How to Get Involved With the MLK Food Park Project

Mar 24, 2021 | TREC Community Investors, TREC News

This spring, TREC is teaming up with the Better Block Foundation and our Dallas Catalyst Project community partners to fight food insecurity in the Forest District. Open on Friday evenings (6-8 p.m.) and Saturday and Sunday afternoons (11 a.m.-2:00 p.m.) from Friday, April 9, to Sunday, May 2, the MLK Food Park will feature 60-plus local food vendors, businesses, and musicians focused on furthering the conversation around permitting more affordable, rapidly deployable food options within our city.
This temporary placemaking installation is intended to provide much needed community space for Forest District residents, create a pop-up “incubator” for South and Southern Dallas culinary entrepreneurs, and serve as a testing ground for Dallas policy change addressing low barrier, mobile food vending options.
We are encouraging our members and their friends and family to visit the park (masks are required for all attendees), but we need all the help we can get to bring it to life. There are several volunteer opportunities available on the MLK Food Park website that begin on Monday, March 29. TREC members signing up for a volunteer opportunity are asked to enter ‘TREC’ in the ‘My Comment’ box when registering. Volunteers should also wear clothing they don’t mind getting dirty during their shift(s).
Volunteers are being asked to do the following:

  • Site Cleanup: Volunteers will help prepare the site for the MLK Food Park. Tasks include cleaning up trash and unloading building materials. Better Block will provide trash bags and trash pickers.
  • Construction and Gardening: Volunteers will assist the Better Block team in constructing the park, including the seating area, a system of storefronts, a children’s play area, a kite awning, gardening beds, and lighting. Most building tools and materials will be provided, but volunteers are asked to bring impact drivers/drills, levels, ladders, and gloves, as needed.
  • Carpentry and Furniture Assembly: Projects include the assembly of modern pergola systems, storefronts, outdoor furniture, kites, sail shades, and more. Volunteers are asked to bring drills, drivers, ratchet sets, and A-Frame ladders if they have them.
  • Vendor Setup: Volunteers will help vendors set up their stations and put the finishing touches on the park.
  • Park Maintenance: Help count participants, keep area clean, assist with performers, answer questions, help with vendor load in/load out, and keep the fun going!
  • Park Tear Down and Item Distribution: Help us pack away and tear down the MLK Food Park. Many of the items will be returned to their owners, given to a new owner, or thrown away.

Better Block has also planned two volunteer events specifically for TREC members:

  • Community Garden Construction (Wednesday, March 31, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.): Volunteers will assemble garden beds, fill with soil, plant vegetables and annuals, and water. If you have them, please bring gloves, shovels, and wheelbarrows.
  • Light Carpentry and Furniture Assembly (Monday, April 5, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.): Volunteers will assemble furniture, kites, and sail shades, among other projects. Please bring drills, drivers, ratchet sets, and A-Frame ladders if you have them.