Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Friends of Katy Trail elects officers, new board members

Friends of the Katy Trail board of directors recently elected its 2010 officers and six new board members.

The officers:
Chairman – Philip Henderson
President – Matt Lucas
Vice President – Beth Huddleston
Treasurer – David Demarest
Secretary – Pat Snoots

The new board members are Jayson Bales, Charles Chen, Sherri Conger, Greg Rohan, Joni Rose and Tommy Tucker.

Also, the David Stocks Award was given to Keith Nix. The award is given annually to one board member in recognition of outstanding work for the Katy Trail.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The lights are back!

Thanks to the generosity of several people and three civic-minded businesses, the 12 Katy Trail lights that were damaged by thieves are operating again. And at no cost to Friends of the Katy Trail or the City of Dallas! Let's shine a light on the people who made this possible.

Balfour Beatty is the contractor currently building Snyder's Union on the Trail. Ty Walton, project manager, offered the help of his electrical subcontractor, Prism Electric, when he heard about the damaged light poles.

Kyle Eastep, an electrician with Prism, quickly got involved assessing the damage. He alerted Blake Combs, the owner of Prism and a frequent user of the Trail, who agreed that Prism would donate its time to get the lights back in working order.

The folks at Prism contacted Graybar Electric, which donated the supplies needed, including a lot of expensive copper wire.

Kyle and a crew of eight electricians then went to work and got the lights back operating again in record time. They also installed stronger tamper-resistant plates on the light poles to deter thieves in search of the copper electrical wire.

Thanks to all of them for their generosity of time, expertise, materials and spirit!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Some Trail light poles damaged

In an attempt to take copper wire, thieves have damaged nine of the light poles on the south end of the Katy Trail near Reverchon Park. The culprits pried open base plates on the poles to access the wire. The result is that these light poles are not operating. Be aware that some of the lights are not working on the south end of the Trail and avoid that area after dark.

Friends of the Katy Trail is working with the City of Dallas to get the lights repaired as soon as possible.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Trots and Treats Tomorrow!

The West Village Dog Trot & Treat benefitting The Katy Trail

Saturday, October 31st - 11a.m. to 1 p.m.

An event geared for our furry friends and the people they own. The West Village Dog Trot & Treat will benefit the Katy Trail.

This year, pooches and their people will parade around West Village picking up treats at various boutiques along the way! The fun's just starting when the Trot & Treat ends, we'll have a post-party featuring a canine costume contest, live music, sips, and nibbles for everyone.

Registration at:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Troy Aikman to kick off membership drive

Katy Trail Membership Drive
Dallas Cowboys legend and sportscaster Troy Aikman will make a special appearance on the Katy Trail from 6-7 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 22) to kick off the first-ever Friends of the Katy Trail membership drive. Join the fun at David's Way, the entry plaza at Knox Street.

In addition to special guest Aikman, there will be refreshments and music by Jayson Bales and the Charmers, who will be selling their new CD with half the proceeds going to Friends of the KatyTrail. Check out a free song download at www.KatyTrailDallas.org.

Jayson Bales and The Charmers
All weekend Friends of the Katy Trail volunteers will be on the Trail to register news members. All those who join this weekend will receive a cool Katy Trail T-shirt courtesy of Luke's Locker.

Also, Friends of the Katy Trail is having a drawing for exclusive prizes with tickets $20 each or six for $100. They are available from the volunteers during the membership drive or online at www.KatyTrailDallas.org. Prizes include four tickets to a Dallas Cowboys game in a private suite with one parking pass and two American Airlines round-trip tickets to anywhere in the Continental U.S. or Mexico.

Although it is a city park, the Katy Trail is improved and maintained with private funds. Anyone can support the Katy Trail anytime of the day at www.KatyTrailDallas.org or texting Katy to 95495. Memberships start at $50.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Troy Aikman to Kick Off Membership Drive

Dallas Cowboys legend and TV sportscaster Troy Aikman will make a special appearance on the Katy Trail Oct. 22 to kick off the first-ever Friends of the Katy Trail membership drive. A devoted Katy Trail user, Aikman will be on the Trail from 6 to 7 p.m. that day signing autographs and convincing people to join the Friends of the Katy Trail. He will be at David's Way, the entry plaza at Knox Street.

