Monday, May 7, 2012

Dallas Arboretum vs Winfrey Point

From 2012 04 Dallas Blooms

Dallas Arboretum Garden Etiquette
  • No picking flowers, foliage, seeds or leaves
  • No climbing on trees, walls, fountains or sculptures
  • No standing or walking in flower beds
  • No balls, Frisbees, bikes, scooters, roller blades, kites, balloons, or other items potentially damaging to the grounds are permitted in the Garden.
  • But feel free to drive your cars, vans, SUVs, pickup trucks, whatever, all over the grasses on that patch of Texas blackland prairie at Winfrey Point. What do we care? It's not ours.
I have no business commenting on Dallas's business, but I can't resist this spat of nature lovers. It's tree huggers vs flower power. What it boils down to is that the Dallas Arboretum has outgrown its parking. It wants to use White Rock Lake's Winfrey Point for special event overflow parking (and maybe later for more permanent parking).

After the jump, my perspective.

I recently attended Dallas Blooms at the Dallas Arboretum. I had a wonderful time strolling the grounds. That photo above is of Winfrey Point, taken from the Camp House lawn. I remember commenting how the Arboretum fails to exploit its location on high ground above White Rock Lake. I said there should be more vistas that open up onto the lake, like the one in the photo above. Little did I know that not only was the Arboretum not interested in featuring lake views from the Arboretum, it was actively laying plans to jeopardize the view by using Winfrey Point as a parking lot. Count me on the side of the tree huggers against flower power in this dispute.

I find it ironic that the big summer show planned for the Dallas Arboretum is an exhibit by artist Dale Chihuly of glass sculptures placed throughout the gardens. Beautiful. No denying it. But colorful, extravagant, glass baubles in a flower garden? Really? Isn't the focal point of a flower garden supposed to be, you know, the flowers? Isn't the Chihuly exhibit kind of like upstaging the bride at a wedding?

I won't go as far as Jim Schutze does in his criticism of "big-big, fake-looking, Yellow Brick Road plant shows." He doesn't even like real flowers. I enjoy strolling among those. It's the fake glass flowers in a real flower garden where I draw the line. And I'm totally against trampling the real live grass on Winfrey Point to expand parking for visitors who want to ogle the fake glass flowers in the Dallas Arboretum.

The Dallas Arboretum's board of directors seems to have lost sight of Everette DeGolyer's concept for a botanical preserve for Dallas. Success seems to have blinded them to the simple beauty of nature. This Dallas Arboretum public relations disaster is self-inflicted. It would be like the City of Richardson deciding to park cars for its Wildflower! festival in the nearby Spring Creek Nature Area. Richardson would never do that, right? Let's hope not. But, come to think of it, just what are Richardson's plans for the area?

1 comment:

White Rock Lake, Dallas said...

The fight over Winfrey Point is far from over. The latest documents discovered by Hal Barker leave a bad taste in our mouths, and reminds us of Mao Zedong’s slogan: "Man must conquer Nature." Read the latest here, and browse the new documentation just released: