Dallas plans to remove 19 trees from Lakewood Park

The City of Dallas wants to remove 19 trees from a Lakewood Park to make room for native plants and flowers, but dozens of people who live nearby are unhappy with the plan.

Brooks Blair has lived next-door to Lakewood Park since 1991 and has cut trails through the wildflowers to give people greater access to walk through the park. He’s also watered the wildflowers as well as planted a number of trees.

But several months ago, he said the city ordered him to stop cutting trails in the blackland prairie wildflowers.

"It was real depressing,” Blair said. “This is real traumatic for me, since I planted a lot of these trees."

Kevin Taylor, the president of the Lakewood Park Association says neighbors are also upset the Dallas Parks and Recreation Department is planning on removing 19 trees from the park. 

"They're frustrated that they're not able to use the park like they have in the past,” Taylor said.

Park officials told Taylor the trees were stifling the growth of native plants and flowers in the protected blackland prairie area.

Taylor showed FOX4 a parks department PowerPoint presentation identifying the 19 trees to be removed, the majority of them small pecan trees. In that presentation it says: "Purpose: is to provide documentation of rogue tree plantings throughout Lakewood Prairie."

Taylor said he’d like parks officials to listen to the concerns of neighbors.

"I'd like for them to give feedback and if they do move forward with removing trees, that maybe there could be a compromise, to removing some but not all of the trees,” Taylor said.

Jeri Huber, who lives nearby can't believe the trees are about to be yanked out.

"This doesn't even have a sign that says black land prairie and all of the sudden were concerned we're not going to have enough flowers? Unless we cut down 19 trees? I just don't get it! I just don't understand,” Huber said.

For Blair, the whole situation has been a giant disappointment.

"I felt like I was leaving a legacy for the City of Dallas, or for the people of Dallas and it's just not going to turn out that way.”

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