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Can we have it all: family fun and trees?

Updated: Mar 28, 2021

Friends of Bachman Lake has been focused over the last two years on the Airport North Entrance and wished we had been paying a little more attention to the Parks Department and the planned Regional Aquatic Center at Bachman Lake Park. Sadly, the City of Dallas is deciding what is best for us without ever asking. Sound familiar? Let’s catch you up and give you some background:

The regional aquatic center for Northwest Dallas was planned for in the Parks Department's 2015 Aquatic Master Plan but they did not include it in their 2017 bond request. It was only when Councilmen Narvaez and Medrano allocated their bond discretionary dollars to the Regional Aquatic Center that the current project became a reality. It took two years to figure out just where to place it and finally in 2019, the Parks Department determined it should go next to the Recreation Center (see photo). In order to fit all the features of a Regional Aquatic Center into this space, 32 mature trees will be destroyed. Sadly, we can expect that there will be even more trees affected because of the impact the construction will have on the root systems. It is a shame to lose these fine specimens as they are part of an historic post oak grove is one of the oldest (120+ years) and largest in the state of Texas.

Bachman Lake Park has limited parking options and the only other swath of land available has been set aside for the Regional Skate Park. These major facilities are intended to attract patrons from the entire city and yet there is no parking plan for the Regional Aquatic Center. Thus, even though we applaud the City for reducing the number of trees to be destroyed from 60 to 32, we wonder what will happen to the rest of the grove once they decide they actually need a parking lot.

Take this 1 minute survey and weigh in on what you think would be best for the area. We will pass along the results to the City of Dallas.

The three options are:

  1. Regional Aquatic Facility - Largest of the three facility options, it would include a leisure pool, a two-lane lap pool, tot pool, play features, bathhouse, current channel and waterslides. Open 2 months out of the year and costs about $30 for a family of four to attend. 12 months and $7.9M to build and over $170K to maintain

  2. Neighborhood Aquatic Facility - Smaller aquatic facility typically features a leisure pool, tot pool, small slide, spray features, and bathhouse. Only open 2 months out of the year and lower cost for access than the Regional facility. 24 months and $6.5M to build and over $100k to maintain.

  3. Super Sprayground - A free splash park with interactive water features including above-ground water sprays and smaller flush-mounted water geysers. (why not something like Klyde Warren Park's) Spraygrounds are open longer hours and for more months than the aquatic facilities. 18 months and $3.2M to build, minimal maintenance.

If the community opts for the third choice, the Parks Department will have to request funding in the next bond program for a regional aquatic center in Northwest Dallas, which is what they planned on doing anyways, in order to comply with their 2015 Master Plan. This would allow the City of Dallas to identify an alternate location other than Bachman Lake, thus saving the trees and placing the facility in a location where parking can be built.

Take the quick poll below and let us know what you think. If you have difficulty within this page, you can use this link to access the poll.

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