In addition to special guest Aikman, there will be refreshments and music by Jayson Bales and the Charmers. Friends of the Katy Trail board members and volunteers will be there to register new members and explain how contributions maintain and improve the Trail. The membership drive will continue through Sunday, Oct. 25 with volunteers recruiting new members on the Trail at David's Way, the Thomsen Overlook at Reverchon Park and at Snyder's Union, the new plaza being built between Lemmon Avenue and Carlisle Place.

So join now or renew if you're already a member!

Also, Friends of the Katy Trail is having a raffle with exclusive prizes during the membership drive. Raffle tickets are $20 each or six for $100. They are available from the volunteers during the membership drive or online at www.KatyTrailDallas.org/raffle.

  Prizes include

    · Four tickets to a Dallas Cowboys game in a private suite with one parking pass

    · Two American Airlines round-trip tickets to anywhere in the Continental U.S. or Mexico

    · One-year family membership to the Dallas YMCA

    · Luke's Locker "runner's fanatic" package including a Garmin GPS personal training device and Asics shoes

    · Hockey stick signed by the Dallas Stars players

    · Tickets to a Texas Rangers game

    · Soils Alive organic fertilization

    · Highland Park Animal Hospital services

Friends of the Katy Trail membership contributions pay for the lights, water fountains, off-duty Dallas Police bike patrols and maintenance of the landscaping.

Anyone can support the Katy Trail anytime of the day at www.KatyTrailDallas.org. Memberships start at $50.

Volunteers needed

We need volunteers to help with the Oct. 22-25 membership drive. During the drive, volunteers will be on the Trail talking to folks about how their membership dollars will help improve and maintain the Katy Trail. If you're interested in helping, send an e-mail to Office@KatyTrailDallas.org or call 214-303-1180. The more the merrier!

Gardening with a little help from our friends

Maintaining the landscape along the Katy Trail is a big job. That's why we're very grateful for help from the Heart of Dallas chapter of the National Charity League, a non-profit group of mothers and their daughters serving communities together. Last month, 28 NCL mothers and daughters spent their Saturday on the Katy Trail weeding one-eighth mile of the Trail. That's a lot of dirt.

Their volunteer project started with a "identify the weed" session led by Jim Apken and Amanda Griffin, two members of the Landscape Advisory Committee, a blue-ribbon group of experts lending their expertise to maintaining the Trail's landscape. Helping to the keep the Katy Trail weed-free will be an ongoing project for the NCL volunteers.

"Heart of Dallas NCL is committed to helping the Katy Trail. This is an ongoing partnership," said NCL member Charisse Bradley.

Friends of the Katy Trail board chairman Philip Henderson welcomed the NCL group and told them how as "volunteer gardeners" they are providing a big service to the Katy Trail and the beauty of Dallas overall.

If you know of other groups that may be interested in helping with the gardening along the Katy Trail, let us know by sending an e-mail to Office@KatyTrailDallas.org.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Friends of the Katy Trail Membership Drive

Join, renew and volunteer Oct. 22-25

Friends of the Katy Trail is launching its first-ever membership drive Oct. 22-25. The objective is to tell Trail users how their support helps keep maintain and improve the Katy Trail, making it the resource they love.

What can you do? Join right now at www.KatyTrailDallas.org or sign up on the Trail during the membership drive. If you’re already a member, renew now.

Want to do more? We need volunteers to help educate Trail users about the benefits of joining Friends of the Katy Trial. Most users don’t realize that improvements and maintenance of the Katy Trail is paid for with private money.

Volunteers will work shifts over that weekend to explain how the lights, water fountains, off-duty police patrols and landscape maintenance are some of the things that just wouldn’t happen if it weren’t for Friends of the Katy Trail. Volunteers will be stationed at three spots on the Trail: David’s Way at Knox Street, Thomsen Overlook at Reverchon Park and Snyder’s Union, currently under construction between Lemmon Avenue and Carlisle Place.

If you want to volunteer, send an e-mail to Office@KatyTrailDallas.org or call 214-303-1180.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Dog Trot & Treat

More construction on Katy Trail

Construction has started on yet another new entrance to the Katy Trail. Work began this week on the sweeping staircase that will go from Hall Street to the Katy Trial above. This project is expected to be completed in December and will provide much more convenient access to the Katy Trail than the dirt path that was there.

