Birders Paradise at the Lower Chain of Wetlands
By Jim Frisinger
Fort Worth District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has sculpted one such “wildscape” out of an old trash dump, the former Sleepy Hollow Golf Course and edges of it are adjacent to the Great Trinity Forest and Trinity River. From certain locations within the wetland area, Dallas’ downtown is so close that skyscrapers peek above the tree line.
The Lower Chain of Wetlands was conceived through years of collaborative planning between the City of Dallas and the Corps to more efficiently convey floodwaters thus reducing flood elevations along the Trinity River corridor upstream by as much as one foot. The four wetland cells are chained together to provide this conveyance feature and they are a working system that opened in 2009.
It took three years to plant a different mix of aquatic plants around each wetland cell and to place them on the appropriate water depth for them to thrive. Each is surrounded by a collar of grasslands. All the vegetation was selected to be particularly valuable as a food source or cover for resident and migratory birds and wildfowl.
The Lower Chain of Wetlands this area is a perfect example of what the Trinity River Corridor Project represents for Dallas because the area is a working flood protection system, it provides a seventy-five acre recreation area adjacent to the historic communities of Joppa and Pemberton hill, it provides access to the Great Trinity Forest, and features environmental properties. "The wetlands are a very special place to slow down, look, listen, and enjoy the beauty of nature through the seasons,” said Susan Tiholiz. “What a gift to anyone who visits!”