September Newsletter

"It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little. Do what you can" Sydney Smith


THE ESSENTIALS...



Give. Protect. Improve.

Between now and September 17, 2020 you can help protect the only recreational jewel we have in Northwest Dallas. Now more than ever, environmental challenges, planned development and other forces are threatening Bachman Lake Park. Your donation is your voice.

We're looking to raise $2,000 by September 17, 2020. Can you help?


More ...



August was VERY busy, we thought it would be the last of the lazy days of summer, alas no! The month flew by between coordinating the neighborhood feedback session for the Greenbelt nature trails, working on the Dallas Water Utility update, giving feedback for the Urban Land Institute grant and rallying all you awesome people for the Love Field update to Park Board. Note that in September Love Field will have two more community input sessions and Neighbors in the Know will be hosting a panel of movers and shakers working to improve Northwest Dallas.


Neighbors in the Know hosted DWU in August, and it was great to learn that the decision has been made not to drain the lake when the dam has to be rebuilt. Instead, DWU will be doing hydraulic dredging. We know that the fish in the lake are happy to hear this and that the Dallas Rowing Club is probably happy too! We also learned that DWU will put in place an alternate trail to bypass the construction and once they are done they will re-establish the trail over the dam. To get the nitty gritty details, including dates, watch the video session and read the presentation slides.


What is that in the sky? a helicopter? a plane? Superman?

Seriously though, you can use Flight Tracker to see what is causing all the racket and if the aircraft noise is outside the agreed to hours with Love Field (9PM-6AM), submit a complaint.


Safety first?

Speaking of Love Field, we’re diving deep into arguments made by the Airport to justify the creation of a north entrance (they prefer the term “alternate”). This has serious consequences for the quality of life in neighborhoods around Bachman Lake Park and can negatively impact the park itself. We’ve created a landing page for this issue to keep you updated because we believe the airport is short-listing options to arrive at their desired outcome without community input. Our latest deep dive takes on the safety argument.


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

NEWS


Taking our lives into our own hands....


It is appalling that Webb Chapel Bridge has not yet been modified to facilitate pedestrian and cycling access for the Bachman Lake Trail. How difficult can it be to make this aging bridge two lanes of traffic and convert 1/2 the bridge over to the trail? Another option out there is to make the entire bridge pedestrian (like Commerce bridge downtown) with shade covers and benches for fishing or watching the planes. For sure, Webb Chapel Bridge should not be the short cut used by all the Sanitation trucks heading to the Northwest Dallas transfer station. WAY TOO DANGEROUS as you can see in this video!


Bachman Greenbelt will finally get the #GiveMeGreen treatment


In early August, Friends of Bachman Lake assisted the Dallas Parks and Recreation Department in coordinating a neighborhood feedback meeting for the areas immediately adjacent to the proposed nature trails in Bachman Lake greenbelt. This 40-acre site has abundant bird and wildlife. Unfortunately, because it is so inaccessible due to the invasive privet hedge, it is also now the site of a homeless encampment.

Friends of Bachman Lake raised $40,000 last year and will receive a match of $40,000 from the Parks Department to build the nature trail and educational signage regarding the local habitat. We are extremely excited to partner with Groundwork Dallas on this project and also thank REI for their recent $5,000 grant towards the trail work. There will be two one-mile loops. One on the north side of the creek and the other on the south side along Shorecrest Dr. Trail development will start at the end of October, once all that poison ivy dies down!


Friends of Bachman Lake would LOOOVVVVEEEE help from any Master Gardeners that could assist with the work of introducing native species to the area (we have some funds for plants). You can find a copy of the presentation here, including an aerial map of the area and proposed trail positions. You can always visit our documents library for this and other supporting material.



Urban Land Institute looks at Walnut Hill/Denton Station area for development ideas


This is really encouraging news for many Northwest Dallas residents, particularly those impacted by the 2019 tornado. With ULI and the City of Dallas, we could finally see some improvements to areas of blight and neglect along Walnut Hill Lane around the Green Line DART station. After getting feedback from community leaders, residents and advocates, ULI offered an online presentation to review the possibilities for smart, urban development that is resilient, environmentally and economically sound.


Here is a video link to the session.


The study was funded by a private grant as part of an eight-city initiative to foster responsible land use and ecologically sustainable development, focused on economic opportunity, social equity and environmental performance.


The study focused on the half-mile radius around the Walnut Hill/Denton Dr. DART station, the specific borders were:


N – Southwell Road/Merrell Road

S – Manana Drive/Blystone Lane

E – Brockbank Drive W – Abels Lane/Electronic Lane


The ULI team provided the following major findings:


  • The current industrial and warehouse zoning is not conducive to the ULI consultants’ recommended uses and stakeholders’ stated preferences for the types of development they want to see in the future.

  • ULI recommended recruiting developer(s) to establish a catalytic pilot development project.

  • Owners of large, vacant land parcels should also be engaged to join forces to lure development and the City of Dallas should perhaps create a Planned Development District in the area.

  • The area needs new vision/rebranding. The City of Dallas must be intentional in how to manage development.

  • Any planned development must include incentives/requirements to create an Urban Forest and “cool corridor” to offset the negative impacts of cement in this industrial area of the city.

  • The community wants more people to be living in the area and the ULI panelists felt that this area could be a good fit for workforce housing.


ULI is the oldest and largest network of cross-disciplinary real estate and land use experts in the world. ULI is its members—delivering the mission, shaping the future of the industry, and creating thriving communities around the globe.



Calling all Christians!



The first image in the above trio, shows the Northwest Dallas heat cone. The middle image zooms in and you can easily see that between the airport pavement and the industrial areas along Harry Hines, this section of Dallas is devoid of trees and parks. The Texas Trees Foundation Urban Heat Study explains the detrimental health implications for our community, which will get worse as the summer heat progresses... DISD and Parks are working to add trees in the area (see the Cool School article in last month's newsletter), we need to also ask businesses and churches to help out!


Enter the third image. We researched the largest land holders in the area and found that the Catholic Diocese of Dallas owns a huge land mass west of Webb Chapel and south of Park Lane which is devoid of trees. We would appreciate the help of anyone with connections to the Diocese to see if beautifying this space could become part of their good works. Not only would it help directly with the health of our seniors and our children, it could become an example of responsible land management in the face of climate change. The Catholic Church has been at the forefront of taking action in the face of climate change and this would be an amazing opportunity for the Dallas Diocese to make a difference. If you know a local priest in the Diocese, can you put in a good word?


We are also calling on all religious denominations – you all have houses of worship in the area. How about planting some trees on your properties this fall? Get your youth involved and have them adopt the baby trees. Teach them to care for them with fertilization, water and trimming. True life lessons!


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. In September we will have a group of community leaders that are pushing the City for improvements in Northwest Dallas. Join us on FB Live for this panel discussion!



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. 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.


As of 3 September 2020: Bluffview Growler has announced that it has indeed reopened at 50% capacity and now has a food menu, still being finalized. Great news for a local establishment in need of our support! We'll let you know when we resume the meet-and-greet monthlies but give them a try if you haven't yet.


OUR FAVORITE IMAGES THIS MONTH


Instagram photo credits (left to right):


@amilakasun123 @total_cult

@lensideview

@aggietraveler92

@aggietraveler92

@amilakasun123


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