While work is underway, the construction site is fenced off so please avoid it and get on the Katy Trail at other places.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Possible Rain Contingency

If you're planning to ride to city hall tomorrow with Bike Friendly Oak Cliff, then you will need to heck in to: http://dallasbikestocityhall.com/ by 6AM on Wednesday morning (October 7th). Bike Friendly Oak Cliff will announce if the ride will be rescheduled due to inclement weather.

Monday, October 5, 2009



Anyone who spends any time on the Katy Trail knows that there are plenty of Dallasites who love to ride bicycles. However, our fair city has the not-so-fair distinction of being one of the worse U.S. cities for bicycling (according to one publication). So join City Council Member Angela Hunt and other city officials for a ride to Dallas City Hall to promote greater bicycle awareness.

Wear your Friends of the Katy Trail T-shirt or hat and meet Council Member Hunt at Union Station at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 7. City Council members, Park and Recreation Department officials, Bike Friendly Oak Cliff members and bike lovers will then ride along Young Street to City Hall.

At the completion of the ride, the city's new bicycle coordinator will be introduced and new initiatives that embrace “complete streets” policies will be unveiled. Complete streets are streets designed to provide access for all users, not just cars.

For more information, visit www.dallasbikestocityhall.com.

As Council Member Hunt's District 14 includes a lot of the Katy Trail, you may be interested in attending her Oct. 12 town hall meeting at Arlington Hall, 3333 Turtle Creek Blvd. On the agenda is Oncor's tree-trimming practices, which often result in trees cut into unsightly V-shapes around electric lines. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Event Announcement: Haute on the Trail

The Friends of the Katy Trail invite you to Haute on the Trail, a special evening of fun and fashion honoring two great Dallas non-profits, The Friends of the Katy Trail and Texas Next Top Designer.

October 7th, 2009, 6 - 9 pm
The Travis at Katy Trail
4611 Travis Street at Knox
Dallas, Texas 75205

You and a guest are invited to preview the exciting newly-renovated common areas adjacent to the Katy Trail and tour select residences, including the penthouse.

In addition, 2009 Texas Next Top Designer finalists and associates will be presenting their 2010 Collections throughout the property. (Local designer merchandise and art pieces may be purchased.)

Appetizers will be provided by Toulouse. Wine samplings from Hall Wines. Sake by Ty Ku.

Complementary Valet Parking.

Business, Cocktail, High Fashion or Jogging Attire.

For More information, call 214-219-1700

RSVP by Friday, October 2, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Parking Update

The city has fenced off some of the parking at Reverchon Park. The parking lot by the baseball field is still open for public use and Trail users.

The city has informed us that they've closed the parking to install a new waste water line. The construction may last into next year. After the construction is complete, the old parking lot space will be replaced with grass.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

We're Going Worldwide

ABC News Travel did a cool story about Dallas - "Designer Purses and $10 Enchilada Plates," and they just happened to mention your favorite Trail. So while designer purses may not look quite right on the Trail and an enchilda plate will have you wanting to walk it off on the Trail, you can still check out the story and all the other recommendations here.

Oh, and a blog in Kolkata, West Bengal, India picked it up too, so we're well on our way to world trail domination.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Katy Trail Considered One of Dallas' Best Outdoor Activity

This past spring TravelSkoot, a travel planning Web site focused on the Katy Trail as one of the best outdoor places around Dallas. The video also mentions the Katy 5K Run and the off-duty Police officers that Katy Trail employs. So check out the video, the beauty of the Katy and see what adventures you can plan around Dallas through TravelSkoot.

Friday, August 7, 2009

A bicycle build for ... SEVEN?

Not much going on at the Katy Trail these days ... well, except for the $1.5 million construction project on the Trail overlooking Lee Park.

So we thought it was a good time to show the picture we have of the bicycle in Prague that seated ... wait for it ... SEVEN people. Yes, seven (7) people. Check it out:

Biking Craze Sparks Creativity

As concerns about the environment and health increase, many Americans are choosing to bike to their destinations instead of driving. Because of this increase in popularity many biking groups are forming around the Dallas area. Some groups are organized by local bike shops including Fleetwood's Kit Kat, which is just southeast of Southern Methodist University and very close to the Katy Trail. In an interview with the Dallas Morning News Fleetwood predicted that specialized bikes are the newest item. The editor for the new magazine Kickstand agrees. So for a nice Sunday bike ride, check out Fleetwood's and rent your dream bike for a few hours and glide gently down the Katy Trail towards Victory Promenade and the come back to Airline. Check the DMN story for information about biking around Dallas.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Park Cities People reports on construction

Park Cities People newspaper wrote a story about the Katy Trail construction in its latest issue. Click here to read all about it.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Forms Being Placed for Snyder's Union

The wood forms that will shape and hold the concrete for the base of the plaza on the Katy Trail overlooking Lee Park are being built now -- well, not while it's raining -- and should be completed by the end of the week. Concrete for the base should be poured sometime next week, barring any more thunderstorms.

Despite all the rain, the contractor on the $1.8 million project, Balfour Beatty Construction, says they have only lost a couple of days work.

The plaza, known as Snyder's Union in honor of the donors Bobbi & Dick Snyder, is still expected to be complete by Thanksgiving. Check out our homepage for a slide show of more construction photos.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Interesting adventures along the Trail

As summer comes to a close the kids’ summer camps start to end, but they still need something to do. Why not try geocaching? Even if you don't have kids but are looking for some adventure or a way to get to know Dallas and the Katy Trail better, try geocaching. So, what is geocaching?

Under going a revival in the spring of 2000 in Oregon (due to the Internet), geocaching is commonly referred to as a high tech game of hide and go seek. Participants use GPS or other tracking devices to find or hide small containers (caches) all around the world. Once participates have located or hidden the caches they can place the information and stories of their adventures online. Despite the international hunt only gaining in popularity nine years ago, there are over 800,000 cashes world wide. So the staff of the Friends of the Katy Trail thought they would see just what's hiding on the Katy and the surrounding neighborhoods. Check out the geocashing Website to discover all the adventures you can have.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Making the Temporary Trail Safer

In an effort to help you get past the $1.5 million construction project on the Katy Trail even easier and safer, the Friends of the Katy Trail asked Balfour Beatty, the contractor on the job, to widen the temporary trail a little near the TXU/Oncor tower. That work was completed on Monday, and a center strip was painted to also make it clear to everyone where they should travel around this zone.

The construction area is located between the bridges over Lemmon Avenue (eastbound) and Hall Street. It is scheduled to be completed by Thanksgiving.

Speaking of thanksgiving, thank you to all the donors who helped make this project possible, as well as all the members of the Friends of the Katy Trail who make an annual contribution that helps pay for the lighting and drinking fountains. If you use the Katy Trail, but are not a member, please become one today by clicking here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rails to Trail Conservancy named one of the beneficiaries of Brita Climate Ride 2009

Last year, the first annual Brita Climate Ride took place, starting in New York City and ending in Washington, D.C. The five day, 300-mile ride takes over a hundred riders through the wonderful scenery of America to emphasize how bikes can become an alternate form of transportation. The five day event also has presentations from people who consider the environment something very important. This year's event is held September 26 through 30.

As well as helping the environment the Brita Climate Ride has some exciting news - this year a portion of the money raised will go toward Rails-to-Trail Conservancy which is one of the organizations that helps the Friends of the Katy Trail.

As well getting to meet amazing people and getting to see wonderful places through out our country, the Brita Climate Ride is sponsoring a wonderful group of people to come talk to the participants, including:

  • Colin Beavan, "No Impact Man": Featured at the Sundance Film Festival in the documentary No Impact Man, Beavan maintains a very popular blog about reducing his impact on the Earth.
  • Alison Gannett, world champion free skier, Patagonia Ambassador, founder of the Save our Snow Foundation, and star of Warren Miller ski films: In her free time, Alison converted the first solar-powered SUV plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) in the world to get 100-plus miles per gallon. This amazing athlete and climate-change warrior also leads ski expeditions to Bhutan, Bolivia, India and Pakistan to document climate change.
  • Josh Dorfman (a.k.a. the Lazy Environmentalist): Dorfman has a new show coming out on the Sundance Channel, and he will also return for his second year to show that he can ride 300 miles without training (!!)

If you are interested in joining people all over the nation for the Brita Climate Ride check out their Website and help spread the message that our climate is constantly changing.

Turf Suffers During Summer Heat

Just like your yard, the Katy Trail has to deal with keeping our plants looking nice during this summer heat. Although this week has been wonderful with the weather, our plants are still thirsty and tired. Unfortunately, with the heat some of our grass is turning a lovely shade of brown. "Why?" you may ask.

