August Newsletter

"One benefit of Summer was that each day has more light to read by." — Jeanette Wells


THE ESSENTIALS...


Exercise your Body and your Brain!

This Saturday is plogging in the park, join us in cleaning up plastics around the trail. Remember to keep your social distance, easily done if you pick up trash away from the trail! Also, don't forget that Neighbors in the Know is next Monday and Dallas Water Utilities will be giving us updates on the Bachman Lake Dam Reconstruction, the plan for dredging Bachman Lake, and the status of the water quality testing they have been doing since January of this year. Whew! If you missed the July update from the Parks Department, you can always watch it at your leisure from our website or our Facebook page.


Make a Difference in a Kids’ Life

Whether in-person or virtual, our kids will need school supplies. The economic challenges from COVID-19, have created an even greater need with families and students In our area. Help us make a difference and support the efforts of Bachman Lake Together and Joe for DISD. You can drop off or mail school supplies, whatever is most convenient.

Bachman Lake Together: 9507 Overlake Dr, Dallas TX 75220

Joe for DISD: 3150 Kendale Dr, Dallas TX 75220


Thank You REI!

A big thank you to REI for their $5,000 grant to be used towards the construction of the nature trails in the Bachman greenbelt.


Siren testing

A friendly reminder that at noon on the first Wednesday of every month, the tornado sirens are tested by the City of Dallas. The siren that was damaged in the October tornado (#25) was put back into action in April, which may be why the siren test is a little louder these days!


Where Is X?

We get lots of questions on where to find information from the city, so our very good friend, Michael Cintron, made updates to the website to not only add a document library but also a search function. Transparency of information is what it is all about!


***Please continue to share our newsletter with your neighbors and friends!***

AND A LITTLE MORE!


The CoG in the Machinery of Progress


Photo by Steven Arenas from Pexels

Good things are coming for pedestrians and cyclists along Northwest Highway and it has taken multiple meetings of many minds to make this happen. Friends of Bachman Lake (FoBL) has been instrumental in enlightening governmental groups about the need to turn this important but blighted thoroughfare into a source of civic pride. Northwest Highway is unsafe. Northwest Highway is ugly. Northwest Highway keeps communities isolated from each other and Bachman Lake Park.


In addition to letters over the past year, FoBL sponsored a session in February at the Bachman Lake Library to give the community the opportunity to provide personal stories about the dangers faced by pedestrians and cyclists in Northwest Dallas. This is after all one of the areas mentioned in the City’s Vision Zero analysis as being in the top 3 for deaths and injuries. In that meeting, Councilmember Omar Narvaez (District 6) committed to engage NCTCoG to work toward a solution. The good news is that NCTCoG or “CoG” as we like to call them, heard our message. CoG enables cities and municipalities around North Texas to use their collective powers to plan, fund and implement transportation improvements throughout the region.


The COVID-19 pandemic slowed some of the activity but in June, Mr. Narvaez was able to gather FoBL, Representative Anchia and Representative Turner to meet (virtually) with CoG.  Prior to the meeting CoG was presented with all previous bond requests for the area and a summary of the existing situation with Northwest Highway and how it counters efforts like Vision Zero (which aims for zero accidents), mitigating the Heat Index, and how kids and seniors have no safe access to Bachman Lake Park. Northwest Highway was described as a “barrier to the City.”  CoG was not only impressed by the level of information collected by the community but also by the proposals to address the issues. In fact, they committed to securing funds and will ensure that there is consistency across programs associated with Northwest Highway and Harry Hines. CoG wants quick wins that will make an immediate difference to the community.


A follow-up meeting was held in July and a request for funding is expected to be approved by the end of August. In that meeting, Michael Morris, NCTCoG Director of Transportation, stressed that re-envisioning the area along Northwest Highway in a post-COVID world must be “a bottoms-up” approach. The changes could include the creation of pedestrian and cycling lanes, adding trees, slowing down traffic and adding safe crossings. The concept of more-lanes-for-more-cars needs to shift. In an interesting twist, Mr. Morris also insisted that the Department of Aviation’s alternate entry analysis fall under this program, to protect the concept of ‘community first’.  It was good to hear Mr Deubner, Director of Aviation, acknowledge the directive from CoG the following week.


