lives and will be essential to ensuring a livable and sustainable region for generations to come.
Be a part of creating Dorothea Dix Park as a place for everyone – a transformative public space for community, wellness, play, celebration and resilience that will enrich our quality of life in North Carolina.
The most important parks and public spaces in America are rely on public-private partnerships to make them vibrant and successful. The effort to create Dorothea Dix Park is one of those best-practice public-private partnerships – between the City of Raleigh and Dix Park Conservancy. The City of Raleigh owns and operates Dorothea Dix Park. The Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that exists to support the City in its efforts, serve as its philanthropic partner, and help ensure the creation and long-term success of Dorothea Dix Park.
City of Raleigh
Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department
The department strives to connect and enrich our community through exceptional experiences. The City of Raleigh owns and operates Dorothea Dix Park, under the leadership of the Raleigh Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Director, Stephen Bentley. The day-to-day planning, programming and operations of the park are conducted by the Dix Park team.
Planning & Operations
Kate Pearce – Planning Supervisor
Dean Perry – Senior Planner
Jenni King – Planning & Communications Coordinator
Sarah DeSpain – Facility Coordinator
Kayla Forgrave – Outdoor Event Coordinator
Charles Craig – Natural Resources and Parks Senior Supervisor
Ryan Lerch – Natural Resources and Parks Superintendent
Brett Kiger – Natural Resources and Parks Crew Supervisor
Jonathan Allen – Maintenance Technician, Senior
Charles Hill – Maintenance Technician
Edward Rogerson – Maintenance Technician
Dix Park Conservancy
Make It All Possible
Now is the time to honor Dix Park’s extraordinary history and celebrate its promising future. A park for everyone, built by everyone. We need your voice, energy, talent, and donations to make Dix Park North Carolina’s great signature, urban park. Help make it happen!