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Paradise Diminished. Fracking in Arlington, Tx.

Updated on September 27, 2015

Fracking Notification

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Pappy Elkins Park

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Proprosed Fracking Site

I can't be held guiltless. When the natural gas people asked if they could lease the mineral rights underneath our home for three years and give us a couple thousand dollars plus royalties to do it, I jumped at the chance. I envisioned a remote drilling operation in the city center with pipes somehow running deep beneath our homes. Little did I realize that they would choose one of my favorite little parks, where I went bird watching, photographed wildflowers and my husband walked the dog. I was aghast when I first saw what had happened to my park. This was a park where I saw roadrunners, cuckoos, blue birds, kestrels, and kingfishers. I spent hours watching great blue herons and cormorants, mallards and wigeons, coots and bufflehead. I walked slowly and cherished the wildflowers and we watched our black lab romp through the meadow.

The Current View Entering the Nature Trail

Fracking Operation at Pappy Elkins Park
Fracking Operation at Pappy Elkins Park | Source

Pappy Elkins Park

Pappy Elkins Park was built in the 1960s. It was named after Arthur "Pappy" Elkins, who was the first resident to homestead in Dalworthington Gardens. The Boy Scouts have held yearly gatherings at the park where they work on merit badges and have fun. They are also involved in bird counts and have made blue-bird houses along the trails in the park where blue birds were nesting. It appears that over the last couple years many have fallen into a state of disrepair.

Original Bluebird House in Pappy Elkins Park
Original Bluebird House in Pappy Elkins Park | Source
Bluebird House Now in Disrepair
Bluebird House Now in Disrepair | Source

Paradise Diminished

I have included some before and after pictures of this little paradise so that you may understand why I feel the way that I do about the changes that have been made in the park. The first photo takes a look from the back side of the lake towards the bridge and eventually the parking lot. This area included a grassy meadow and was once full of wildflowers and field birds like the scissor-tailed flycatcher in the summertime. The second photo shows the dramatic change in scenery with an attempt to naturalize the un-natural fracking compound. The grayness does have something to do with the time of year the photo was taken, but it mimics the drear feelings I have about the changes that were made to the environment.

Golden Sunflower Overlooking the Pond at Pappy Elkins
Golden Sunflower Overlooking the Pond at Pappy Elkins | Source
The same meadow in the distance has been filled in by a Fracking Compound.
The same meadow in the distance has been filled in by a Fracking Compound. | Source

Water Concerns

Although I have nothing solid on which to base my concerns about the water in the lake, I am concerned. Fracking normally involves the use of millions of gallons of water, as well as minuscule amounts of chemicals which find their way into the water supply. These chemicals are often involved with the use of the machinery itself, such as for lubrication or to prevent corrosion. They may also use chemicals like surfactants to make the water run more smoothly. Tiny amounts do add up over time and may cause a concern for the runoff water. I went down to the lake to take pictures today and this is what I found. Follow the path of the pipe from the compound to the lake. It may be clean water coming from the compound. However, I do have to wonder when I look at the water entering the inlet to the lake. In fairness, I must say that there are no obvious signs that the lake is being affected and the waterfowl seem to be thriving at this time.

Follow the Pipes

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The Importance of Being Well Informed

My brother is the one who enlightened me regarding the chemical concerns involved in fracking. I had been told that only water was used in the process. My concerns have always been more aesthetic in nature. I hope that this article gives you pause to consider what you are saying yes to when you receive a postcard in the mail or phone call to lease your mineral rights or agree to allow drilling in your neighborhood park. Below are a few wildflower photos to remind me and you of much of the beauty we are now foregoing at Pappy Elkins Park. Thank you for your interest,

Wildflowers at Pappy Elkins Park

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Water Birds at Pappy Elkins still Abundant

Great White Egret
Great White Egret | Source

Pappy Elkins Park before Fracking

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Striated or Green Heron

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    • Lenzy profile image
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      Lenzy 2 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      I noticed that the yellow billed cuckoo was added to the threatened endangered list and that they are trying to add protected land for their habitat. Any chance that this could affect the fracking at Pappy Elkins since that was habitat for yellow billed cuckoos. I saw a pair there previously.

