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Environmental Stewardship Program

The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) Environmental Stewardship Program provides $1.6 million to fund efforts such as restoring wetlands, planting and tracking trees, and educating the private sector about environmental stewardship. Federal regulations encourage transportation planners to consider the effects of the long-range transportation plan on the natural environment. The $1.6 million is funded by Regional Toll Revenue funds.

Traffic JamWetlands

The following projects are being funded through the Environmental Stewardship Program:

Water Gardens
This project in Dallas will provide the public access to wetlands, other aquatic features, and a boardwalk at the original site of the Trinity River, which was re-routed in the 1930s to prevent flooding in downtown Dallas. Terraced wetlands will be created to filter stormwater. Natural wetlands will be restored adjacent to the river. The area will create a publicly available recreation site near downtown Dallas. The location also is being studied as a possible site for a station for a high-speed rail route from Dallas to Houston. The Environmental Stewardship Program will provide $350,000 for engineering services to support the water gardens project.

Zoo Creek Constructed Wetlands
Zoo Creek is an urban stream that drains about a 1,250 acre area through three outfalls near Texas Christian University. After flowing through the Zoo, the stream discharges into an oxbow of the Clear Fork Trinity River. Over the past few years, E. coli values have increased along the Clear Fork Trinity River downstream of the confluence with Zoo Creek. The oxbow is frequently polluted with aquatic trash, sediment, nutrients, bacteria, and debris from either the inflow from Zoo Creek or from inflow from the main stem of the Trinity River (Clear Fork). Flow through the oxbow is minimal, which attributes to low dissolved oxygen and sedimentation.

The city of Fort Worth, which maintains the oxbow, will evaluate designs for constructed wetlands that could reduce sediment and pollutants in the oxbow. The Environmental Stewardship Program will provide $200,000 to help fund an engineering study to assess these design alternatives.

Post Oak Leaves

Fort Worth Tree Plantings
The temperature in cities can be hotter than neighboring rural areas because of factors associated with urbanization, such as development, traffic, altered hydrology, additional concrete/asphalt and impermeable surfaces, and population density. These higher temperatures are known as the urban heat island effect. In Dallas/Fort Worth, 4.32 degrees Fahrenheit was the average difference in July high temperatures between urban and rural areas from 2001 to 2011, according to a study published in the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology. Trees can help reduce urban temperatures by providing shade and by evapotranspiration, a process where water emitted into the air by leaves is cooled via evaporation.

To help the city of Fort Worth address the urban heat island effect, the Environmental Stewardship Program will provide $200,000 for the city to purchase trees. These trees will be planted along Lancaster Avenue near the planned Hemphill-Lamar Connector, a street and pedestrian tunnel that will travel underneath Interstate 30 to connect the city's south side with downtown.

Dallas Tree Plantings
The Texas Trees Foundation's NeighborWoods program will work with community leaders and homeowners to plant trees in neighborhoods across Dallas that would benefit from additional tree cover.

The Environmental Stewardship Program will help the Texas Trees Foundation to purchase the trees, which will initially be planted in Dallas at the Richland College campus, where the foundation has a tree farm. Texas Trees Foundation will maintain the trees until they have reached a viable diameter; then the foundation will work with the neighborhoods to plant the trees. The homeowners will be responsible for maintaining the trees. As viable trees are moved out of the tree farm, new, smaller trees will be purchased and planted at the tree farm. This will create a revolving fund of $300,000 of trees.

Education Campaign
Members of the private sector can help retain and improve regional quality of life by engaging in stewardship of the natural environment. The Environmental Stewardship Program will dedicate $100,000 to educate members of the private sector about ways they can enhance and preserve the natural environment and address impacts created by infrastructure projects.

NCTCOG will conduct the following:

  • A workshop to educate builders and developers about ways to reduce their impacts on streams and wetlands and how to incorporate green infrastructure solutions.
  • Stakeholder and community outreach efforts to encourage stewardship in the Denton Greenbelt area, where an existing road will be expanded to increase capacity.
  • A webinar to inform mitigation bankers who create wetland and stream credits about the demand for credits potentially generated by projects in the region's long-range transportation plan.

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Development Impact Minimization Workshop

September 6, 2017

The USACE presented on the Regulatory Program, including: an overview of the Section 404 and Section 10 permitting program with an emphasis on statutory authorities, jurisdiction, and key elements of the permit evaluation process such as avoidance and minimization of impacts to waters of the United States. A second presentation focused on Compensatory Mitigation, Mitigation Banking, Permittee Responsible Mitigation, and the Fort Worth District Stream Mitigation Method. TPWD presented on important considerations related to wildlife and aquatic resources when developing.

Presentations

Denton Greenbelt Outreach

 

Tree Tracker
The Environmental Stewardship Program will develop an enhanced Tree Tracker website user interface and will contract with a consultant to produce a mobile-friendly website application in partnership with Texas Trees Foundation. The site will be able to:

  • Allow the public to upload photos and describe the locations of trees
  • Track trees by species, identify native tree species, and provide information on the benefits of native trees
  • Differentiate between new vs. existing trees
  • Provide a comments section
  • Accommodate performance measures on air quality and energy savings

Transportation Department Contact:
Kate Zielke
817-608-2395
kzielke@nctcog.org

Environment & Development Department Contact:
Derica Peters
817-695-9217
dpeters@nctcog.org

10/9/2017  

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