A federal grant totaling $6.4 million was awarded to the city of Dallas Wednesday for the remaining planning, designing and engineering needed for a 12.9 mile stretch of the Five Mile Creek Greenbelt.

The greenbelt is being developed in partnership between Trust for Public Land and the city of Dallas.

“(Wednesday’s) announcement is a major milestone in Trust for Public Land’s effort to bring to life the 80-year old vision for the Five Mile Creek Greenbelt,” said Robert Kent, Texas State Director for Trust for Public Land. “We are grateful to Secretary Buttigieg and the U.S. Department of Transportation for their confidence in us to move this project forward.”

The trail system was originally devised by city planners in the 1940s and 1950s.

The greenbelt will follow many of the same ideas as the original 1954 Bartholomew Plan, which L.B. Houston, the Dallas Parks director at the time, believed would be “comparable to certain sections of Turtle Creek Parkway,” which connects 86 acres of parks and playgrounds.

When completed, the trail will span 17 miles through Oak Cliff and Southern Dallas, and will bring a trail or park within a 10-minute walk from home for more than 186,000 residents, according to Trust for Public Land.

Only 54% of residents in the Five Mile Creek area currently live within a 10-minute walk to the nearest green space, Trust for Public Land research finds. The number is far below the citywide average of 73%.

“Our community in Southern Dallas deserves to have access to high-quality parks, trails and greenspaces,” said Taylor Toynes, national board member for Trust for Public Land and co-founder and executive director of For Oak Cliff. “The Five Mile Creek Greenbelt will benefit our community and our youth, who have helped advocate for funding for the project.“

The grant was awarded through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant program. The “highly competitive” program was only awarded to the top 15% of this year’s applicants.

The grant brings the total amount of funding the greenbelt has secured to over $27 million.