Recently the city council approved a City of Dallas Park Board request to sell $4.7 million in bonds for a substantial upgrading of the Tenison West golf course. The bonds were scheduled to be repaid through the revenues generated by the golf course. The proposal projected net revenues of $1,000,000 annually, which would be used to upgrade parks once the bonds were repaid. When the project was first announced by the Park Board, the council heard from senior citizens who were concerned about the increase in green fees. I spoke with the Park Department director who then determined that senior citizens would be able to play for half price, Monday through Thursday, before 11:30 a.m. The seniors who had talked with me about the fees seemed very pleased with this new agreement.
Additionally, the council heard from a number of people who were worried about the fact that trees would be removed to reconstruct the golf course. As part of the project, the council approved the mitigation plan outlined below. However, this was not satisfactory to everyone, and the issue was taken to court. Judge John Marshall has now ruled that the trees cannot be removed. Even though the city is appealing the ruling, the bonds for this project have not been sold and cannot be sold until the issues are resolved in court.
A number of rumors related to the number and type of trees involved have circulated, so I thought you would be interested in a few of the facts of the case.
Golf courses and parks annually undergo managed tree removal and pruning to improve the urban forest, to allow field development, and to remove aged and diseased specimens.
The proper management of an urban park system, including golf courses, involved a constant cycle of thinning and, most importantly, planting new trees for future generations.
There are at least 6,000 trees on Tenison West and approximately 8,000 trees on Tenison East.
The total number of trees being removed is 84, due to under story crowding and the need for filtered light for surrounding trees and turf. An additional 86 trees are being removed as a result of the project to accommodate new lakes and other design related issues.
The Park Department will replace the 170 mitigated trees with 751 trees within six month in various East Dallas parks as required by the City of Dallas Tree Ordinance.
The typical type of trees that will be planted are Red Oak, Live Oak, Texas Ash, Pecan, Bald Cypress, Chinese Pistachio, Cedar Elm, Yaupon Holly, Mexican Plum, Red Bud and Bur Oak; all of these trees are on the approved Tree Ordinance list.
The new trees will be planted in the following locations: 317 trees will be placed on the Tenison West golf course; approximately 50 trees will be planted in Samuell Grand Park; and approximately 250 trees will be placed around White Rock Lake. The remaining trees will be placed at parks such as the Tenison picnic area, Old East Dallas Park, Lindsley Park, Flag Pole Hill, Glencoe Park and other parks in the East Dallas area.
An important part of the responsibility of the Park and Recreation Department is to plant and protect trees and acquire wooded land to expand and enhance our urban forest. I can tell you from the conversations among the council that the council members are also equally concerned about the preservation of our urban
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