58 Acres Protected for Future Arlington Preserve (TX)
Arlington, Texas, 5/25/2005?- The Trust for Public Land (TPL) announced it has acquired property in a rapidly-developing area in Southwest Arlington with the aim of establishing a new nature preserve in the City of Arlington. The property had been slated for residential development before the TPL was able to reach an agreement to protect the land with the developer that owned it. TPL will hold the 58-acre property, located just southeast of I-20 and Bowman Springs Road, until the City can purchase the land using funds from a $13.6 million parks bond package approved by Arlington voters on Saturday. TPL expects to transfer the property to the City early this summer.
Located in Southwest Arlington, the site had been identified by the City’s Parks Department as a high priority acquisition to establish a preserve. Blessed with unusually high vistas, this area offers wonderful views of downtown Fort Worth and includes two small lakes. The rolling wooded terrain provides habitat for many species of wildlife forced out of neighboring residential and commercial development. Because of its high vistas, many longtime residents know the Bowman Springs site as ‘Kennedale Mountain.’
“The Bowman Springs property is one of the most attractive undeveloped areas in Arlington,” said Mayor Robert Cluck. “I want to thank TPL and our City Parks staff for their work to protect this site for the citizens of Arlington.”
In early 2004, the City approached TPL about preserving the site, which was already in the process of being platted and subdivided for future residential and strip commercial development. TPL staff began working with the property owner, Michlee Development Corporation, to finalize an agreement to protect the property.
“We’re in the business of developing real estate,” said Michlee President Leo Wentz, “and we envisioned this as potentially a truly unique homesite development. But, after much discussion with TPL, we concluded that this beautiful piece of land would better serve the community in its natural state. We were delighted when TPL, Michlee, and the City were able to devise a plan to preserve Bowman Springs for public enjoyment.”
TPL’s role in saving Bowman Springs is part of its Parks for People initiative, a national effort to work with cities across America to ensure that everyone– in particular, every child– enjoys access to a park, playground, or open space.
“Arlington has grown steadily for decades,” said Paul Lehner, TPL Project Manager for North Texas. “As a result, much of Arlington’s once abundant open space has been developed and even the most attractive natural areas are in danger of disappearing forever. TPL applauds the Arlington community for its commitment to saving as much open space as possible to ensure an exceptional quality of living for its citizens.”
Since its founding in 1972, the Trust for Public Land has helped protect more than 2 million acres of land in 45 states. In Texas, TPL has protected more than 27,000 acres for communities, including areas in and around Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. The Trust for Public Land depends on the support and generosity of individuals, foundations, and businesses to achieve its land for people mission. For more information please visit TPL on the web at www.tpl.org