Today is International Day of Forests, and our City Forester, Karen Woodard, has written an article celebrating the Great Trinity Forest:
Webster’s defines a forest as a thick growth of trees and bushes that covers a large area. Does that fit our Trinity Forest? Yes, but it is so much more. The 6200 acre Great Trinity Forest is unique in that it is a hardwood forest sometimes surviving in swamp conditions in times of heavy rain and flooding of the Trinity River which it follows through Dallas, but it survives in extreme heat and drought as well. The forest is tightly surrounded by urban land use, both the function and structure are different than the Angelina Forest in east Texas. The Angelina Forest is surrounded by rural lands with only small pockets of urban impacts.
So knowing this does what? First it should make it all the more precious to us, but with that comes responsibility. The key is balance. Protect the forest while offering more opportunities for visitors to enjoy it. The boundaries of the forest extend from the Santa Fe Trestle Trail at Moore Park, through the chain of wetlands to hike and bike trails taking you to and from the Audubon Center, along with natural trails such as the Buckeye trail, to just south of I-20 and Dowdy Ferry.
The Great Trinity Forest gives us the ability to step out of our concrete jungle and in to the woods, to whatever level we choose. As John Muir stated, “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”
It is home to a large variety of wildlife. Dallas is providing access to this beautiful and large wild space within the city through a network of trail systems such as the link of maintenance trails under construction between IH-20 Gateway and MLK, seven miles of new trail for all to enjoy.
Happy International Day of Forests!