And Off the Mowers Go to Winfrey Point

Categories: Preservation

arboretum-2_opt.jpg
Jay Barker
Protesters gathered at the point this morning.
While Jim's wife hosed out the dog house over his Arboretum screed this morning, lawyers for the Arboretum and the city were in court trying to get a judge to let them turn Winfrey Point into a temporary parking lot, to prepare for the crush of visitors for this weekend's Chihuly exhibit.

Now comes word that a truce has been called -- for the moment. I just got an email from the court saying that the two parties are preparing to put an agreement into the court record. The News is reporting that that agreement allows the city to mow the grasslands to make room for the parking the Arboretum needs. Whether a permanent parking structure will eventually go up will be the subject of future court hearings.

As the News reported this morning, protesters have been gathered in the area in question, waiting for the mowers to come. Little Forest Hills Neighborhood Association president Max Davis told me a couple of minutes ago that while the crowd has dwindled from this morning, they'll stick around to watch the city go to work.

"I think that folks are going to stay here. We've got pizza coming," he said, sounding deflated (about the impending mowing, not the pizza). "It's really more of a symbolic gesture to be here at this point. Just a show of support for the grasslands."

The lawsuit and the response from the city and the Arboretum are below.

Lawsuit Over Winfrey Point Parking

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Blb_sa
Blb_sa

The fight over Winfrey Point isfar from over. The latest documents discovered by Hal Barker leave a bad tastein our mouths, and reminds us of Mao Zedong’s slogan: "Man must conquerNature." Read the latest here, and browse the new documentation justreleased: http://white-rock-lake.blogspo... 

Mervis
Mervis

No joke on the picture yet? Anyone? Do I have to do the heavy lifting around here all the time?

Jeremy Adams
Jeremy Adams

May I also suggest that you visit the Facebook Page for the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens  and Like all the comments that admonish them for this travesty.

Paul
Paul

 How about a link?

nreg71
nreg71

It's VERY ironic (and telling)  that the city had the DPD at Winfrey Point just this last weekend giving tickets to cars parked on the grass. I know this for a fact b/c my son plays t-ball at the fields located at Winfrey Point.

RTGolden
RTGolden

Very interesting that, not too long ago, The city council got in an uproar about cutting down trees on private land in order to create parking for a sorely needed grocery in S. Dallas.  Incidentally, that was the correct call, see what other options exist.

However the City, through the actions of the DA looks ever so foolish now.  Nature and its beauty is much too important to disturb so poor people can get food, but if it will turn a buck for those who already have it all, go for it.

I'm not even against occasional mowing and parking on the prairie.  The scientist who has been studying that patch since '98, and got the mowing and parking stopped in the first place, says occasional use for parking will have no lasting impact on the prairie.  However, continual parking (the chihuly exhibit lasts 6 months) will compact the soil, making it less absorbent and increasing runoff.  Not to mention leaks of oil and other damaging fluids from the automobiles and the general habit of people to trash parking lots.

http://lakehighlands.advocatem... 

Loren
Loren

I don't suppose the facts that the native North American prairies were burned to the ground by lightning-struck fires and compacted by regular migrations of dense herds of 50 million plus 1000-pound bison every year for tens of thousands of years with no negative impact on the native plants which had LONG SINCE EVOLVED TO THRIVE UNDER THOSE CONDITIONS have seeped down into your tiny, isolated urban proto-brains yet, have they?

So, until they do, then, hows about sharing some of the hallucinogenics everyone commenting here is obviously tucking into their cheek pouches?

Look! Over there! Something new and different! Hop on your little bikes and pedal like the world depended on it! Go! Go!

scottindallas
scottindallas

A cloven hoof  doesn't compact the soil like a car tire or even human foot will. 

I'm not all that worked up over this issue.  There is no native prairie there, just as all the Native Americans are dead.  The attempts to replant "native" species is not "preserving" anything, just as basket weaving, learned from anthropologists is not preserving of their culture.   That doesn't make these efforts pointless or bad, lets just not kid ourselves thinking this is some vestige of the great plains. 

Sacmankc135
Sacmankc135

All Native American's are dead????????????    You are a MORON!! Did your mother have any children that lived? Parents should be flogged for bringing an idiot as you into this world!

Sacmankc135
Sacmankc135

Scott, you believe that you have discovered what it means to be Indian and convey that "discovery" to others. You try to speak with authority about things which are Indian, but you understand so little about us that instead you offend Indians and "mislead" non-Indians. When nations meet,, sound judgement teaches that deference is appropriate. You and others tend to "communicate *about us* instead of *with us*!  With all your Universities, anthropologist's, (how would you feel if we dug up your grandparents to explain to the rest of the world we know more about them than you yourself, or family does? ) books written by whites, television programs produced by whites, movies etc. etc., you truly have not learned anything about what it means to be Indian!!!

Sacmankc135
Sacmankc135

Oh, I hope my family's Tepee doesn't leak tonight, hate to get this square plastic box with the white man's spirit's inside wet, it might short out. And then all I would have to rely on would be smoke signals. But wait ................the white man cares and feels our pain.............. for after all we are just DUMB INDIANS. We are only smart enough to make little pottery that the liberal man/woman can buy along side of the road and take home place on the shelf and tell their white friends "see we care and understand". As far as our heritage being of no use, please feel free to return to the lands your forefathers came from. Oh, life to cushy, cell phones, drive in food, drive in medical attention, drive in churches to make you feel worth living? And by the way; we are NOT Native American's, we are Tribal people, each from a great and glorious tribe. 

My apology's to the rest of you for my little outburst, please forgive me. 

Sacmankc135
Sacmankc135

Another BRAINLESS indoctrinated PBS liberal minded idiot heard from.

scottindallas
scottindallas

 yes, life on the reservation killed their culture.  The natives had completely forgotten how they made pottery, and all we have today is what anthropologists taught them.  Reservation life instantly made all their heritage of no use.  Culturally, they are all long gone.  That is unquestionably true for the USA.  I don't know what we owe their children, who are plenty.   But, the existence of a few survivors in no way indicates that the few who languish on small, remote reservations are inheritors of the same kind of nation of their forefathers, as the Anglos who effectively annihalated their "nations" over a century ago.

You should be exposed for the knee jerk, ignorant moron you are.  Though, you're doing a fine job as it is. 

Concrete is world class
Concrete is world class

They won't do so well when a multi-level parking garage is built.  Allowing parking is only the beginning of the end. The DA will do whatever it takes to build the garage, and will make sure the sycophants on the city council and park board fall in line. But we all know the automobile is more important than people especially in these parts.  In Dallas it's what being World Class" is all about.  Dallas' motto should be "Pave, baby pave!".

scottindallas
scottindallas

 I don't know why the Arboretum doesn't build a multilevel parking garage in their parking area.

RTGolden
RTGolden

I don't suppose it's seeped into your mouth-breathing, window-licking consciousness that less than 1% of the native blackland prairie has remained unturned by plow or development.  Can we not protect this one little patch?

This habitat, the blackland prairie, is one of the most endangered native eco-systems in the country.  The national grasslands aren't even virgin, they are reclaimed, and will never attain the ecological balance of the original habitat.  There are precious few acres of virgin blackland prairie habitat left and this is one of them.  As many of the people on this board can attest, I'm definitely not a tree-hugging, urban liberal.  I'm a free-market conservative.  As such, I believe this is one of those things we ought to CONSERVE,  and not liberate it from the shackles of its history.

scottindallas
scottindallas

 This is NOT Virgin grassland.  Not there.  That's been a park, a CCC camp, where SMU students lived.  Furthermore, the lake is not real, it buried a beautiful creek and valley. 

Paul
Paul

 The buffalo during their migrations would break up the crust that forms on prairie lands.  This would allow the rainfall to penetrate into the ground rather than running off.

footmeetazz
footmeetazz

And I suppose those 1000lb bison also leaked transmission, oil, radiator and gas fluids onto the prairie? 

comesfromfar
comesfromfar

Sounds like a fun picket line could be formed.  Do people really want to face a real protest when they go seek the peace of the flowers? 

2TX
2TX

Just got an email from 'savewinfreypoint' and they are headed out there now to protest in front of the mowers. They need more people to join in.

Sacmankc135
Sacmankc135

World Class Dallas? Dallas wouldn't make a pimple on a world class cities ASS (if it had an ass, as Dallas does)!!!! Born and raised here, and since 1975 this town been run by MORONS!!

