DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Great Trinity Forest in Dallas is considered one of the region’s prized natural resources.
Some city leaders have an idea to protect it – through a creative business arrangement.
A 14-mile loop along the Trinity Forest Trail – on rollerblades – is one of Reno Marquez’s favorite outdoor activities.
“It’s hot right now, but once you get back there and under the shade, it’s very nice,” he said.
He said the vast canopy provides much-needed cover – something he would like to preserve for the future.
“There’s not many places like this in Dallas left. It’s all city now. We need to do more to keep it protected,” he said.
Arun Agarwal, president of Dallas Parks and Recreation, supports a way to do that: through a currency called carbon credits. Companies who want to offset their carbon emissions can buy credits, which would go to preservation efforts of the Great Trinity Forest and more.
“The Great Trinity Forest is the largest urban forest system in the country. Not in the state, not in the city. So this is an asset which is worth preserving,” he said.
Agarwal said many city leaders, including Mayor Eric Johnson, are on board. On Monday, the Mayor called the idea “intriguing” and requested that the Park Board look into its feasibility.
The plan, advocates said, could raise $20 to $25 million. That money would also be earmarked for other green projects, including a trail that would connect East and South Dallas. Agarwal called it a win-win.
“It’s a transformative process, which we can use to take care of two of the most natural environments of the city of Dallas without costing a dime to the citizens,” Agarwal said.