Environment
6:00 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Parking Lot Opponents Monitor Winfrey Point

It remained unclear Sautrday if or when the city of Dallas will mow the Winfrey Point grasslands at White Rock Lake. An official with the Dallas Arboretum says patrons will need to use the fields for overflow parking. 

Opponents who don’t want the grasslands used for parking say they’ll be at the site this week ready to confront mowers.

Protestors drew audible support from drivers Saturday as they picketed the Dallas Arboretum along Garland Road. Seventy-one year old Rosie Wallin, who lives nearby, said she’ll be on watch at Winfrey Point everyday.

 “Everyday until someone tells us they are not going to mow. We are against mowing and parking there even temporarily,” Wallin said.

Wallin was one of two hundred protestors who drew attention to the controversy as the Dallas Arboretum opened its show of Dale Chihuly’s famous glass sculptures. She wants to protect nesting birds and plant life.

“We’re not totally against mowing. After the flowers go to seed so they can replant themselves or reseed themselves. Well, by June or the end of June is fine to come in and mow it down like they do all over the state,” Wallin said.

At the Arboretum entrance, some activists felt drawn to sing the chorus of Joni Mitchell’s "Big Yellow Taxi," her famous song about development: Don’t it always seem to go, you don’t know what you’ve got till its gone / they paved paradise and put up a parking lot.

"This is paradise! This is what they want to pave!” Marcher said.

Arboretum spokesperson Wendy Holman said the Arboretum knew the group gathered near the front gate and “supports freedom of speech as long as it’s done in a nondestructive way.” Holman said the protests did not appear to affect attendance Saturday which she described as “fantastic.”