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Paradise Diminished. Fracking in Arlington, Tx.
Pappy Elkins Park
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
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.
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.
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
Chemicals Involved in Fracturing
- Fracturing natural gas wells requires hundreds of tons of chemical liquids - Local News
There are two sides to the debate over the use of chemical additives to complete the process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
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,