To understand just how badly City Hall has bungled its stewardship of the section of the Great Trinity Forest sandwiched between the Trinity Forest Golf Course and the Texas Horse Park, you can visit the delicate wetland pond the city illegally let a contractor drain last month for "dust control." From there, you can follow the broad, freshly-blazed dirt road the contractor plowed through a half mile of previously untrammeled forest to where dozens of acres of formerly virgin post-oak savannah have been clear-cut and strip-mined to provide fill for the golf course. You can watch the excavators indifferently scooping sand from an already-gaping pit to feed the lumbering parade of dump trucks shuttling industriously to and from the golf course, and you can turn around and be confronted by the remnants of several hundred mature trees, which have been mulched and piled into towering heaps that bear a resemblance, possibly imagined, to an extended middle finger.
Eric Nicholson Trinity Watershed Management Director Liz Fernandez (blue hardhat) and her executive staff survey damage to the pond a contractor drained last month.
Of you can just talk to Ben Sandifer.
Sandifer, a genial, middle-aged accountant, is perhaps the city's most tireless advocate of the Great Trinity Forest. Disarmingly tall and, when he's not at work, typically clad in Carhart overalls, he has spent years obsessively exploring Dallas' wilderness, chronicling his adventures on the Dallas Trinity Trails blog. His excursions have made him an ardent preservationist, but he is always careful to stay behind the scenes, letting fellow Trinity advocates thrust themselves into the public eye when disputes with the city arise .More »