The Dallas Parks Foundation Thursday night held its second annual CONFAB symposium, a conversation about growing our city’s green space. Speakers discussed new ways to connect public spaces, reversing old car-centric trends to create an environment with a true human element.

“Nobody gets inspiration from sitting in rush-hour traffic,” said Robbie Good of Bridge Studios during his presentation on ArtsLink, a vision for building on the success of Klyde Warren Park elsewhere. Of course automobiles have a place in urban design, but “cars shouldn’t domination opportunities for private investment and economic development.”

Dallas has a long way to go, as evidenced by our falling ParkScore — all the more reason to be having these conversations.

Other topics of the evening included the city’s award-winning park pavilion program (case in point: College Park, featured in Dwell magazine last year); an update on the master plan for Downtown with four more parks planned for the future; a Trinity corridor report in which Gail Thomas of The Trinity Trust looked at ways the city can make the most of its 10,000 acres of forest, noting, “The future of our city is the Trinity River.”; and finally, Dallas park and recreation director Willis Winters gave a “state of the parks” address, announcing the city’s quest to achieve national accreditation to join an elite 1 percent of park departments in the country.

The highlight of the night — at least for our neighborhood — was Lake Cliff Park’s big win. The park received a $10,000 grant to install nine holes for its proposed disc golf course. CONFAB attendees voted for Lake Cliff, one of three park projects up for the prize (the others were the Stone Tables restoration at White Rock Lake and the Moss Glen Park initiative in Far North Dallas).

It’s a small contribution that will make a big difference for Oak Cliff. And that’s what it takes to move these other visionary ideas forward, says Samuel Stiles, director of development for the Dallas Parks Foundation and emcee for the event. We can’t rely completely on city funding.

To learn more about the topics discussed at CONFAB and find out how to get involved, contact the Dallas Parks Foundation.