Well, the first thing we check is the nozzles of our sprinkler systems. Sprinklers are spaced out so the water from one reaches another, thus creating an overlap in water and support for the plants. If this goal is not being achieved with the sprinklers, this maybe part of the issue.

A second issue that maybe causing the browning of the turf is a small, black bug called the chinch bug. These bugs have a white or grey spot on their backs and are most commonly found eating the green edges of a brown patch. One of the best ways to control them is with Orange Oil.

A third issue turning turf brown maybe a fungus called Brown Patch. The best way to control this fungus is to water later in the morning so that the ground cover does not remain uncomfortably soaked through out the day. If the fungus as already started to grow, organic fungicide is the best way to help scale it back.

Speaking of bugs, when you are gardening or enjoying nature this month and into the last days of summer, look out for Bag worms in Junipers and Bald Cypress Trees. Also, keep an eye out for leaf spots on roses, lace bugs on azaleas and Boston ivy, and scale on hollies, magnolias and crape myrtles.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bicycle and Pedestrian Plans Gain Momentum

Washington Post columnist Neal Peirce, a prominent journalist and urban thinker, recently focused his column on the need for improved bicycle and pedestrian connections in our cities. The column, titled "Biking and Walking: Our Secret Weapon?" highlighted the need for our country to stop building roads and bridges and instead spend more effort, and money, on building complete streets. Reasons to do so, Peirce said, include:

  1. Addressing the country's obesity epidemic
  2. Cutting down the amount of gas we use
  3. Reducing the amount of carbon we release into the air
  4. Improving the safety of our streets
  5. Making better connections to public transportation
Of course, the Friends of the Katy Trail has been trying to address these issues as well by completing the Trail, making more public access points so more people can use the Trail, and making connections so the Trail becomes a viable option for transportation as well as recreation.

Click here to check out Peirce's full column.

Bench for Don Lucas

Don Lucas, founder of Luke's Locker and a great supporter of the Katy Trail, recently had one of the benches on the trail reserved in his name by hundreds and hundreds of friends. Don was presented the slat to his bench that bears his name during a little gathering on Saturday that was complete with complimentary champagne for those who attended. Thanks to Isaac Gian, shown in the picture giving the bench slat to Don, for leading the fundraising effort.

The bench is located on the north side of Lemmon Avenue if you want to check it out.

Congratulations Don on a well-deserved thank you from your appreciative friends.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Trellis Construction Begins at Snyder's Union

The future trellis at Snyder's Union came closer to reality last week when the drilling rig arrived at the construction site overlooking Lee Park, just south of Lemmon Avenue. Drilling will take place all week and should be done by the end of next week. The entire $1.5 million project, generously funded by Bobbi & Dick Snyder and numerous other Friends of the Katy Trail, will feature benches, a three-tiered drinking fountain, easy access from Carlisle Place and numerous other amenities. Construction will be complete by Thanksgiving. Always check the Friends of the Katy Trail's construction update page and blog for the most current information and images of our construction projects.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

More pub about the Katy Trail

The Dallas Morning News published a story on the Katy Trail and our $1.5 million project at Lee Park for the plaza called Sydner's Union, just south of Lemmon Avenue. The article explained to readers how the newest addition will help users of the Trail. To read the whole the article check it out here.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Temporary trail ready for use

Those of you who have been on the Katy Trail around Lee Park have noticed the beginning of the newest addition to the Trail. Crews have started clearing the shrubbery to begin construction for Snyder's Union, a plaza overlooking the Park below. A temporary trail is in place to take you around the construction and ready for you to use. Snyder's Union is scheduled to finish in November.
Thanks to Bobbi & Dick Snyder, who donated more than $1 million for this project, and all the many supporters who stepped up to help meet their challenge grant.If you have questions about the construction project, please call the Friends of the Katy Trail at 214-303-1180 or e-mail us at office@katytraildallas.org

Katy Trail bridge over Mockingbird

One of the most common questions we receive at the Friends of the Katy Trail is when the Trail will be extended out to White Rock Lake. We recently picked up the latest rendering of the bridge over Mockingbird that is part of this Katy Trail extension.

Before it gets to Mockingbird, the trail will run through Glencoe Park then between Hotel Palomar and Public Storage before hitting this bridge shows on the left. After crossing Mockingbird, trail users will circle around behind the Mockingbird DART station before following the DART line all the way to the White Rock DART station.

