Mark Pinkston 2015 head shot editedCongratulations to Virginia Cook Realtor Mark Pinkston, who was recognized for his volunteer service as the 2015 Hearts at Work Award recipient. Pinkston was feted by the brokerage at the Park City Club on Sept. 25 for his work with For The Love of the Lake, which received a donation of $1,000 as part of Pinkston’s recognition.

“Volunteer service to the communities where we live and work has been integral to our company culture since we opened 16 years ago,” said Virginia Cook. “The Hearts at Work program takes this commitment a step further with formal recognition of sales associates like Mark who give so much of themselves to enrich the lives of individuals, families and neighborhoods.”

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When I arrived at the Boy Scout Hill town hall meeting, there was a line forming out the door from a table handing out green lapel ribbons and thumbs up/down signs for attendees. According to a volunteer named Susan at the table, the ribbons showed support for an unsullied Boy Scout Hill, while the signs were for attendees to use to quietly indicate whether they liked or disliked what presenters Lyle Burgin and Richard Kopf had to say. I have covered town hall meetings before, so I know they can get out of hand quite quickly, but this level of preparedness left me hopeful.

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UPDATE: According to Eric Nicholson at the Dallas Observer, the Arboretum has changed course and won’t try to park cars at Winfrey Point.
That is, if the Dallas Arboretum has its way.

This weekend, a group of supporters carrying posters and wearing shirts saying “Help Save Winfrey Point” rallied outside the Dallas Arboretum, protesting the new parking facility planned for the area. Winfrey Point, an award-winning blackland prairie restoration and natural area, is a popular landmark at White Rock Lake. It’s home to a few tidy baseball diamonds, too.

But from now until November, it’ll be a parking lot. And after that, it could be a parking garage.

I bet you’re thinking Joni Mitchell was ahead of her time, amiright?

I am wondering how the folks who live in the Emerald Isle neighborhood as well as some of the nearby pricey apartments and condos think about having a ton of cars parked on Winfrey Point. That can’t be good for property values.

In the WFAA story, nearby residents sounded downright stunned by the news, saying that there was no public notice of the decision. One day, Winfrey Point was just another part of Dallas’ Crown Jewel — White Rock Lake — the next day the mowers were roaring and the wildflowers were shaking in their roots.

Now, the Arboretum, which just finished another overflow lot on Garland Road a couple of blocks away, says that because of the new Dave Chihuly exhibit and the addition of the new Children’s Garden, they need a place to park more cars, and Winfrey Point happens to be that spot. They also claim that all of those wildflowers and grasses aren’t native at all, and should’ve been mowed down anyway.

Fighting the Arboretum on the issue will be an uphill battle for residents and nature-lovers, that’s for sure.

Perhaps someone has already thought of this, but what happens when several less-than-well-maintained cars and trucks park out on the blackland prairie restoration area and leak oil and other toxic fluids into the soil before the parking structure is built? What about all the hard work the city put into restoring the area? And what about the brand-new baseball diamonds?

Is the city being short-sighted, or are the Arboretum’s neighbors being too sensitive? How will a multi-story parking structure change the landscape of White Rock Lake Park?

There seem to be a heck of a lot more questions than answers, that’ for sure.