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Dallas Landmark Commission Votes To Preserve Big Spring

Save Pemberton's Big Spring-Trinity Forest

Dallas officials took a big step toward preserving something unusual in the city – and it’s not an old building. It’s a natural spring.

The city’s Landmark Commission voted Monday afternoon to give Big Spring historic designation.

The spring is just a few minutes south of downtown Dallas – not many people know about it.

Supporters, including Ben Sandifer, say Big Spring is one of just a few natural springs in North Texas.

“Carbon dating in 2013 resulted in an aging date dating the water to roughly 1360 AD,” Sandifier told the Landmark Commission. “It’s old and ancient water. Professional arborists suggest the large bur oak dominating the Big Spring is as old as the founding of the United States itself. Archaeology suggests the Big Spring hosted a series of Native American occupations dating back 25 centuries or more.”

The city of Dallas owns the land that includes the spring.

Veletta Forsythe Lill, a former Dallas City Council member, calls the spring the city’s greatest natural resource.

“For the life of the preservation movement in Dallas, we have largely confined our efforts to the built environment,” she told the commission. “It is unique to protect the unbuilt and even more unique to protect the rural wild unbuilt part of our urban context. This land’s significance in our founding is so seminal that it dictates our attention and our city’s protection.” 

The application will now be forwarded to the City Plan Commission. The Dallas City Council would eventually have to sign off on the historic designation. 

Learn more

Learn more about Big Spring from The Dallas Morning News.

Big Spring supporters have set up a Facebook page.