To kick-off the effort and engage directly with all neighbors, Friends of Bachman Lake and the Bachman Northwest Highway Community Association have invited NTCoG to present at the September 14th Neighbors in the Know live session, so make sure to save the date on your calendars and be part of the evolution of Northwest Dallas.



Cool Schools Community Parks


Texas Trees Foundation, Trust for Public Lands, Dallas Parks and Recreation, and DISD have partnered on a national campaign to ensure that everyone has safe, easy access to a quality park within a 10-minute walk. In Dallas, this will be done by allowing residents to use schoolyards as park space after hours and weekends. In our overall area, Gooch Elementary and Burnet Elementary will be getting parks by 4th quarter of this year! The following activities will be happening over the next several months:

  • Park design developed through participatory process with input from students, faculty, parents, and nearby residents

  • Texas Trees implements their “Cool Schools” curriculum at each campus

  • School and neighborhood invited to events, including tree plantings, “pop-up” park days, groundbreaking, and grand opening celebration

  • “Campus Green Team” established to provide volunteer care of new park

The community input (virtual) meetings for the park at Burnet Elementary were held on Tuesday, July 28th (English) and Wednesday, July 29th (Spanish).


For more information about the list of 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 Cool Schools, go to the Dallas City Hall website. To learn more about and engage with the Burnet Elementary park team, you can visit the Community Engagement Page and also follow the action on Facebook.



A Path to Nature


On August 4th, a community input meeting about the Bachman Greenbelt nature trails was held with neighbors in Shorecrest, Cochran Chapel and Bluffview. This meeting was the last step needed to secure the $40,000 match from the City of Dallas. Friends of Bachman Lake has been leading the way on this area improvement due to safety/security concerns about the homeless encampment on the north side of Bachman Creek. This area is very much impassible which has made it a protected enclave for illegal camping. In addition to building the trails, the scope of the project will include cleaning out the homeless encampment, adding emergency trail signs, trash cans and interpretive signage. We think the interpretive signage will be a great way to explain nature facts about what visitors can find in this little jewel.


There will be two trail loops, each about a mile long, on either side of the creek. The construction of the trails will commence at the end of October, once poison ivy starts to die back, and is expected to take between 14 to 28 weeks. We're very excited to be working with Groundwork Dallas on this effort.


A special thanks to all community members that participated in the meeting. Below are some of the questions and answers received during the session:

  • Will there be lighting? The consensus was that lighting would negatively impact wildlife, so no.

  • Where will there be parking? For the north loop, parking will be at the QT Trailhead at Lemmon Ave. There will be 18 parking spots there. For the south loop, parking will be along Shorecrest, as it is today.

  • Will the north and south loops be connected? Not within the greenbelt itself. Instead, we would look to leverage the two spans that currently cross over the creek/lake, namely at Lemmon Ave or the Webb Chapel Bridge.

You can find a copy of the presentation and a recording of the meeting on the Friends of Bachman Lake website. Just look under the Library tab for the presentation and the Video tab for the video!

EVENTS


Our monthly plogging event is every 2nd Saturday of the month from 6-7ish (or whatever time your coffee or daylight hours kick in). Bring one of those plastic bags we all have around the house and put it to good use. Walk the path or meander off of it and pick up trash. It’s great for the hamstrings! Give a shout-out to anyone you see walking around the lake with a plastic bag - they are clearly FoBLers!



Every second Monday of the month we are hosting a multi-neighborhood virtual meeting to review the major projects that affect our area (think skate park, dredging, nature trails and of course the north entrance). Join us on FB Live from the comfort of your own home, ask questions and engage with City leaders!



Join us at our monthly ‘meeting of the minds’ at Bluffview Growler. It's on the 4th Wednesday of every month from 4-6PM. No RSVP needed. Note: This event is always dependent on the latest COVID-19 ordinances and there may be times when all bars are closed or only outdoor activity is permitted. Check our Events for the latest.


OUR FAVORITE IMAGES THIS MONTH


Instagram photo credits (left to right):

@chefdzamora

@lonestar.tyler

@meg08run

@amilakasun123

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