Save the trees

Bachman Lake Park to lose 25 trees as mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration

Bachman Lake Park to lose 25 trees as mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration

Bachman Lake
Southwest Airlines, which is based out of Dallas Love Field, makes frequent trips across Bachman Lake.  Courtesy photo
Bachman Lake
Bachman Lake is a popular spot for an afternoon stroll or a jog. 
Bachman Lake playground
In addition to a 3-mile trail, Bachman Lake has a great playground.  Courtesy photo
Bachman Lake
Bachman Lake
Bachman Lake playground

Allow me to put on my Peace Corps-serving, environment-loving hat for a minute. Bachman Lake Park, an oasis of green space in a concrete jungle, is losing 25 trees on Monday, October 22. Live oaks, red oaks, sycamores and bald cypresses are all destined for the wood chipper.

They aren't sick or damaged. But they do have the unfortunate fate of being planted in the flight path from Love Field Airport.

 The loss of 25 trees is a regretable situation, but I tip my biodegradable hat to the City of Dallas for moving forward with a plan for a greener future. 

The Federal Aviation Administration wants the trees removed so as not to inhibit aircraft instrument signals during blinding fog, heavy rain or snow, and any other "reduced visibility situations."

Far be it from me to prevent the safe passage of our nation's airplanes. I agree the trees need to be removed. But what I can't get my nature-loving brain around is why they were ever planted in such a precarious location in the first place.

Trees are wont to grow and expand, and you can't very well plant one in an area with a height limit. Maybe these trees existed way before Love Field Airport did, in which case their deaths are still a tragedy of industrialization but a much less avoidable one. Happily, there are signs of a different kind of progress on this front. 

In 2004, Dallas Park and Recreation Department initiated a "proactive planting program" to add trees only in areas not subject to current FAA regulations. Since then, more than 500 trees have been planted at Bachman Lake Park. The loss of 25 trees is still a regrettable situation, but I tip my biodegradable hat to the City of Dallas for moving forward with a plan for a greener future. 

Forestry crews with the park department will begin removing the trees on Monday. The process is expected to take two to three weeks. The last time something like this occurred at the park was in 2005, when 15 trees were removed from the runway approach slope.