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Follow our new social media series #GiveMeGreen There is so much information to share about all the happenings that affect the quality of life around Bachman Lake Park that we’ve decided to start a series of information pieces to break down some complexities and shatter some myths. The #GiveMeGreen series will be about more than just an alternate airport entrance (though there will be plenty of information on that). It will be a call for green over concrete, bikes over motor vehicles and a goal to have anything crossing over Bachman Lake be for walkers and bikers, not drivers. Stay tuned for more. Bike Patrol Anyone? We’re teaming up with Friends of Northaven Trail to create a citizen crime watch group - with bikes. Come join us on February 22nd. See event link for more information. Please continue to share our newsletter with your neighbors and friends!
The Future of NW Highway: February 11th
We coordinated a MAJOR event with our area Texas State Representatives, City Councilman, County Commissioners and other like-minded non-profits to show them the pedestrian/cycling challenges in the Bachman Area. This area has one of the highest accident rates in the city, yet we have no sidewalks and no bridge over NW Highway. We have been working for 6 months on this meeting and were pleased with the great turnout at the Bachman Library despite the rainy weather. We'll have more about this meeting in our March newsletter.
Citizen Scientists: Texas Stream Team
In January we told you that Dallas Water Utilities will be doing monthly water testing at Bachman Lake during 2020. Although this will help us have a baseline of water quality across the seasons, we really need to establish stream teams across North Dallas to care for and protect our waterways. This would be a great activity for neighborhoods, apartment complexes, schools or scout groups to facilitate for Joe's Creek and Bachman Creek. We will also need a team at Bachman Lake itself in order to protect the fresh water spring to the west of the dam (right by Denton Drive). The amazing picture below, courtesy of Garrett Boone, was taken when Groundwork Dallas assisted with cleaning the spring two weeks ago! If you are interested in being a citizen scientist and stream team member, message us at: email@example.com. Training will start this spring and we’ll share details when they become available. You can find more information on Texas Stream Team, at https://tstcommunity.org.
Vision Zero Hot Spot and now Urban Heat Island
Bad news and more bad news...
Last year we reported that the Bachman Lake is listed as one of the worst in terms of pedestrian/cycling accidents. It is something that the City of Dallas is trying to address with their Vision Zero goal. But on top of being unfriendly to pedestrians and cyclists, we are also one of the hottest (not in a good way) areas of the city. We have a lot of work to do, folks!
The Texas Trees Foundation helped coordinate a study to pinpoint the urban heat islands in Dallas. This study was released in 2017, before all the tree loss in our area due to the straight line winds and the tornado. At the time, it was noted that Dallas was heating up faster than the majority of major cities in the country and that 50% of the heat-related deaths in Dallas are in the region's heat island. Bachman Lake is in that island. The area around Bachman Lake is very impervious: think airport runways, the apartments with no trees/grass lands, the industrial strip along Denton Drive. The problem is compounding as major tracts of land, previously large home lots, are being cleared and cemented for higher density housing or shopping centers.
Tree planting and preservation in Dallas can change the weather – producing cooler days and nights than will occur if tree canopy continues to be lost.
The benefits of greening strategies can be as high as 15°F of cooling in some areas on hot summer days.
Tree planting and preservation can save lives when implemented in concert with more reflective roofing and paving materials, with these combined strategies found to reduce the number of deaths from hot weather by more than 20%.
Tree planting and preservation was found to be more than 3.5 times as effective in lowering temperatures as cool materials strategies.
Dallas can achieve significant cooling and health benefits by planting 250,000 trees.
You can make a difference in protecting the tree canopy:
Consider establishing a neighborhood overlay, to protect trees by leveraging the new 2019 ordinance (see the next article).
Get with your neighbors and plant trees on the edge of your street to provide street shade that will mitigate radiant heat from the pavement.
Write your city council to tell them you are against any trees being cut at parks - those trees by the Bachman Lake recreation center are still at risk!
In terms of the new construction we will see at shopping centers and the industrial strips, ask that the City help businesses construct with cool materials which reduce heat radiated from rooftops.
Adopt a park or school and help them plant trees.
What is a Neighborhood Forest Overlay and why should I care?
We can all agree that the effects of the storms this year have given us a greater appreciation for the beauty of the trees in our area. Next summer, we will also be missing the shade those trees provided and the effect they had on lowering the heat index in our communities. This makes the new forest overlay ordinance passed in April 2019 by Dallas City Council an important tool for neighborhoods to use to protect their trees.
Remember, a neighborhood forest overlay can:
Promote the health, safety, and the general welfare of present and future inhabitants of your neighborhoods through the managed conservation and protection of the trees in the community.
Protect or restore the character of established communities.
Stabilize and protect the air quality near homes and can help reduce flood and stormwater effects.
If you want to explore or start the process of getting a forest overlay for your neighborhood, contact the Environmental Quality Department in the City of Dallas, specifically James McGuire. They would be happy to help you set one up..
Our monthly plogging event is every 2nd Saturday of the month 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!
Don't forget to fill out your Plogging Report when you're done. It's a great way to keep track of just how much trash is collected each month.
Also, don't forget to 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.
Volunteers in Patrol (VIP) Training: February 22, 10:00am-12:00pm at the Preston Royal Branch of the Dallas Public Library, 5626 Royal Lane, Dallas, TX 75229. We’re teaming up with Friends of Northaven Trail to create a citizen crime watch group - with bikes. See event link.
Here are some of our favorite Instagram pics taken at Bachman Lake.
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