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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition

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Dallas Greens Downtown Creating Urban Lakes

Oct 01, 2014 11:08PM

The Dallas Trinity River Corridor consists of 10,000 acres of green space, which is more than 10 times the size of Central Park, in New York City. It is anchored by the Great Trinity Forest, with more than 6,000 acres, the largest urban, bottomland hardwood forest in America. Trinity Lakes Park comprises 2,200 acres, and development of the park involves the relocation of nine miles of river channel with meanders and riparian terraces, 30 miles of trails, three off-channel lakes, a mile-long promenade, overlooks, plazas, pavilions, amphitheaters, playfields and a whitewater run. The largest public works project in the Dallas history, the development has been integrated with private efforts to help fund the $700 million cost.

Located between the Commerce Street Bridge and the Margaret McDermott Bridge over I-30 that’s currently under construction, two lakes will be constructed with $30 million from the city of Dallas 1998 bond program. Private funding raised by the Trinity Trust will provide an opportunity for additional features. When additional funding is raised, Dallas citizens can realize their vision for the third urban lake, with almost 200 acres of green space surrounding it.

In the city’s Balanced Vision Plan, planned structures and amenities include the Sylvan Avenue Bridge; the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge/Calatrava; I-H-30 - Margaret McDermott; an urban lake of 90 acres; a natural lake of 60 acres; eight miles of boardwalks; a central island with shade structures; natural seating and walking paths; the Corinth Wetlands; and an amphitheater with a floating stage.

An historically critical component of the Dallas Trinity River Corridor project is actually flood protection. Floodway improvements such as new pump stations and transportation connections are underway, as well as the recreational amenities. The city is also making this an opportunity to return the river to a more natural state by fostering the seasonal and emergent wetlands and the flow of the river as it makes its way down to the Gulf of Mexico, and to take a flood control solution and transform it into the opportunity for community revitalization.

This includes many amenities which we already see in such projects as the Calatrava Bridge, Trinity Groves and the Continental Avenue Bridge. The Trinity Lakes region starts at the merging of the West Fork and the Elm Fork of the Trinity River, and continues to the Santa Fe Trestle Trail, in the south near Corinth Street and Eighth Street. This section of the corridor features scenic views of the downtown Dallas skyline, while simultaneously providing broad expanses of land for a variety of outdoor activities.

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