Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Trinity Forest Golf Course Construction Visible in Google Earth

The Trinity Forest Golf Course as seen from Google Earth
As details of the Trinity Forest Golf course slowly take shape, so does the physical golf course layout. The Greek sigma shaped section on the left(west) with the course bisected by a trenched creek running north to south with more holes to the right(east). It appears as though the footprint was mowed with tractor(s) to maybe give course designers and well heeled membership prospects a chance to view the course fleshed out.

The planned links style course by designers Coore and Crenshaw will command acreage upon which an old landfill currently stands. Fire up the stand alone Google Earth program updated to October 2013 data and the golf course can be flown down and around hole by hole.
Future home of the Byron Nelson as it looked in the spring of 2011 looking east towards the Trinity River Audubon Center

Red landfill limits, yellow is 100 year flood plain limit
The future home of the Byron Nelson it has been called. A game changer and world class facility in the making.

Dallas city officials in November 2012 announced a partnership with AT&T and Southern Methodist University to build a semi-private golf complex in the Trinity River Forest south of Downtown Dallas near the intersection of Loop 12 and Pemberton Hill Road. That facility is said to become the home of the SMU golf program and the First Tee of Greater Dallas, and will be designed to host PGA Tour events as well.

Terracon report for cleanup

In 1975, the City of Dallas under permit began a large landfill operation south of Elam Road and northwest of the present day Trinity River Audubon Center. They became known as the Elam and South Loop Landfills.The landfills ran for many years until they shuttered in the early 1980s.

With the landfill closures in 1983, the capping and monitoring of the landfills began. A layer of dirt and limestone based crushed rock was placed over the top providing a thin veneer "cap" of the landfill. Over the next two decades periodic testing was completed on the landfill with installation of further monitoring wells, investigations into toxic materials dumped inside the landfills, methane etc.

In 2008 the City of Dallas acquired the land in an unorthodox method. Hard to explain but it involved a complex set of lawsuits and land unrelated to the Great Trinity Forest. The Dallas Business Journal has a great article about it from 2008 and can be found on their website Dallas Makes Trinity Forest Grab by Bill Hethcock.
View of Downtown from the future course

The city will spend $12 million to clean up a 400-acre landfill site next to the Great Trinity Forest, which is said to be the largest urban forest in the United States. Construction of the facilities ''will not touch one of the trees,'' said Mayor Mike Rawlings.

The Trinity Forest Golf Complex, as it will be known, will contain a regulation 18-hole course; a nine-hole short course; a facility for the SMU men’s and women’s golf teams; an administrative structure for the First Tee, and recreational concrete paths currently under construction.

Many of the plans for cleanup are available online including plans for the Golf Course and the Texas Horse Park to the north
Executive summary for cleanup at the landfills

Horse Park Cleanup
Response Action Plan for cleanup at Texas Horse Park

Above and left are ponds and areas of note in the Terracon reports, summaries and maps. Heavy reading and more information than one can handle in one sitting.

As time moves forward and construction begins with earthmoving equipment it will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

Speaking of construction, the Texas Horse Park quietly broke ground last summer without hardly a whisper and they are moving forward with their construction and remediation efforts too. Visible in Google Earth one can see the general view from above....

...and with a KMZ file overlay of the Horse Park plans semi-transparent over it. The current footprint includes space for River Ranch Charities and Equest a therapeutic horse based program.

The Horse Park facilities are scheduled for completion in October 2014.

Photo from a GMI archeology supervised trip to salvage tree ring slices of an old Post Oak on the property


  1. I find it so disappointing that the city has once again prioritized the 'necessities' of the rich, white people on the other side of town, leaving the real communities helpless. And for what purpose? To build another golf course on which these rich people can play their games. I'd ask anyone who lived in Joppa 15 years ago what they thought of the Sleepy Hollow Golf Course. They would remark that it was NOT beneficial to the community. The structural problems within City Hall(which is a joke) are amazing. Why should we allow these people to destroy one of the most beautiful, expansive regions if the Trinity. Every time you go here, there are deer. Where else in Dallas is this found?

    1. They are building on a landfill with their own money and are going to keep the Byon Nelson golf tournament which is the PGA's only stop in Dallas, and will generate revenue for the immediate area. How can this be a bad thing?

    2. City is putting up money as well. Anyone that played sleepy hollow knew that the nearby sewage plant stunk the place up and the Mosquitos from the trinity made it a horrible experience. You can't engineer around that.

  2. Very cool! When do they expect to complete the construction on it??

  3. This will be a boom and boon for the area leading to the growth of southern suburbs. Also, growth down I-45 and I-175. Overall the City of Dallas wins. One thing I do hope is that Joppa residence and diaspora develop a strong historical society totell their story.

  4. GMI had nothing to do with cutting down the Post oak and did not supervise the trip to cut down the Post oak. People interested in the Big Spring environment and the history did the work, counted the tree-rings at 130 years, as this was the last large remnant of Post oaks that once covered the sandy elevated Pleistocene terrace and the tree started growing ca. 1883 when Margaret Bryan loved at the spring. Tim Dalbey

  5. What's even funny is this is being built a area with gangs and daily gun fire at the apartments on loop 12 and pemberton hill. HOW is this going to safe for people using the trails, coming out of the golf course, It scares me walking outside at night around here. They expect people to think this area is safe and it isn't. Do they have a plan to get rid of all these unsafe things in the area.

  6. Announced today that Habitat for Humanity is going to build in Joppa 20 new homes in 2015 and 20 more in 2016!