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Dallas’ ‘Secret’ Natural Spring To Be Considered For Historical Designation

Save Pemberton's Big Spring-Trinity Forest
The caption from the Save Pemberton's Big Spring Facebook page reads, "Looking toward the spring pasture gate from Bryan's Slough."

Five stories that have North Texas talking: today’s the last chance to register to vote in the primary; Texas has six cases of Zika virus; DMA’s Jackson Pollock gets national TV time; and more.

Dallas’ Landmark Commission will consider a “first-of-its-kind” historical designation for one of the few natural springs in the city "not covered with concrete." The designation being voted on today “includes more than a dozen rules meant to prevent major alterations” to "Big Spring," which has been protected for 40 years in the backyard of Dallas residents. The Dallas Morning News told the story of Big Spring and the current efforts to preserve it.


“Just behind Billy Ray and Zada Pemberton’s little brick house — hidden in a secluded grove of oak trees 10 minutes south of downtown Dallas — a crystal clear spring bubbles up in a small pool and spills into a sliver of a creek that runs toward the Trinity River.
 The fount, now known as Big Spring, is the beating heart of a lush meadow that attracted Dallas’ founding father more than a century ago and Native American tribes for time untold before him.”

The Landmark Commission has signaled its support, but the Plan Commission and City Council would need to sign off before it becomes law. The Associated Press reported: “Marsha Prior, a historic preservation planner with the city, says the guidelines are meant to "maintain the land as it is" while also providing context for future generations about the significance of the spring.” [Dallas Morning News, Associated Press]

  • Today is the last day to register to vote in time for March 1 primary. And the ballots for the race have been finalized. The Texas Tribune created a comprehensive and interactive list of who’s filed to run in the state's 2016 Republican and Democratic primary elections. You can use filters to view the current candidates for U.S. President, the Texas House, State Board of Education and more. Also, tonight — a month away from the Texas primaries — KERA will air NPR News Special Coverage with Ari Shapiro and Audie Cornish of The Iowa Caucuses from 7-10 p.m. on 90.1 FM. [KERA News, Texas Tribune]

  • Zika virus has made its way to the U.S. —specifically, Houston. The Houston Chronicle reported: “A traveler returning from El Salvador in November fell ill with fever, rash and joint pain. The agency determined that she brought the illness into this country following a month of investigation and testing.” The Dallas Morning News reported: “Texas has six cases of Zika virus disease, the state’s Health Department has confirmed. All of the infections were diagnosed after people returned home from international travel. No local transmissions of the disease have been reported. World Health Organization officials will convene today to determine the severity of the threat and the appropriate course of action. Read more on symptoms and the history. [Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News]

  • Dallas Museum of Art’s current exhibition on Jackson Pollock was featured on CBS News Sunday Morning. DMA curator Gavin Delahunty was interviewed by reporter Rita Braver about “Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots” inside the DMA galleries for a segment on Sunday's program. CBS also went to East Hampton, New York to film at Pollock and his wife and fellow artist, Lee Krasner’s home. Read Art& Seek’s coverage on Pollock’s anguish and achievement and why Delahunty created the show, which runs through March 20. [CBS News, Art&Seek]

  • Thirteen years ago today marks the tragedy of the Columbia space shuttle disaster. On Feb. 1, 2003, seven crew members of the Columbia spacecraft lost their lives when re-entering Earth’s atmosphere. The Texas Standard reported: “A hole had been punctured in the leading edge of one of Columbia’s wings. The shuttle didn’t last the intense heat of re-entry.” In 2004, President George W. Bush announced NASA would close the program, which officially happened  in August 2011. Listen to the tribute, originally created by Nathan Bernier for KUT. [Texas Standard]