Dallas City Hall is Pledging to Preserve the Southern Dallas Spring that Once Quenched Sam Houston, John Neely Bryan

Billy Pemberton, drinking from the spring a short walk from his house.
Billy Pemberton, drinking from the spring a short walk from his house.

Neighbors were growing concerned about the fate of Pemberton Spring. In recent months, surveyors with the city had come within spitting distance of the site as they drilled soil samples and staked out buildings for $10 million Texas Horse Park. They feared the imminent disappearance of the spring, which has stayed remarkably pristine in the generations since Sam Houston camped there with his treaty party and Dallas founder John Neely Bryan built his home nearby.

The grassroots campaign to protect the site had barely gotten underway when the city swore off plans to build anywhere close to the water.

"The project does not include the area surrounding the natural spring located on other City property in the area," assistant city manager Jill Jordan wrote last week in a memo to the City Council. "However, as part of our ongoing efforts to preserve existing features in the Great Trinity Forest, a fence will be installed around the perimeter this month and interpretive signage will be developed to mark this unique asset."

It's been the city's line all along that it has no intention of damaging the spring and that the surveyors made a mistake. For some reason, though, the site's protectors put more faith in the physical markers left by surveyors than in the word of City Hall.

Anyways, it's much better for everyone to have it in writing.

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