White Rock Lake Conservancy working to get stone table restoration underway

stonetableLast night members from the White Rock Lake Conservancy met to unveil plans for the restoration of the “Stone Tables Pavilion” located near the Bath House on E. Lawther. The picnic area is the most popular rental facility around the lake and is currently booked for the next two years.

Anyone who’s reserved the tables has seen that the pavilion has deteriorated a bit from it’s former glory days. In response, the White Rock Lake Conservancy, in partnership with the Dallas Parks and Recreation Department, is moving forward with plans to restore the area. Greg Wyatt is chair of the restoration project, and has donated services from his architecture firm, Wyatt and Associates, to help design the renovated table pavilion.

The pavilion was built in 1931 and designed by Laurie Eyrie Smith (who was also the first female on the Dallas Parks and Recreation board.) Four years later a lily pond was added, restrooms were built, and several trees were planted surrounding the area with help from the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Instead of tearing down the historical site, Wyatt says the the plans will “take what is there, enhance it, and bring it back.”

Mark Hoesterey, another conservancy board member and architect working with Wyatt on the project says that “there is a lot of positive energy” from neighbors about the project.

Hoesterey and Wyatt both emphasize that they want to keep the original vision of Laurie Eyrie Smith as the pavilion being a gathering spot for families. Hoesterey says that since identifying the top ten improvement project with the city the conservancy is ready to follow through and complete this project, getting their “sea legs under them” so they can eventually move on to the bigger projects on the list.

Right now the project is receiving funds from donors for various amounts ranging from $5,000 to restore the small tables to $250,000 for the pavilion cover. The project currently needs $750,000 in donated funds to move forward.

Councilman Sheffie Kadane is enthusiastic about the project. Last night he told conservancy members to “get it going, we’re ready to vote.”

Wyatt and conservancy board chairman Bill Mateja both say that with the current momentum of the project, they could be able to begin the table renovations as soon as 2014.

Sponsored Message

Email Rachel Wright at rachel@whiterockdallas.org or call the White Rock Lake Conservancy at 214.293.8996 to learn more or contribute to the restoration project.


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  • Ted Barker

    Credit for Winfrey goes to thousands upon thousands of “Ordinary People” who like green space and especially Winfrey Point. Hal and I only helped our neighbors to give voice.

    The elderly ladies, some of whom had walkers, are my heroes. They accosted runners, cyclists, gas-tank-fillers, and Starbucks fanatics to get the petition signed.

    How about all those hundreds that Chris Herron was able to get to March on May 5, 2012.
    By the way, the DABS is not done with that issue… more later.
    Signed, Your leader.

  • Ted Barker

    If you check NBC Dallas, you will find that Hal and I pushed to get our DLL pals a completed field when the City was Absent Without Leave. The Advocate was “Present and correct” during that episode.
    Please excuse my phrase, borrowed from Phil Sherwin, the Tour d’ France is imminent.

  • Ted Barker

    Skepticism is a millennially proven tool, thanks to the Greeks of antiquity. My profs at UNC would be proud.

  • Ted Barker

    I have been to all the meetings and met the architect who is doing the grunt work, last Spt near the Bath House. Tip of the Chappeaux

  • Ted Barker

    Hey Coach, you are correct, if the income is over 50k. All 990’s are accessible online.

  • Ted Barker

    Dareen Boruff and Rena Wilson gave a great presentation at the White Rock Lake Task Force meeting last evening. This was an update on previous presentations about expenditures of the Centennial of White Rock Lake fund-raising efforts.
    First: the signs will be similar to the rock signs now seen. About 100k donations funding that effort.
    Second: the Stone Table project will really be a valuable enhancement which includes restoration of the canopy, restrooms, and spring. The City has not addressed 30 years of deferred maintenance at WRL and will not be doing so in the next 6 years. Local residents, of PNA, are to be congratulated for working with Sally Rodriguez (Park Dpt Historian) for this project.
    A loud applause from the peanut gallery is in order.

