When her neighbors would take pecans from her two prize-winning pecan trees that adorned her front yard, the late Irene H. Trigg-Myers would get upset.
Not because she wanted the nuts for herself, but because she wanted to greet her neighbors and be there to share her pecans with them. Her son, Kirk Myers, says that’s who his mom was.
“People would always come and get them,” Myers said of the pecans that filled their yard. “But, she wanted to be out there and greet them and have conversations with them. She didn’t like it if they didn’t knock on the door.”
Homemade pecan pies, pecan pralines and pecan ice cream filled Myers’ childhood.
After his mother’s death in 2018, Myers wanted to preserve her legacy by redesigning Kimble Park located in the Queen City neighborhood of South Dallas, renaming it to Irene H. Trigg-Myers Prosperity Park and planting a pecan tree in her honor.
“We wanted something that will be symbolic of giving back,” Myers said. “So, a pecan tree is typically associated with African American people and families, but aside from that, we know that it’s located in a family park. So the kids and the elderly can pick pecans together.”
The city of Dallas and Abounding Prosperity Inc., the nonprofit organization founded by Myers and his mother in 2005, partnered together to dedicate the park to Trigg-Myers and announced new design proposals on Wednesday, what would have been Trigg-Myers 80th birthday.
“Parks provide solace to us during challenging times,” Dallas County Judge Clay Lewis Jenkins said at the ribbon cutting ceremony. “It’s my honor here today to be with you to celebrate someone whose last work is uplifting others is being ratified in the naming of this park. May this space be a welcoming place for others as her light was a light to many.”
Trigg-Myers was a community activist who advocated for safe and affordable housing in the southern sector. She was a property manager who lobbied for low-income housing throughout Dallas County and served on the board of directors for the Dallas-Fort Worth Assisted Housing Management Association of North Texas.
In 2005, she co-founded Abounding Prosperity with her son to address health and socioeconomic inequalities in the Black community, especially for the LGBTQ. The nonprofit has resources for those struggling with substance abuse, mental health and HIV/AIDS.
“I said that I often shared my mother with the whole community,” Myers said. “She was warm. She was welcoming. And one of her sayings was to be firm, fair and friendly.”
The design team was TBG Partners, a Dallas-based architectural firm. The park will undergo a makeover sometime this year following design approval from the city. A dog park, a garden and a boardwalk overlook will be added to the park. There will also be a garden, named “Ladybug Garden,” and walking trails that mirror the ladybug motif at the park because Trigg-Myers’ nickname was “Ladybug.”
“We landed on the curvilinear forms basing off the form of the ladybug with the circles and making sure we had an extensive trail network because I know that was a big want – more circular trails for the community to use,” Allyson Caruso with TBG Partners said.
Paula Towery, 69, has been living in Park Manor, which borders what is now Irene H. Trigg-Myers Prosperity Park. Towery takes out her 12-year-old chihuahua, Emma, twice a day and says that she’s excited for the new greenspace.
“I hope for more fellowship in the neighborhood,” Towery said. “Especially for the kids, it’ll be somewhere safe for them to go.”