Check out the Friends of the Katy Trail's "Trail Tips" section of our website for more details and answers to all your other Katy Trail related questions.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Trail Removed near Lee Park

As you can see from the photo to the left, the concrete of the trail was removed late last week in the area around Lee Park where the Friends of the Katy Trail is adding a new plaza named Snyder's Union. The general contractor on the $1.5 million project, Balfour Beatty Construction, has installed a temporary trail around the construction zone. The project is made possible by the $1 million gift from Bobbi & Dick Snyder, as well as numerous donations from other supporters.

Thank you, in advance, for your patience as we continue to make the Katy Trail better for you. Construction should be complete by Thanksgiving. For more information on Katy Trail improvements, check out our Construction Page or our Homepage for details.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Dedo's Place - Construction Slows

We're not sitting around watching the grass grow. In fact, we're doing quite the opposite -- we're waiting for the grass to die.

Construction of the $200,000 plaza at the north end of the Katy Trail known as Dedo's Place may look like it has stopped; but in reality we've treated the ground with weed killer to get rid of the pesky nut grass that keeps popping up. Once the grass, and any other weeds, are gone, the planting will continue.

Look for construction of the plaza, generously funded by Dedo & Barron Kidd, to be complete by the end of the summer.

Katy Trail Welcome Santa Fe Trail

On Wednesday, July 1 the Santa Fe Trail opened in east Dallas. Although the trail is just beginning, the Friends of the Santa Fe Trail hope this city trail will one day be a wonderful place for neighbors to enjoy the outdoors. Since the Trail's formal opening, the organization is expecting an increase in use, even as the summer days get warmer. With this increase will come more safety measures for pedestrians on the cross streets, making the journey through the Trail more enjoyable. Ultimately the Santa Fe Trail will connect to White Rock Lake and Deep Ellum allowing for an even stronger network of Trails around Dallas.

For the full story check out Santa Fe Trail on the Dallas Morning News' Web site:

Friday, July 3, 2009

Lee Park Project Gets Underway

Construction of Snyder’s Union -- a $1.5 million plaza on the Katy Trail overlooking Lee Park and its beautiful fountain -- began early this week. As you move through this section of Katy Trail between Lemmon and Hall over the next five months, you will notice several changes:
  1. The main trail will be removed and a temporary trail will be built to move you around the construction zone
  2. Fences will be installed to keep you from running, biking or skating into the construction zone
  3. Scrub brush will be removed from the hillside between the Turtle Creek pond in Lee Park and the Katy Trail
  4. Construction crews will establish a staging area at the bottom of the hill between the pond and the Trail
  5. Signs will be posted with a rendering of the finished product as well as donors who helped make it possible

Thanks to Bobbi & Dick Snyder, who donated more than $1 million for this project, and all the many supporters who stepped up to help meet their challenge grant.

If you have questions about the construction project, please call the Friends of the Katy Trail at 214-303-1180 or visit our Construction Updates page.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Tips for Your Dogs in Hot Weather

After two weeks of near 100 degree plus temperatures, it seems as if we’re already into the warmest part of our summer. Because it feels like Dallas is closer to the sun than any other U.S. city, it's important to consider the stress and strain that warm weather can put on our furry friends who love and use the Katy Trail as much as we do. Here are a few tips for you to keep in mind:

  • The right time of day for a walk, run or playtime for you pet is in the cool of the early morning or late evening, but never after a meal or when the weather is humid.

  • Don't let your dog stand on the running trail, which is hotter than the concrete trail. His or her body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn.

  • Heat exhaustion is often caused by over-exercising or running with a dog during hot weather. Both heatstroke and heat exhaustion can result in brain damage, heart failure or even death in a short period of time. Short muzzled and thick-coated breeds and mixes are particularly vulnerable. Always bring cool water along. To cool off an overheated dog, offer him or her plenty of water, then wet the dog's body and paws with cool water and then fan.

When it’s warm, we are able to sweat and cool ourselves; but our furry friends can only sweat around their paws. In order to cool themselves down, dogs pant. Although this is an effective way for animals to cool themselves, its success rate is limited in confined areas or humid weather. Please pay close attention to your pets at this time of year.

