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Turtle Creek Association - Past, Present & Future

In 1984, a group of concerned neighbors and local businessmen became aware that the Turtle Creek corridor was not being properly cared for.  The creek was littered, the greenbelts needed attention and the boulevard medians were an eyesore.  A call to action was needed to work hand-in-hand with the City of Dallas Park & Recreation and Streets Departments to improve the aesthetic environment of the Turtle Creek neighborhood.  On March 8, 1985 nine charter members formed our first Board of Trustees:

Judy Cunningham David Detwiler Erv Eatonson
Sharon Galer Ken Korges  Judy Lifson
Jane Manning  Virginia Prejean Bill Springer

history_aerial-view-turtle-creek.jpgIt was the group’s initial stated purpose to “…preserve, protect and enhance the physical environment and quality of life in the Turtle Creek corridor,” which to this day is our Mission Statement.

Over the years the Turtle Creek Association has grown in size to over 700 members and nearly 100 business members.  We have become the City of Dallas’ model for community cooperation with the Park and Recreation Department through our stewardship and management of 25 boulevard medians and 90 acres of urban hardwood forest.

Key events mark the history of the Turtle Creek Association. In 1995, we joined with the Dallas Southern Memorial Association and other community organizations to form the Lee Park and Arlington Hall Conservancy, which is responsible for the renovation and preservation of Arlington Hall and development of Lee Park. In 1998, the Turtle Creek Association launched a four-year $450,000 median renovation and landscaping project.

In 2003, the Turtle Creek Association commissioned noted urban planner Antonio DiMambro of Boston to formulate a Master Plan for Turtle Creek, which brought to light many areas of concern including public access, bank stabilization, reforestation, pedestrian and traffic safety and irrigation.  In 2009, the Turtle Creek Association presented the Urban Forest and Wildlife General Management Plan of Halff Associates, a year-long comprehensive study of the Turtle Creek ecosystem and urban forest. In this study 2,602 trees were mapped, identified, evaluated and tagged, while the wildlife was observed and recommendations were made to improve the ecology of the Turtle Creek corridor. Twenty-three new trees were planted and irrigated to enhance the 90 acre urban forest.

history_bowen-stabilization-wall.jpgIn 2011, the Turtle Creek Association funded the design and engineering aspects of limestone-faced erosion protection walls along Turtle Creek from the Hall Street dam to the Bowen Street Bridge.  This project resulted in one of the most picturesque reaches of the creek.  In 2013, we invested $45,000 to restore the median irrigation system and funded seasonal plantings of over 30,000 annuals in the greenbelts of Turtle Creek Park.

All of this work is funded through private donations and is managed under the guidance of many outstanding community leaders. True Knowles, Jane Dunne, Judy & Bill Pittman, Robert Dotson, Will Terry, Ann Swisher, Janet Watts, Dr. Ann Stuart and Cathy Golden are just a few of the hundreds of residents, professionals  and volunteers who are the Turtle Creek Association.