Sandy Cook can’t recall who came up with the idea almost a decade ago. But she and other Dallas environmental leaders have long envisioned a home for the City’s 25 or so non-profit environmental organizations.

This idyllic place would be a model for environmentally responsible building and construction with museum-quality public exhibits, outdoor xeriscape gardens, wildlife identification displays, an environmental store and a library, as well as offices and support services for the various groups.

Their collective dream, as Cook calls it, was to have the ultimate “green” house in Dallas.

The idea floundered about in pie-in-the-sky conversations until Cook, attending a 5K run at White Rock, noticed the old Pumphouse on the shores of the lake.

“It seemed natural to have an environmental center there,” Cook says.

She mentioned it to an employee of Dallas Water Utilities, which oversees the building, and a plan began to take shape. Maurine Lee of the Audubon Society called a meeting in 1995 and formed the working group, ECO Dallas, to begin setting this plan into motion.

Earlier this summer, following an in-depth proposal by ECO Dallas, the Dallas City Council voted unanimously to give the group a 40-year lease on the Pumphouse for the purpose of creating the Dallas Environmental Center.

“It’s a great opportunity to utilize a building that’s been empty for a number of years,” says City Councilwoman Mary Poss.

“The environmental center will not generate much traffic and is a use that is conducive to the lake environment.”

The group intends to kick off its $4 million campaign this fall, with a goal of starting construction in three years and completing the fundraising in five years.

So far, 15 environmental organizations have expressed an interest in locating their offices at the new center. Cook, now president of ECO Dallas, says the most rewarding part of the project has been “watching people from all these diverse groups get excited and come on board.”

For more information, call Cook at (214) 691-6175.

News & Notes


Bake For the Lake: The second annual “Bake For The Lake” is scheduled Sept. 21 and is sponsored by the Great Harvest Bread Co. in Snider Plaza. Participants can learn how to make homemade bread, and bread sold at the event benefits the conservation and beautification of White Rock Lake. Last year’s even raised $3,100, which was used to purchase 24 combination benches with bike racks for the park. For information or to volunteer, call 972-622-SAVE.

Lake Information Marquee Donated: The corner of Buckner and Lake Highlands is now the site of the recently constructed Lake Information Marquee, donated by “For the Love of the Lake,” a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation and improvement of White Rock Lake. Messages will be changed weekly to keep people informed regarding lake projects, news and clean-ups.

Stash The Trash: On Sept. 13, beginning at 8 a.m., 200 recycling and trash units made from recycled plastic will be assembled and installed throughout White Rock Lake Park. Volunteer to join members of “For the Love of the Lake” to continue the ongoing beautification of the Lake and “Stash the Trash.” Call 214-622-SAVE for information.


“Bulldog” Cunningham Honored: Farmers Insurance agent Bill “Bulldog” Cunningham recently received the company’s highest award, given to district managers and agents for outstanding overall performance. With the award, Cunningham joined a select group of fellow achievers as a member of the President’s Council. Cunningham represents Farmers’ member companies in automobile, homeowners, life and business insurance.

Caveat Emptor Opens East Dallas Office: Caveat Emptor Realty and neighborhood agent Sally Snyder recently opened the company’s East Dallas office. Caveat Emptor, started in 1996, is an exclusive buyer’s agency, which means it only represents buyers. For information, call Snyder at 214-367-8045.

Terilli Sells Bar: Neighborhood resident Jeannie Terilli recently sold the Greenville Avenue Bar & Grill to Lakewood Bar & Grill owner Michael Maer. Terilli retains Terilli’s and Mick’s.


Family Outreach of East Dallas: Family Outreach of East Dallas, a program seeking to prevent child abuse and neglect, needs volunteers to help families in our neighborhood. Volunteers will be trained to provide the following: one-to-one casework with families, parenting programs, community education and other services. Fall training classes begin Sept. 18. For information, call Gerri Martin at 214-321-6292.

The Volunteer Center of Dallas County: The Volunteer Center of Dallas County and Northrop Grumman Commercial Aircraft Division, joined by sponsors KXAS-TV Channel 5, IBM and the Dr Pepper Bottling Company of Texas will present a free community volunteer orientation: “Discover the Possibilities. Volunteer.” The orientation will take place at Mountain View College, 4849 W. Illinois, in the West Campus Building, Rooms W36/37 and W38, Sept. 25 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The program will explain why you should volunteer, show how to select a project and tell what to expect as a volunteer. For information, call 214-826-6767, ext. 330.


Preservation Dallas Sponsors Tour: Preservation Dallas, an organization dedicated to the preservation of Dallas neighborhoods and landmarks, is sponsoring two architectural tours this fall as part of its Modern Architecture Series. On Sept. 20, a lecture, seminar and tour entitled “The Influence of Bud Oglesby” will begin at 9 a.m. in the Horchow Auditorium of the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood. On Nov. 16, architect Howard Meyer will be the focus of the second tour, which starts at 1 p.m. at Temple Emanu-El, 8500 Hillcrest at Northwest Highway. For reservations and information, call Catherine Horsey at 214-821-3290.

East Dallas Rotary Celebrates 50th Anniversary: The East Dallas Rotary recently celebrated 50 years of service with a gala celebration at Royal Oaks Country Club. Chartered in 1947, the East Dallas Rotary was the second of its kind chartered in Dallas.

Evening With St. Luke: The second annual “Evening With St. Luke” is scheduled for Sept. 19, at 6:30 p.m., at the East Dallas Christian Church, 629 N. Peak. Chili’s will serve its famous “Baby Back Ribs” from 6:30-7:30, with drinks furnished by Coke USA and Dr. Pepper. Five different types of traditional and contemporary song will be performed by 70 members of St. Luke Community United Methodist Church, the largest African-American church in the metroplex. The St. Luke Sacred Dance Choirs will also perform. Concert starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15. For information, call 214-821-6380.