I grew up in a pretty standard middle-class neighborhood, the zone where suburban paradise meets backwoods wilderness. The area where cow pastures and oak forests were salivated over by developers wanting to build neighborhoods called Cedar, Lake, Ridge, Hill, Valley Country. As a kid, I enjoyed the ability to walk in any direction, spot some deer in a field and then continue walking to find some neighbors playing basketball in a park. Pretty standard stuff.

I miss those opportunities to just go outside. If I walk outside now, the closest I get to wilderness is Main Street Garden and a little rabbit that lives somewhere in the brush that my dogs chase. (Sigh, adult life). Sometimes I get to see squirrels at Reverchon Park or ducks on the man-made docks at White Rock Lake, you see where I’m going with this. But, this weekend a discovery was made, and hopefully for many others, too. The discovery of an enormous space where urban congestion mashes itself against open green space. This space is the Trinity River Basin, and the weekend was the All Out Trinity event.

For those of you who haven’t heard there’s a little river that runs through this city. And, more importantly, there’s a great group of people out there trying to make the space around the river into our urban playground. All Out Trinity, led by Randall White, Jeff Herrington and MSC member, Mark Lea, was a one day outdoor recreation event to showcase the space and, monumental potential, that is the Trinity River Basin. There was something for everyone out there. Runners started early with the Trinity River Levee Run, more than 300 people joined in yoga on the bridge, a beer garden was set up surrounded by food trucks and someone was crazy enough to host a girls’ lacrosse game down there, too (it was me, I did that).

As for that yoga, our own Stephanie Norsworthy recalls “A chant of OM in a yoga class is always moving, but chanting a round of five OMs on a beautiful bridge overlooking the city on a sunshine-filled day with a group of 640+, is absolutely magical. CommUNITY at its most powerful.”

You could drop off your dog at the pop-up dog park and play a round of disc golf, all while under the shadow of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and the Dallas skyline. Whatever your particular outdoor flavor was, the purpose of All Out Trinity was simply highlighting that even within mere feet of our skyline, it’s possible to get outside and be active, or enjoy nature and the natural beauty of the Trinity River. Innovative thinkers like Randall, Jeff and Mark, and supporters like the Trinity Commons Foundation, the City of Dallas Trinity Corridor Project and RAFT, prove that great ideas and execution can shape a city.

So, how do you wrap up an amazing day of just playing around? How about s’mores and a bonfire, and the ongoing conversations about how to keep the momentum going. I’ll let Mark wrap up this post with his own comment. “We’ve been talking about making the Trinity River Basin a park for over 80 years and I’m not naive enough to think that will happen overnight, but it will become our city’s crown jewel, and I think that day is coming sooner than most people realize.”

 David Higbee | MSC Class 2013-2014

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