New Trail in Town

If you happen to be in East Dallas or you're looking to stretch your legs on another great Trail in town, check out the newly opened Santa Fe Trail. Click here to read all about it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Dog Bag Stations Refilled

Our trusty intern and one of our fabulous volunteers refilled all the dog bag waste stations with bags. Don't forget to pick up after your pooch!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Construction Delay from McCommas to Mockingbird

Many of our trail goers have been wondering when the construction from McCommas to Mockingbird is going to be begin. Well, the Friends of the Katy Trail recently received some news as to what is holding up the newest connection. The City of Dallas's plans under went some changes and must now be reapproved by the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDoT). The plans are under review at the local TXDoT district office so everything should be finalized by September 2009. The beginning stages of the construction should start by the end of this year.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Shout Out to Katy

Vanessa over at Examiner.com recently discovered what you probably know - the Katy Trail is a great place to get some exercise and fresh air. Click here to check it out. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Little Katy History Lesson

If you'd like to read a brief history of the MKT (aka Katy) Railroad and Katy Trails throughout the Midwest, check out this blog post from Abandoned Oklahoma.

And if you like that kind of stuff, you'll want to read the incredibly dull but historically rich book The KATY Railroad and the Last Frontier by V.V. Masterson.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Selective Clearing to Begin

Selective clearing has begun in the section of Katy Trail property just off the running path between the bridges over Harry Hines and McKinnon, about half a mile from the Trail’s south end. The intent is to see what’s behind all the scrub brush and overgrown weeds. If there is ample space, the hope is to build a wood deck in this area that could be serviced by a restaurant.

Imagine using the Katy Trail in the morning and stopping in this area for your daily cup of coffee or morning tea. Or imagine grabbing a bottled water and a sandwich here on a lazy afternoon. Who knows, you might be able to return at night for a beer or a glass of wine. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Sandblasting Done at Dedo’s Place

Construction at Dedo’s Place, the plaza near the north end of the Katy Trail, is in high gear. On June 16, sandblasting took place to give the colored concrete a rougher texture, perfect for skates and bikes to be able to hug the surface. All of the stonework was completed last week. Next up – landscaping. Expect to see that work begin by July 4 and conclude by the end of the month.

The entire project, generously funded by Dedo & Barron Kidd along with gifts from several other major donors, should be done by the end of the summer. Check out the slide show of construction on our Construction Page.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Storms Take Toll on Trail

Like the rest of North Texas, the storms that whipped through here Wednesday and Thursday took a toll on the Katy Trail. Check out this photo of one of the many trees that tumbled into the Trail's path. Parks was out early Friday working on removing as many of the downed limbs and possible, but it will take them weeks to get to all the affected areas.

There were also a few locations along the Katy Trail where the soil or decomposed granite were washed onto the Trail. The Friends of the Katy Trail has asked our landscape maintenance firms -- paid for by membership contributions -- to sweep the north and south ends that they maintain. Expect to see the grounds crews from both Moore Lawn & Garden and Valley Crest out there on Tuesday to help get the Trail clear of any and all debris.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Katy Trail Welcomes Summer with New Plants

Summer is almost here so all of our summer colors are planted and we cannot wait for you to see them. But don't feel to bad for the other plants, all of our beds and turf are about to receive their second batch of fertilizer. Speaking of taking care of our plants, unfortunately with summer comes more bugs. So if you are on the trail and you’re taking five or even ten and you happen to see some unwelcome bugs on our plants, let us know. Specific bugs of interest or signs that our plants need help include: bag worms on junipers and Bald Cypress trees; leaf spot on roses, lace bugs on azaleas and Boston ivy and scale on hollies, magnolias and crape myrtles.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bike Transportation Plan for Dallas?

Check out what our Executive Director thinks Dallas should do regarding bicycle transportation in Dallas by reading his column that ran in The Dallas Morning News on Sunday. And if you want to see what Fort Worth is doing, click here.

New Stone Benches at North End

As we moved around the limestones that make up the seatwall at Dedo's Place, the plaza under construction near the north end of the Katy Trail, we ended up with two extra blocks. They became the new seating area at the far north end of the Trail near Airline Road -- a perfect place for you to take five before you head back south down the Trail, or stop to lace 'em up as you get ready to start your first trip. Check 'em out.

