Denton Greenbelt Debacle UPDATE

| December 2, 2020 | 0 Comments

I just want to keep those of us interested updated on what I am learning, as I learn it, about the Denton Greenbelt.

I will also continue to begin by telling you (more than 300 sets of new eyes visiting a day now), where the Greenbelt is located. The Greenbelt here in Denton County is just outside the County Seat of Denton, Texas. It is on HWY 380, east of Denton, and that third park on 380 is part of a chain of parks that run from Lake Ray Roberts all the way down to Lake Lewisville (or Lake Dallas if you prefer), Texas, along the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. That is where it is, but that’s only where the story starts.

BACK TO NOW

I’ve had a couple of long Q-n-A e mails with the head of the only organization (I know of so far), that is committed to the interests of the Denton Greenbelt Park System. Richard Rogers, the current Chairman of the Denton Greenbelt Alliance Board. Here is his response:

“We are as frustrated as you are.  We’ve been told year after year that the 380 park would be reopened soon, and then, another flood.  It was the most popular trailhead when it was open.  

We only recently learned that the logjams were causing the flooding problems.   This is when we went to work.  The problem now is a lack of funding as a clean up appears to be expensive.   Then there is the cost for ongoing maintenance. 

The best source for this heavy investment is probably the government , so we are trying to work with them instead of throwing stones.   The solution will probably be some type of public private partnership with volunteers for maintenance once we get the logjams cleared.   

If you or any of your team would like to help with this effort, we need the help.  We are currently working to get a plan together and work up the costs. You are welcome to send questions.I am a non retired engineer who donates time to the Greenbelt. I have no staff to help me. The board covers all overhead through donations. All our funding is raised through GreenFest registrations and sponsorships.”  – Richard Rogers 11/28/20

In handing off the IRS forms to the public, I learned that progress in fundraising, and different avenues of fundraising for the Greenbelt Alliance is pretty much at a standstill, with the only sources of revenue being the GreenFest, and “memberships” in the Alliance. Those memberships? Apparently that is a flat number that comes from some previous efforts, or by donating $1-dollar to the GreenFest = Greenbelt Coalition. 

IMPRESSIONS

My response to the above was swift – via e mail. Those of us who are interested in the waterway aspect of this 380 Greenbelt system, have known for years that  logjams were threatening – years before the Trinity River rerouted itself across the TPWD 380 Park parking lot. Yes, remember that is where the Trinity River now flows into Lewisville Lake. I went on to explain the Organization’s need for a modern, updated website for communication to the public on the status of this debacle – – – and forget about Facebook as an information sharing platform. 

I say to you: I think their idea of working with and not against the Government is truly admirable, only as long as there is progress in that work done together. The fact the Government under-budgeted the clearing process, thus wasting the money they spent? That is not a good sign at all. My best guess, is whatever money was wasted on that clearing, was about one-tenth of what is needed to do the job. Anyone have that number? What was spent?

ACTIONS

Based on that email, I am starting to hedge our bets on the Greenbelt Alliance as a force to join with in order to achieve the goals of making the Greenbelt Park Corridor viable via water once again, and perpetually. What are those specific goals? I’d love to hear your list! Mine are pretty lofty.

I hedged by purchasing some website names that could be used to form, a hub for Denton Greenbelt information, or to outright become a new organization formed to harness the PUBLIC’s power of political persuasion, and leave the closed-door wrangling to those who like being indoors, behind closed doors. My greatest hope is that I don’t have to do this (split off with a new organization) to gain traction. It would be much more effective to have the Alliance embrace us, and embrace the additional visibility this group can bring to the Denton Greenbelt Debacle. However, if the Alliance is relying on Facebook? then there’s already a HUGE core problem. It seems like I am bringing a propane torch to melt an iceberg – at the moment. 

FORWARD PROGRESS

We have an amazing opportunity that is given to us because we now exist in an amazing time. It’s a time when time is … relative for many of us. We have plenty of it, and it’s thought this will be the darkest of winters – on top of all that. Why not use some of this asset on organizing, and finding out what the easiest route to push this rock up that hill is? 

My biggest takeaway continues to be this: The Greenbelt Alliance has equestrian trails as priority one. The reason their interest in the 380 Park is heightened slightly, is because that park’s closing means the horse trails were closed, and the 380 parking lot (for horse trailers?) is closed as well – due to the River running through it.

Don’t all speak up at once! 

As soon as weather cooperates, I will show you the TPWD 380 Greenbelt Park. For now, I am still looking to know what YOU know about this huge boulder.

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Category: Body-Mind-Soul, Causes, Science and Environmental

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I write. I photograph. I fish, and I live.

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