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City Leaves Option Open For Using White Rock Fields In Future

A bee lands on a wildflower in a field originally approved for mowing and parking use at Winfrey Point.
Shelley Kofler
A bee lands on a wildflower in a field originally approved for mowing and parking use at Winfrey Point.

At 12:38 the City of Dallas released a statement saying Dallas Arboretum attendance during the weekend opening of the Chihuly exhibit did not require overflow parking at White Rock Lake. However, the city did not rule out converting areas near White Rock's Winfrey Point to parking.

The statement followed another from the Dallas Arboretum stating managers there have asked City of Dallas officials not to mow a disputed area at White Rock Lake.  

The Arboretum created a storm last week after saying it might need grassy fields at Winfrey Point for overflow parking because of its Chihuly glass exhibition. 

Area residents and environmentalists argued that could damage natives grasses and wildlife.

A judge approved an agreement Friday to allow the mowing until a legal case filed by opponents can be heard.  In addition to short-term parking during the exhibition, citizens are concerned about city plans they discovered that indicate the city is considering converting the area at White Rock’s Winfrey Point into permanent parking lots and a garage.

Here are the press releases:

To: Media From: City of Dallas PIO Re: Parking issue at White Rock Lake area Attendance numbers for the current exhibit at the Dallas Arboretum appear to be within the facility’s ability to manage parking flow with existing on-site parking and existing overflow parking options.  However, parking challenges at the Arboretum and at White Rock Lake still exist and long term solutions will be addressed as both locations increase in popularity.  For the time being, the temporary parking option at Winfrey Point will not be exercised.  The City will continue to seek long term solutions that will balance increasing trail use, special events, and all recreational uses with adequate traffic management and parking options.  



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: DALLAS (May 9, 2012) - On Tuesday, May 8, the leadership of the Dallas Arboretum asked Paul Dyer, Dallas Park and Recreation Department director; Joan Walne, Dallas Park Board president; Councilman Sheffield Kadane, City Council District 9; and Gerry Worrall, District 9 Park Board not to proceed with current plans to mow the previously approved area at Winfrey Point.   Over the past couple of weeks, the Arboretum has heard the opinions of its friends and neighbors and recognizes any plans to temporarily park at Winfrey Point have resulted in serious misunderstandings that need to be addressed. We are committed to being a good neighbor and steward to the citizens of East Dallas, the metroplex and all of North Texas. We are looking forward to working with city officials and neighborhood associations in the immediate future to develop a plan that best serves the interest of all parties involved. It is our pledge to endeavor to make such planning transparent. Thank you for your patience while we work to find a solution to the City's and our parking needs.



Former KERA staffer Shelley Kofler was news director, managing editor and senior reporter. She is an award-winning reporter and television producer who previously served as the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.