RTGolden
RTGolden

And so, the eighth graders from St John's, after earning a grant to study the prairie remnant, and working to remove invasive plants, just get kicked in the ass?  I don't know if anyone else knew about it, but those students had planned to dead head Queen Anne's lace (one of the invasive plants) today.  By stripping the seed heads off the plants, they would be giving the native grasses and plants an advantage over the invasive.

Now, the mowers will widely scatter the invasive seeds and the car and foot traffic will help to press them into the soil.  The lesson to be learned by the kids: Don't bother trying to protect the environment or improving the community, as soon as people with more power or money have other plans, all your efforts will go for naught.

All this so tourons (another invasive species, even when its native, the crossbreeding of tourist and morons) can go to wander around amid non-native and chemically fortified plants, looking at glass sculptures.  I hope it hails all weekend.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Dallas doesn't have tourists, it has people stuck here on business.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Not to be argumentative, but I actually know people who live in Oklahoma who look forward to their spring break and summer vacations to Dallas.

It is totally pathetisad, but it is true...

Sammyt
Sammyt

How are things in Oklahoma, Plano Dave?

Anon
Anon

Your third paragraph is ridiculous. People who want to go see world renowned glass sculpture in a beautiful outdoor environment are a combination of tourists and morons? 

RTGolden
RTGolden

If it helps you at all, Anon, I class myself as such when I wander off to places for no other reason than to ogle the sights, spend money and pester the locals.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Unless you can incorporate "tard" into it, it's about as close as possible.

+2 points for RTGolden

RTGolden
RTGolden

Tartourons - almost sounds like a medieval horde. very apropo.

Paul
Paul

touromorotards?

Anon
Anon

Plano cornered the market on what Dallas is about to do to the environment... so what do we call people who live there?

MattL1
MattL1

Sounds about right to me.

Darrd2010
Darrd2010

What pisses me off about this situation is that like the gas drilling issue, the City Manager has been trying to fly this under the radar. A town hall meeting could have been held by Kadane listening to public input. It could have been put on the item agenda at council for public discussion before it got to this point. It took the residents to file an FOI to find out the plan to build a multi level garage at Winfrey. Can we talk about flow control, toll road, and what else is being done under the table without the publics knowledge. The City Manager is long past her retirement time and should retire as soon as possible. If she feels that her work is not done wrecking the city then perhaps some bravery from the council would initiate a call for her removal and replacement.Until one of them does that, we are in for more of the same.

Alfredo
Alfredo

It helps if you sue the right defendants.  Kadane is one of 15 on the counsel and has no legal ability to control Winfrey Point. My guess he is included because of the councils policy of deferring to the councilman in whose district the issue arises. The other two are acting on behalf of their organizations.  Missing were the City and the Arboretum.

You also have two different issues, the short term use for parking, but the bigger issue is using the land as a parking lot/garage. 

LDR4
LDR4

Mary Brinegar and Mayor Mike: PAVING THE WAY TO A "WORLD CLASS" DALLAS!

Heavy Metal Church Lady
Heavy Metal Church Lady

Civil disobedience is an option. People could lie down in the prairie grass and peaceful resist to stop the mowers. There would be arrests if people didn't move after being told to by law enforcement. 

The punishment would be minimum but it would stall the process and ramp up awareness. 

Wish I had faith that people would see this issue for what it is and would make the determination not to park there tomorrow, perhaps even boycotting the Arboretum all together.  I'm afraid it's going to take a couple of daring souls to make a resounding message.

G_David
G_David

And if not that, who's up for a gathering of folks to harass...er, I mean inform those using Winfrey Point as a parking lot just what unwitting douchebags they are?

MariaB
MariaB

I'm in. Where shall we meet? I'll bring a couple of yoga mats.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Gotta love the city not coming up w/ a proper solution..Another reason Dallas will never be considered a world-class city when it comes to their decisions..

ThatGuy
ThatGuy

Well, this is the second time this week that we have learned that cars are more important than people or nature in this F'd up city. 

Downtown Resident
Downtown Resident

The mayor himself is going to be driving one of the riding lawn mowers, steering with one hand and shoving a middle finger in the air for all the citizens of Dallas to see. 

Sacmankc135
Sacmankc135

He does not need to show the finger! We all already know the 'entire' IQ of the mayor, city council and managers in the depts. of the city of Dallas. I suppose he is reminding himself!!!

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

Mayor Mike or Private Citizen Mike?

Tom L
Tom L

 He doesn't know yet; he's waiting for an opinion from his lawyers.

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