Double Oops

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No doubt, he and fellow advisory committee members would be even more surprised to see that blueprints viewed by the Dallas Observer indicate that once the construction project is completed, a parking lot drawn adjacent to the planned library-senior center apparently covers much of the area where the "permanent" blackland prairie was originally planted.

"That," Guy assures, "will not be the case. There will be nothing in that area but the rebuilt blackland prairie." Acknowledging that preliminary blueprints do indicate the encroachment of a driveway on the corner of the prairie area, he says, "This encroachment will be eliminated when the final architectural plans are completed."

Scott Whitaker and Bob Schantz will oversee the spring replanting and coordinate with Bill Neiman, a prairie restoration expert with the Native American Seed Co. The results, Whitaker says, should be visible by midsummer.

"Even before all this happened," he says, "it was our intent to make some improvements to the prairie. Because of the recent droughts, some of the vegetation had done better than others and had begun to take over the area. As soon as the construction is completed, we're going to do some things that we believe will make the blackland prairie even better than it originally was."

And that, he hopes, will put an end to any concerns. "We're going to do the right thing," he says.

Some of the city's environmentalists, now feeling twice betrayed, hope so. "The thing that still troubles me," Roz Stone says, "is that it would have made so much more sense to have protected the prairie in the first place.

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Carlton Stowers
Contact: Carlton Stowers

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