Protecting the Past to Enrich the Future
One day in 1980, Bobby Scott took a walk in the woods and discovered the past – Spring Creek Forest. The pristine bottomland forest in the floodplain of Spring Creek was a haven of towering trees and unusual wildflowers on the edge of a dynamic North Garland community. Early settlers, who cut most of the timber around streambeds a century ago, left Spring Creek untouched. Mr. Scott knew that it was unique; and when he showed it to city officials in 1982, they agreed. With the help of Dallas County and the State of Texas, Garland began its efforts to protect the relic forest of Chinquapin, Bur, and Shumard oaks. Many of these trees, 100-300 years old, soared to heights of 100 feet on trunks four feet thick.
Scientists found that not only was the forest type unique, but so were the wildflowers. The delicate Solomon’s seal, not previously known to occur in the Dallas area, flourished in the forest. A large population of trout lily grew abundantly there.
Visitors today continue to express awe at the forest’s natural treasures. Gary Powell (formerly with the Texas Department of Water Resources) suggested that some of the rare plants in the forest that have never been screened could prove to contain biochemicals for lifesaving medicines. John White of The Nature Conservatory believes, “It is very unlikely that any other forest like the one along Spring Creek exists in the nation.” Over 650 species of plants & animals have been observed. This does not include dragonflies, spiders, mites, beetles, ants and a host of other organisms. Scientists, conservationists, and nature buffs alike agree this place must be preserved as a biological museum to be used for study and enjoyment. In a cooperative effort, The City of Garland and The Preservation Society for Spring Creek Forest has been established to ensure that it is.
“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life.” John Burroughs