Flower Fight Continues Near Dallas Arboretum

Dozens of marchers are unhappy about use of neighboring field.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    As the Chihuly exhibit opens Saturday at the Dallas Arboretum, art seekers were met by protesters who want to keep parked cars out of Winfrey Point. (Published Monday, May 7, 2012)

    The fight over wildflowers in East Dallas is not going away yet.

    On Saturday morning, dozens of protesters from the Emerald Isle neighborhood marched to the Dallas Arboretum. They said they are unhappy that the city of Dallas would allow the arboretum to mow down the wildflowers and prairie grass at Winfrey Point to make way for parking spaces.

    A judge sided with the city on Friday.

    "This is Blackland Prairie," said Chris Herron, president of the Emerald Isle Neighborhood Association. "It's a protected system, prairie system, an ecosystem... There are endangered birds and other animals that live in this environment, and it's important to protect it."

    Brian Shivers, the chairman of the Dallas Arboretum, said the institute has used the field for parking in the past.

    "That's an area up until five years ago the city routinely allowed parking on, and it was only because of budget cutbacks that the park department, that they stop mowing it," said Shivers.

    An expert for the Dallas Arboretum said the wildflowers and prairie grass at Winfrey Point are actually a menace.

    "He said, 'Not only is this not native, he gave us a list of 15 invasive plants that are actually a threat to the true native areas,'" Shivers said. "We understand that people are passionate about White Rock Lake area; after all, it's our backyard too."

    Herron said he isn't buying that argument.

    "The mission is to protect and enhance awareness over nature, which is so ironic about this situation," he said. "They want to destroy nature to put in a parking lot so you can view man made nature."