In conjunction with the non-profit organization Groundwork Dallas and with the support of the City of Dallas and its Forestry Department, Founders Garden Club of Dallas members are working to revitalize an urban wilderness area. The project was hampered by flooding from October through January and then heavy rains, resulting in loss of tree and erosion around the lake. However, members have been able to identify existing (remnant) species and determine what they want to thrive. These include purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea) for pollinators; flameleaf sumac (Rhus copallinum) which forms thickets of color; and yaupon (Ilex vomitoria) with its red berries for wildlife. In October of 2014, the slope of the park was seeded with Texas bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis), the state flower of Texas, and other species. These have thrived.
Dallas County is entirely within the Blackland Prairie ecoregion of Texas. The predominant range plants are grasses. Many of the native plants in Hines Park were “disturbed” by the construction of Stemmons Freeway (I-35E), a 10-lane highway that travels over the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. Among the many existing native grasses are: buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides); big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) and little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) that are good nesting cover for birds; sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula), the state grass of Texas; Western wheatgrass (Elytrigia smithii); and curly mesquite (Hilaria belangeri).
The most recent workday was February 27, 2016, the group removed invasive privet and planted buffalograss, curly mesquite and sideoats grama to stabilize the slopes. Members will continue to work with nature on this project, recognizing the potential for further flooding.
Founders Garden Club of Dallas was founded in 1938 by a group of 50 horticulturally-minded ladies of the Dallas Garden Club. They were elected into the Garden Club of America in 1940.
Founders Garden Club of Dallas embraces this mission. Over the years, longtime associations with the Dallas Historical Society’s Hall of State and the Dallas County Heritage Society, Texas Discovery Gardens, Aldredge House, Dallas Heritage Village, Dallas Arboretum and Botanic Center, Trinity River Audubon Center, and other Dallas “greening” projects have flourished.
Today, new members as well as fourth generation members continue in our charter member’s vision to conserve, protect , preserve, educate, beautify, and serve as Dallas’ civic leaders for a more beautiful and sustainable world for tomorrow.
Groundwork Dallas is dedicated to improving the natural surroundings of the Dallas and beyond. We work closely with area citizens, like-minded organizations, and the city to help realize a vision of a safer, cleaner, and healthier environment. A healthy urban forest is essential for maintaining the quality of air and water in the Dallas metroplex.
The mission of Groundwork Dallas is to regenerate, sustain, and improve the Dallas Elm Fork Greenbelt and Great Trinity Forest by developing community-based partnerships that educate and empower people, businesses, and organizations to promote environmental stewardship. Everyone deserves a green, healthy, and resilient environment.
Members will continue to work with nature on this project, recognizing the potential for further flooding.