‘Blue Death Summit’ meets with Park and Rec to hash out concerns regarding White Rock Lake

White Rock Lake _ chat

Yesterday morning, a small group of neighbors gathered at the ball fields at White Rock Lake to chat with six members of the City of Dallas Park and Recreation Department about recent concerns at White Rock Lake.

Neighborhood activist Ted Barker (somewhat jokingly) tagged the ensemble as the “Blue Death Summit” because the highlight of the meeting was the blue-colored, chemical herbicide that was sprayed right before Easter weekend. Read more about the spraying here.

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John Jenkins, assistant director of the parks department, led the discussion and fielded questions and concerns from neighbors from 10 a.m. until almost noon.

“We’re going to talk about two things: First thing is about what happened to the wildflowers out here,” Jenkins says, motioning behind him at the grass surrounding the baseball field. “The second thing we want to talk about is setting up a pilot program for organic maintenance.” 

There used to be wildflowers in the grass behind him, but due to a communication issue, the entire hill was sprayed with chemical herbicide. The  worker involved was supposed to simply spray enough to create a buffer around the ball field because ball park users had been complaining about wildflowers creeping inside the fence.

“We were trying to create a barrier so the wildflowers wouldn’t encroach on the field,” Jenkins says, “but the applicator went too far. We should have just created that buffer while continuing to maintain the wildflowers that were here.”

Neighbor Christine Carey, who helped organize the gathering, was especially interested in the possibility of using organic herbicides to clean out unwanted weeds. Jenkins says Park and Rec is open to discussing other herbicide options.

To keep the conversation moving forward, Carey coordinated with Shana Murff, also with the Parks and Rec. Dept., to create a volunteer group, which they’re tentatively calling the “Winfrey Point Organic Maintenance Pilot Program.” The group will meet to discuss more organic herbicide options as well as get their hands dirty with keeping White Rock Lake beautiful and safe.

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To keep up with the discussion, visit the Facebook page SWAN: Safe White Rock Lake Access for Neighborhoods.

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