Verify: Is the Trinity River gross?

all month long we're bringing you WFAA

originals the stories that you will not

see anywhere else tonight we take you

along the Trinity River where some think

a 6,000 acre park inside data city

limits is possible but there's one big

question is that the Trinity grows on

the nice verify segment David Schechter

goes down there to see for himself I

think that very few contemporary dala

sites have ever experienced a roaring

breakfast campfire along the Trinity

River there's so much down here that is


there's so much down here that is wild

there's so much down here that is

magnificent magnificent and wild that's

how some people see the Trinity how do

you see kind of growth it stinks

Vanessa river to be honest with you for

20 years

Dallas has been promised a downtown mega

park built inside the levee walls of the

Trinity but lately some publications

have been writing about a new idea not a

150 acre park but a 6,000 acre


it's actually inside the city limits

that's a grand vision but what's the

reality to see what works and what's

broken I'm gonna spend the day inside

the Great Trinity Forest

hey where are we right now we're at the

Trinity River Audubon Center it is

really a beautiful beautiful place my

guide is naturalist Ben Sandefur he's

taking me from the Trinity River Audubon

Center to the park that's right next

door called McComas bluff there's some

great stuff in here yeah but to do it

there's no trail now we're in a place

where a few ever venture this feels very

very different right away

this feels like a forest it is that's

right people there's a forest in Dallas

it's home to 226 kinds of birds

there are rare plants and animals the

trouble is it is so hard to get round in

here Oh a chance how are you feeling

about all this I feel like I've had a

thousand thorns in my legs Hector would

you like me to call an uber right now

yeah can we call it over probably one of

the most interesting places on the

Trinity that I don't think too many

Dallas sites know about and that

location is McComas bluff and all I made

it Wow

are you kidding me this is Dallas no

it's not this is the Trinity

I think one of the big things I want to

know is how polluted is the river

everyone thinks the river is polluted is

it possible that we're in the city of

Dallas right now yeah it's very possible

can't smell it that's Richard Grayson he

leads a team of volunteers who take

water samples when it rains he says

nearly every drop runs down here plus

all the things that the rain brings with

it Richard I am astounded to see how

much trash there is in here yeah why is

there so much trash in here we're the

most part it flushes off parking lots in

city streets all the way down to the

river and trash isn't even the biggest

problem for decades factories polluted

the river with toxic waste and today

people are still dumping things right

now we're testing for e.coli which comes

from animal poop and fertilizer the

water we sample is 20 times above the

EPA's safe swimming standards we

interviewed him using Facebook live so

that you could ask some of your own


this is from Christopher with the amount

of rain that we get and the runoff is

there any way to keep it clean or

prevent pollution it's do it's very

difficult in an urban area like this can

you swim in it you shouldn't shouldn't

can you eat fish from it you shouldn't


advocates see an opportunity for a great

city park in here because local

government owns all the land 6000 acres

and the city of Dallas has a plan for

the Great Trinity Forest I looked it up

the plan says it should be updated every

year but that hasn't happened in almost

a decade has the city neglected the

Trinity Forest yes and you can't blame

who's currently in office or currently

at City Hall for that because it's been

something that's been in the works for


is there no to apply it is is a seat of

your pants plan you look more like the

sheriff to the mayor right now there's a

new sheriff in town sir so let's ride

horses in the forest while we get some

answers from Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings



we've got to just make sure we preserve

all this that's the my big thing has the

city neglected the Great Trinity forest

well I think over the decades we have

okay I think in recent years the

progress has been remarkable he's

talking about big-ticket projects like

the Audubon Center the Texas Horse Park

where we are now and a championship golf

course there also are the beginnings of

a trail system to hook it all up

he says finishing those trails and

making things more accessible in the

forest is a big priority so a work in

progress this is a piece of art that

every year I think we're to get better

and better at so what do we verify well

the trail system is incomplete to get

between the cool things that we saw the

Trinity River is polluted and the city

of Dallas doesn't have a working plan on

how to make the Trinity Forest truly

great that's all for now if you've got

something you want verified just let us


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