Sunday, January 9, 2011

Lower Chain Of Wetlands, Trinity River Project

Horseback riders at Linfield Flat, Wetland Cell Project, Trinity River, Dallas

The lower chain of wetlands are comprised of half a dozen cells that extend from the I-45 bridge south to Loop 12. The wetlands are not a part of the Trinity River channel. They sit up and above grade from the Trinity. As a result the land and water are much cleaner than the river channel nearby. Hard to even find a piece of trash in this part of the Trinity River Project. Much of the land used by the chain of wetlands was originally part of the Sleepy Hollow Golf Course and Country Club.

The Chain of Wetlands extends about four miles in length from Cedar Creek to Loop 12. The three wetland cells located between Cedar Creek and Interstate 45 are interconnected and actually flow upstream and are continuously fed by discharge (or treated water) from the Central Wastewater Treatment Plant north of I-45.  The plant's water is treated against harmful bacteria before being discharged. The remaining three wetland cells extend from the Interstate 45 vicinity to Loop 12 and are also interconnected and continuously fed by treatment plant water.

Thunderstorms in Kaufman County as viewed from Fellows Lane Gate at Trinity River Wetland Cell Project

Location: 4800 Fellows Lane

Currently there is not any on-site parking available to access this portion of the Trinity River Project. The best parking option is at 4800 Fellows Lane where it dead ends at an access gate. Other options include parking at the Loop 12 Boat Ramp parking lot and heading north. The Great Trinity Forest paved path can be visited on the same trip which lies directly to the south of Loop 12.

Trinity River Wetland Cell Trail Map
Routes above are a mixture of dirt roads and some trails

Downtown Dallas skyline as viewed from Trinity River Wetland Chain of Lakes

Gravel road at Fellows Lane gate looking south towards Loop 12

Currently no formal hike and bike trails exist in the wetland cell project. There are a few dirt roads that skirt the perimeter of the lakes and also meander along some treelines along the river. This area is fairly open and easy to negotiate in dry weather. At the present time there are not any water fountains or restroom facilities available.

Wetland Cell as viewed from Union Pacific Trestle

Thundershower over Fair Park during Tropical Storm Hermine

When the river floods the Wetland Cells absorb much of the excess water creating a buffer for areas downstream. The video above illustrates this. It was taken in September of 2010 during the flooding cause by Tropical Storm Hermine. At the time, the river was roughly levee to levee downtown. As you can see, the wetland cells are doing their job. Water is moving from cell to cell and carrying it away from the river as designed.

There are fish in the lakes but I believe they are transient coming in during flood periods. I do not believe the lakes have been stocked.