  • Los_Politico

    There are several other ARBORETEUMS that charge more and pay their executives more. Why don’t you AUDIT THEM TOO.

  • sloppy mud hole

    Not a rant at all but the truth.You will never get an itemized audit to see where your donated money is going from the Conservancy without an attorney as they will fight it. Same as with Mary Brinegar and her posse at the ARBORETEUM…she (and her well paid cohorts) don’t want anyone to know that she makes $500,000.00 (yes….one half- million!!!!)per year and that a large part of her contract is tied to gate receipts (weddings, parties, etc)…..thus her desire for more parking! Why do you think it is so expensive to get in, unlike other Arboretum’s in any other city.

  • Los_Politico

    Pretty sure every 501c3 has to have an audit every year. Just request to see it. But ranting on the internet is way more fun, I’ll give you that.

  • nwilson

    As a board member, I never received a dime. Actually, I donated my money to support the WRLC. The executive director is paid, but she is an incredible person who gives 100% of herself and time to WRLC. She is extremely talented and very well respected. I hope you will get the opportunity to meet her.

  • mdmost

    Maybe he believes the city shouldn’t be giving away public park land and space for things only a select few can enjoy. If he didn’t expose the Arboretum’s plans which were only released because of a FOIA request, we’d be staring at a field of parking lots next to those baseball fields. So yeah, I’ll give him a ton of credit since he helped force the Arboretum to come up with their own parking plans instead of trying to steal land that didn’t belong to them.

    Again, your attempt at snark when he hasn’t said a single thing about this is ridiculous.

  • sloppy mud hole

    Donated funds that are never used for intended purpose and diverted to salaries of WRLC executives and their contracting cronies. WRLC is used as a piggy bank for it’s executives. How much are board members paid? A DETAILED AUDIT OF WRC BOOKS MADE PUBLIC WILL TELL THE TALE.

  • Nwilson

    While I may be a bit biased since I used to sit on the board of the WRLC, I still believe that any group who is willing to address necessary maintenance/improvements to White Rock Lake by way of raising donated funds, should be applauded. Just like FTLOTL, we all have the same goal in mind and that is to make White Rock Lake the best place in Dallas to run, bike, row, fish, and just relax.

  • sloppy mud hole

    Anything the WRC does should be looked upon as suspiscious. It is no more than a do-good vehicle created to shake down money from unsuspecting individuals, homeowners associations and corporations. Started by a City Councilman and the head of Parks and Recreation several years ago, the White Rock Conservancy along with the Dallas City Councilman made the rounds of homeowner associations meetings soliciting and receiving thousands of dollars in donations for rebuilding the Dreyfuss Club. Years and thousands of donated dollars later, there is no Dreyfuss Club. When asked where this money is,The Conservancy will give you a dismissive answer. Seems city and cronies using it for their personal piggy bank under the guise of charity. This is also a ploy to expand parking lot for the arboretum, as parking is the only thing not addressed in presentation. The intent is to turn the stone table area into a parking lot and covered waiting station for the shuttle bus to the arboretum. SUGGEST AN ITEMIZED AUDIT OF WRC BOOKS.

  • jrd

    Why would Barker oppose youth baseball fields or a place for kids to row? Because he thinks he should decide what is best for the lake and that he speaks for the entire neighborhood.

    Just because the city & parks department are ham-handed and less than honest doesn’t mean anyone that opposes them is virtuous.

  • mdmost

    Why would Ted Barker oppose this? It’s not a public land grab/exchange by the Parks Department with the Arboretum. Ted was 100% right on that and what he did helped keep a part of White Rock Lake that people enjoy going to. I’m not going to speak for Mr. Barker but I’ll assume part of what he wanted to accomplish by exposing the Arboretum’s plans was to keep something that makes White Rock Lake a special place much like the Stone Tables. If people are skeptical of the Parks Department, well they’ve earned that by their actions on Winfrey Point. Your snark is confusing, misguided and frankly just plain sad.

  • jrd

    I assume Ted Barker hasn’t been informed about this since there is no mention of him opposing it.