Dix Park Conservancy

Back when Dix Park was just an idea, a small group of influential leaders in Raleigh invited CapDev to talk about funding possibilities and philanthropic support.

This group of dreamers, led by the late J. Gregory Poole Jr., called themselves the Dix Visionaries, and they set out to preserve the former Dorothea Dix property as a sort of “central park for the citizens of Raleigh and the state,” as they put it then.

CapDev CEO, Allan Burrows, first met with the group in 2008 to begin discussions on fundraising guidance and private funding preparations as negotiations were initiated with the City of Raleigh.

In 2015, Dix Park Conservancy issued a RFP to conduct a feasibility study and CapDev was selected as counsel. Campaign planning began in 2016 with now retired CapDev Senior Counsel Betsy Bennett as the primary counsel from CapDev. in 2017, CapDev conducted the executive search that brought the organization its first staff leader. We later conducted the search for the current CEO, Janet Cowell, former State Treasurer.

As Poole’s health declined and since his death, leaders such as Orage Quarles and Jim Goodmon have carried on the mantle to make Dix Park Conservancy a reality. They are now led by an exceptionally strong Board of Directors. In recognition of Greg Poole’s leading vision for the campaign, the Greg Poole Jr. All Faiths Chapel on the Dix campus was named in his memory.

Dix Park is now a thriving hub of activity with an ongoing major campaign garnering both public and private support. Last summer a $10 million gift from Tom and Pat Gipson was announced, naming the Gipson Play Plaza.

The campaign, which has a long-term goal of $75 million, now stands at $67 million, and continues to attract attention in Raleigh and far beyond as people enjoy this blossoming park land every day.