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Exploring the Trinity River, Part 2

By Victor Simon, an intern at Trinity Park Conservancy, and part of the Mayor’s Intern Fellowship Program. For his internship, he is researching and exploring different sites and features along the Trinity River.

Fraiser Dam Recreation Area is made up of 116 acres of land. It is adjacent to Hines Park, which is 11 acres, and has a loop trial, rock garden and wildlife viewing platform. 

Our friends at Groundwork Dallas are dedicated to improving the natural surroundings of Dallas and beyond and are the stewards of these two natural areas.

“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.”

They have a partnership with Dallas ISD and have students volunteer to do trash pickups and other maintenance projects. This is good because some kids can use this to earn community service hours. Groundwork Dallas and Trinity Park Conservancy often partner to host trash pick-ups near the dam and people can volunteer to come out and help.

There are some activities that you can do at the dam like walk jog or ride your bike on the trail which is about 3-4 feet wide and it is made up of gravel and rocks. The area is heavily wooded and dead limbs and branches are common along the trails. I would say watch for snakes that would live or be around the dead tree branches. 

The landscape of the dam is mostly surrounded by tall trees, there is a lot of shade for people who want to hang out during the day. There are also areas of grass so the kids can play field activities such as football, kickball, or frisbee. You should be careful when going close to the water edge because there is poison ivy and slopes that are made up of dirt and loose rocks. 

Fraiser Dam is located on the side of I-35 near the city of Irving, where it is located is a place most Dallas residents would never think to stop. At this location there is a large body of water surrounded by tall trees and wetlands. When I visited, the water was so high that it has some of the trees halfway under water.

The area needs a lot of maintenance on a regular basis, because the trash that comes from both up-stream and the nearby highway gathers in this area. The type of trash that I noticed most included recyclable items like water bottles, cans, and paper. I also saw a couple of basketballs and car tires that may have been carried by the river.

You can help keep the area cleaner by volunteering to help with local nonprofits like the Conservancy and Groundwork Dallas who host regular trash pick ups around the Trinity River. Another way to help is to stop throwing trash on the ground, and either recycle or correctly dispose of trash.

We can all enjoy the natural spaces along the Trinity River, but it is up to all of us to keep it clean. By volunteering and picking up after ourselves and other, we can all enjoy a clean environment and a greener future.

Victor Simon is a rising senior at Kimball High School where he is a part of their varsity football and track teams.

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