    • Lenzy profile image
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      Lenzy 3 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      Thank you so much for your site on Pappy Elkins Park. I have numerous before pictures which I took on my journeys at Pappy Elkins of its wildflowers and waterfowl if you want any of them for your website. I actually cried when I saw what they did to the park. It used to be my favorite site for bird watching and looking at wildflowers and butterflies. I used to see cuckoos in the woods and flycatchers on the banks and kingfishers and bluebirds. There were huge sunflowers and fields of wildflowers, wild passion fruit vines, grapes and berries.

    • profile image

      Pappy Elkins 3 years ago

      Lenzy - please check our new website pappyelkins.org and on twitter @pappyelkins - we have been lied to long enough!!!

    • Lenzy profile image
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      Lenzy 4 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      Thanks Kim, I will check this out. Lenzy

    • Lenzy profile image
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      Lenzy 4 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      Melinda, the photo probably would have been from February of 2012. I am currently in Florida on vacation so don't have any better access at this time to an exact date, but I took the photo around the time I published this hub, almost a year ago. Lenzy

    • profile image

      KimFeil 4 years ago

      Lenzy, what month was that pic of the white residue taken on? The reason I ask is because the Dalworthington Gardens City Administrator has responded on this picture..

      ----- Forwarded Message ----

      From: Melinda Brittain

      To: kimfeil

      Sent: Mon, December 31, 2012 11:45:45 AM

      Subject: RE: open records request- DWG, was this piping authorized? -see picture on link

      The residue is natural. It is a result of the cold temperatures causing natural oils from the wildlife to solidify.

      Melinda G. Brittain

      City Administrator

      City of Dalworthington Gardens

      2600 Roosevelt Dr.

      Dalworthington Gardens, TX 76016

      817.274.7368 x8002

      817.265.4401 fax

    • profile image

      Kim Feil 4 years ago

      Lenzy, that white looking residue is not the first time I’ve seen that. It could be natural occurring, or it could be Sulfate Reducing Bacteria that manifests inself in a white residue. Here is more information on that topic. BTW Pappy Elkins has had more than their share of emission events...there may be four that I have documented. http://barnettshalehell.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/r...

    • Lenzy profile image
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      Lenzy 5 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      We lived in Western PA for a few years as well in Portersville. I was so sad to see what was done to the park. It divided off a whole section of the park where people used to walk, watch birds, ride horses or walk their dogs. Some of that still goes on, but it isn't the same at all. I encourage someone to test the water, especially by the bridge to make sure it is safe. A lot of people fish there and a lot of water fowl are on the lake. Lenzy

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      When I was living in western PA, this was going on all the time. The land looked horrible, it was all dredged up, and most of the trees were gone. It took away bird and other animal habitat. It was sad what was sold out.

    • Lenzy profile image
      Author

      Lenzy 5 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      O.K. Brett. Thanks Lenzy

    • profile image

      Brett 5 years ago

      Thanks! Will post a link here when finished.

    • Lenzy profile image
      Author

      Lenzy 5 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      As long as I receive credit for the photos, you personally may use them for your class project. Thank you for the comment. All the best on your project. I have some other wildflower and waterfowl photos from the park if there is a specific one you might need. Lenzy

    • profile image

      Brett 5 years ago

      Hi, great post. I am wondering if I might be able to use the before/after pictures you took for a class project on fracking?

    • Lenzy profile image
      Author

      Lenzy 5 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      I appreciate the sentiment. Destroying prime ecosystem just doesn't seem to be a very responsible way to run a fracking operation. I will also be interested to see if anyone will test the water quality for possible contaminants near the pictured bridge by the lake.

    • April Reynolds profile image

      April Reynolds 5 years ago from Arizona

      How sad Lenzy, I hope it grows back!