TRINITY COMES TOGETHER
|Even the enormous $2.5 billion Trinity River Project is only as good as its parts. This month, it hopes to break ground on a small project that's an example of enterprise opportunities the civic project hopes to attract.|
First, a refresher on what's in the works. (Then, find Waldo in this model at the Trinity Trust office?) The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge has a 2011 targeted opening; the Margaret McDermott Bridge is planned for a later date. The Texas Horse Park is fundraising and will confirm a construction date later this year; it’ll finally provide a place in Dallas to don a cowboy hat and ride, says horse park prez Ben Casey Jr.
That project we mentioned in the intro: Dallas Watersports Complex co-owners Victor Toledo and Chad Lacerte are creating a cable wakeboard park on Fishtrap Lake, at Hampton and Singleton, just the 10th in the US, with about 150 worldwide. The 5k SF venue has 13 of 15 permits needed to get started. Victor says he hopes to break ground at the end of the month and open in April.
Trinity Trust raises money and awareness for the project. President Gail Thomas calls it one of the most ambitious public works efforts in the nation and adds it will transform Dallas forever. By improving the 20-mile swath of nature that runs through the heart of the city, residents will have the opportunity to enjoy nature and recreation within the public realm, she says.
The Trinity River Audubon Center opened in late 2008. Located eight minutes south of downtown, near a prominent bend in the river, the center will host about 16k children this year. Director Chris Culak says, for many, it is their first chance to visit a pond, jump a creek, or hike through a forest (at 6k acres, the Great Trinity Forest is the largest urban hardwood forest in the US). Since it opened, 50k people have visited with a ya’ll come back attitude; at least 50 activities are planned between now and May.
We played six degrees of separation with Trinity River and the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Dallas CityDesign Studio special advisor Larry Beasley also planned the Vancouver Olympic Village. (So, it’s more like one degree.) Larry, a Canadian, says the Studio’s mission is aboot raising the bar for urban design excellence while promoting the city, with a focus on the Trinity River Corridor. Anticipating a slow start in the short run, he thinks there will be new small businesses taking advantage of existing buildings. Land-owners are starting to discuss projects, too.
Just three weeks on the job, Peter Peyton took on community outreach and field operations for Groundwork Dallas. The group develops and implements community-based partnerships to promote environmental and economic well-being. The goal: improve access to the Great Trinity Forest by constructing nature and multi-use rec trails and trail amenities. Upcoming projects: a curriculum with teachers that fosters stewardship; and providing volunteer opportunities similar to the adopt-a-highway campaign.