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Some Worried Grapevine Expansion Will Hurt Ecosystem

By Melissa Newton, CBS 11 News
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GRAPEVINE (CBSDFW.COM) – The city of Grapevine has big plans to improve some of it’s largest parks.

The city council approved a motion Tuesday night to develop a master plan for Meadowmere and two other area parks.

Some fear that the wrong type of development will do more harm than
good.

Besides a boat ramp, a swim area, playground and soccer fields, Meadowmere remains virtually undeveloped.

Now, some fear adding to the park will only take away from the delicate ecosystem and the wildlife it sustains.

Dr. Ray Chancellor of Southlake spends several days a week out at Meadowmere Park at Lake Grapevine.

“I’ve been documenting the entire ecosystem from 377 to the Grapevine Dam for about 18 years.” Dr. Chancello¬† said, “We have 258 species of birds that move through here.”

He could probably identify all 258 species.

Many who look at the tall grass and overgrown brush near the lake, see nothing more than that, but when the avid bird-watcher looks at it, he sees the value it serves for the birds and other wildlife that nest here.

“Minor changes to it simply means those birds will no longer be nesting here,” Chancellor said.

That’s why he doesn’t want the city to mow the grasslands at Meadowmere Park.
“When you mow all this and deprive them of the food supply,” he explained, “those birds that come here in the winter will not come here.”

“There are a lot of opportunities,” said Doug Evans, “but we’re not going to ignore the birding and wildlife opportunities as well.”

The city is now in the process of developing a master plan for the park.
While no upgrades or improvements have been slated yet, but Evans said they’ll take into account the top priorities of the residents.

“Restrooms are the number one priority of citizens of Grapevine,” Evans said pointing out a recent survey conducted among 700 residents, “and that’s just not in the lake parks that’s everywhere.”

Still Chancellor and others who enjoy the park as it is, hope city leaders will also take into account the other lifeforms that don’t have a say in what happens to their homes.
“You can actually have development as long as you know what you have,” Chancellor said,¬† “and you take measures to protect it.”

“We were here, and I was like, ‘wow there are a lot of birds and it’s really quiet and peaceful’, said Grapevine resident Melissa Miller,” I like it I think they’ve done a lot to the other ones where there are a lot of people there, but I think they should leave this one the way it is.”

The city says the master plan is only the first step in a lengthy process.

From here, city leaders will begin more research and survey additional residents to find out what is most important to them and how to proceed.

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