"Great Trinity Forest Funding Breakdown" Sounds Like One Hell of a Bluegrass Jam

Alas, it's just the title of one of two briefings the Trinity River Corridor Project Committee will consider this morning. I'll leave it to Sam and Schutze to crunch the numbers and see if they add up -- Sam especially has a thing for the Texas Horse Park -- but according to the briefing, of the $71,326,400 in bond, grant and gift money dedicated to the Great Trinity Forest, $29,165,081 remains. So where has the rest of it gone? To the much-celebrated Trinity Audubon Center, the just-OK'd Santa Fe Trestle, the now-delayed Standing Wave whitewater-maker (which needs a flood-control tweak the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must approve before it can proceed), Phase 1 of the five-phase Trinity Trails (two and a half phases of which remain unfunded) and land acquisition among the larger expenditures thus far.

Which brings us to Phase 2 of the Trinity Trails, also the subject of a briefing this morning. The city started accepting bids for the project just last week, and council expects to award the contract for the alignment of the 2.38-mile section of trail -- between Lemmon Lake and the Audubon Center -- in August, with construction set to start in September and wrap next May. That phase, which needs a 195-foot bridge to cross the Trinity, is funded; so too is the Rochester Park Trailhead.

If you haven't walked any of the GTF yet, I'd still recommend this video primer -- that should get you interested. The boy and I like the hike; I always expect to run into Rawlins. And, this reminder: You know which essential part of the Great Trinity Forest doesn't get a cent? The volunteers who go out there, time after time after time, to remove the thousands of tires chucked into the greenery. Just a thought.

Speaking of, perhaps our Friends in Groundwork Dallas can tell us what ever came of the recommendations made in 2008's controversial Great Trinity Forest Management Plan, which called for removing "undesirable" trees using herbicides and fire and planting, among others, oaks, pecans and persimmons? Just curious.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky