Winfrey Point Will Not Be Mowed Monday - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Winfrey Point Will Not Be Mowed Monday

City has not said when the field will be mowed



    City officials say mowing at Winfrey Point near the Dallas Arboretum will not happen Monday. (Published Monday, May 7, 2012)

    City officials say mowing at Winfrey Point near the Dallas Arboretum will not happen Monday.

    The city had planned to mow down wildflowers and prairie grass at the White Rock Lake Park to accommodate overflow parking from the arboretum, but protesters have fought the move the entire way and even filed a temporary restraining order against the city last week.

    The temporary restraining order was dissolved Friday, allowing the city to go forward with plans to mow the field.  Protesters marched in front of the arboretum over the weekend and were expected to continue their efforts this week.

    The arboretum said they've used the field for parking before and that up until a few years ago the field was routinely mowed.

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    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)

    "It was only because of budget cutbacks that the parks department, that they stopped mowing it," said Brian Shivers, chairman of the Dallas Arboretum.

    Neighbors living near the park said they want to protect the field and that it's ironic the city wants to destroy nature so that people can park to see man-made nature at the arboretum.

    "This is Blackland Prairie," said Chris Herron on Saturday, 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."

    In a news release, the arboretum said those claims are simply false.

    "This claim could not be further from the truth. Almost all of the grasses observed at Winfrey Point are non-native, invasive species. I identified 15 species of non-native grasses, some of which are very aggressive," said Dr. Robert O'Kennon, Ph.D. "These non-native grasses and plants at Winfrey Point need to be kept under control and appropriately mowed or eradicated to attempt to prevent their spread to and the destruction of the other regions of White Rock Lake Park with native flora. Furthermore, 'Blackland Prairie' is a soil type; it does not refer to what grows on it. There are 12 million acres of 'Blackland Prairie' in North Texas."

    The city did not say when they plan to mow the field.

    NBC 5's Ben Russell and Amanda Fitzpatrick contributed to this report.