Dallas Wants to Protect the Great Trinity Forest, But Who Will Protect the Forest From Dallas?

The Texas Buckeye Trail, which begins in South Dallas where Bexar Street ends and meanders through the Great Trinity Forest, is off-limits now. Not all of it is closed, mind you; not the mile-or-so's worth of winding concrete ribbon poured atop the original pathway, which lawyer Ned Fritz, his wife Genie and their acolytes cleared through the buzzing, verdant woodlands that stretch 6,000 acres from the city's south and center. But today, as you approach the wide, sinuous Trinity at trail's end, you're greeted by a steel guardrail wrapped in reflective red and white. In the middle is a white sign with all-cap black letters: "AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY BEYOND THIS POINT." An easy enough obstruction to step over.On the other side, only a few feet away, lies the river as seen by Dallas' first settlers, the river that defines and defies the city. Once, for an all-too-brief moment on this spot, there was an overlook topped with sandstone boulders upon which hikers could sit for a spell to marvel at the view and soak in the silence.But all of that has fallen into the river; so, too, has the concrete path laid by city engineers, devoured by an insatiable Trinity that has vanished these banks in recent years. Whole pieces of it can be seen lying on the riverbanks, carcasses of concrete. Ned and Genie Fritz's trail, paved over using bond money, looks now like the cover of Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends.  Continue reading...

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