(March 23, 2021) — Dallas-based regional nonprofit leader Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT) has announced today that Dr. Scott Stewart, the former executive director of the Millennium Park Foundation in Chicago, Illinois, has been named the executive director of the planned programmed community park that will be located within Frisco’s HALL Park development. Currently under construction, the 5.7-acre programmed park will be owned by the City of Frisco and managed and operated by CFT upon its expected completion in fall 2023.
"I am truly honored to work alongside this dedicated team as we develop the Frisco community park as a new arts, culture, and recreational destination for every member of this vibrant, growing community,” said Dr. Stewart.
“We are excited to welcome Dr. Stewart to the Frisco team,” said Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney. “His hire is a big win for the planned park and the City of Frisco, given Dr. Stewart’s expertise and impressive experience. We’re looking forward to his programming plans for the community park which, we believe, will be enjoyed by residents and visitors, alike. This park will be a gem in our park system and we can’t wait to discover all the creative possibilities.”
Starting his new role as executive director on April 1, Dr. Stewart will oversee the fiscal management, fundraising, donor relations, daily operations, special events and year-round programming of the Frisco park. During his time as executive director of Chicago’s Millennium Park, Stewart was responsible for managing the park’s $10 million annual budget and, with board support, was responsible for nearly $20 million in major gift fundraising and grant awards, as well as over $2 million in annual appeal donations, since 2016. Prior to his tenure as executive director of Millennium Park, Dr. Stewart served as the director of Millennium Park’s Lurie Garden and previously, the manager of the Oak Park Conservatory in Oak Park, Illinois.
“Communities Foundation of Texas envisions that this inclusive community park will be a building block towards a thriving community for all, serving as an engaging gathering place for North Texas residents and visitors, especially our communities in Frisco,” said Dave Scullin, president and CEO for Communities Foundation of Texas. “Dr. Stewart is the right leader with passion, deep experience, and expertise to make this park a destination for all to enjoy. We welcome his family to North Texas.”
“Scott’s experience in managing major urban public parks will be a huge asset,” said Craig Hall, founder and chairman of HALL Group. “The Frisco community and all of North Texas will greatly benefit from his leadership.”
Designed by OJB Landscape Architecture, the firm behind Dallas’ Klyde Warren Park, the community park will draw people into nature with a variety of activities that encourage overall wellbeing such as jogging trails and pickleball courts, as well as a collection of permanent and rotating art pieces. Park plans include an 18,000-square-foot children’s park, a 6,500-square-foot dog park, event lawn, performance pavilion, a proposed 40-by-80-foot entertainment screen, multiple technology terraces, interactive water features and a rain garden. Serving as a permanent piece in the park’s art collection is a captivating installation titled Butterfly Rest Stop, from world-renowned American sculptor and fiber artist Janet Echelman. Future development plans also include a performing arts center at the terminus of the park, the result of a public-private partnership between HALL Group, the City of Frisco and Frisco ISD.