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By now I’m sure you’ve read just about all of the postmortems on the infamous shout fest of a town hall last month regarding a proposed restaurant at Boy Scout Hill. But even if you’ve had your fill, I implore you, find room for just one more: Eric Celeste’s “Whose Lake is it Anyway?” in the June issue of D Magazine. 

This is an important column to read because residents of Old Lake Highlands and other White Rock Lake-adjacent neighborhoods need to see what other Dallasites see, from the outside looking in. Whereas Lyle Burgin and Richard Knopf just wanted to build a restaurant atop what they thought was an underused portion of White Rock Lake Park, residents saw it as an abominable incursion on public space that was a slippery slope toward turning the “Crown Jewel of Dallas” into an amusement park.

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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.