Dedo's Place is still on schedule to be finished this summer. The $200,000 project was generously funded by Dedo & Barron Kidd as well as the Ben E. Keith Foundation, Deedie & Rusty Rose, and numerous donations from the employees of Century 21 Judge Fite in honor of Richard Brown. Click here to go to our construction page to get updates and see the slide show of the project in progress. And check that page often for new info.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dallas Giving Day a Success - Thanks

A big thank you to everyone who gave $25 to $2,500 to the Friends of the Katy Trail last Thursday as part of Dallas Giving Day. The foundations that made it possible reported the following information from that day:

  • 8,400 donations made
  • 353 organizations received gifts
  • 98 percent of participating organizations received something
  • More than $4 million given in total to North Texas nonprofits

The foundations estimate it will take 640 man-hours of gift processing to finish all the calculations. Expect to see what the Friends of the Katy Trail raised by the middle of June.

Thanks again to everyone who made a donation to the Katy Trail. We can't keep the Trail clean, safe and beautiful with your support.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Limestone blocks installed

Last week the limestone blocks were installed that make up the seatwall at Dedo’s Place, the plaza under construction at the north end of the Katy Trail. New colored concrete was also poured, which appears to be darker than the original stained concrete. However, it will lighten in color as it cures and will match the rest of the concrete. Expect to see all the concrete sand blasted later this week or early next. The contractor will also be moving the stones around slightly before he affixes them permanently. That should happen before Memorial Day.

The entire $200,000 project will be done by the end of the summer. Check out the slide show on our construction page for more scenes of this project in progress

Monday, May 18, 2009

Word O' The Day

While we don't actually have a word of the day feature, we happened to read this one and thought it was a good one to share:

Freiker: a frequent biker. Used in a sentence: There are many freikers on the Katy Trail.

Try inserting that word into a conversation the next time you're at a swanky party.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Info You Need to Know about the Michelob Ultra No. 11 Katy 5K:

Online race registration is available through midnight on Tuesday, May 12.

Packet pickup is at Luke's Locker (3607 Oak Lawn) through 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 13

Race Day Registration will be available starting at 4:30 p.m. at Reverchon Park (3505 Maple)

Parking is available at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children at Maple and Oak Lawn

Race Day Start Times are:

  • 6:10 p.m. - Katy Trail Kids Point-5K Dash
  • 6:25 p.m. - 5K Skate
  • 6:30 p.m. - Run/Walk Begins
  • 6:45 p.m. - Katy's Picnic Opens

For more information email Office@KatyTrailDallas.org or call 214-303-1180.

One Arts Plaza Loves Katy

Our good friends at One Arts Plaza have made an extensive post on their blog about the upcoming Katy 5k. Thanks One Arts!

If you don't know already, One Arts Plaza is the office/residential high-rise on the east side of the new Arts District in Downtown Dallas. There's been talk that Routh Street, which runs right in front of One Arts, might be redesigned to make it more bicycle and pedestrian friendly. Check out the One Arts Plaza website for more info about this super cool location.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Free Gift Bags for Biking the Trail

DailyCandy and Fleetwood’s Kit Kat are hosting a bike ride down the Katy Trail to the W Hotel for a private patio lunch benefitting Friends of Katy Trail. It gets even better because you'll get a free gift bag and VitaminWater10 (while supplies last).

Check it out on Sat., 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Meet at 5214 E. Mockingbird Ln. Tickets $25 (includes bike and lunch). R.S.V.P. to 214-282-9951 or thefleetster@gmail.com.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

"Runners Wanted" Truck Debuts

Check out the new roving advertising truck that helps promotes the Katy 5K for the Friends of the Katy Trail. It is generously furnished by Rod Collins of Bulldog Mobile Billboards. Thanks Rod! You may see it parked at the lot near the Knox Street entrance, where this picture was taken, or perhaps notice it tooling around the Uptown-Turtle Creek-Oak Lawn-Downtown areas of our fair burg. Hope you like it. We think it rocks. And don't forget to sign up for the Katy 5K, taking place Thursday, May 14 at 6:15 p.m. at Reverchon Park. Click here to register today.

Concrete Fails - Gets Replaced

Unfortunately for all of us, the world is an imperfect place. That became evident last week when cracks formed in the freshly poured concrete that was installed just the week before at Dedo’s Place, the plaza under construction near the north end of the Katy Trail. So the contractor began removing sections of the concrete that cracked and will replace it later this week.

Despite this setback, and the amount of rain that limits construction, the contractor still believes the $200,000 project will be completed by the end of the summer. Thank you for your patience during this time period that the main trail is closed and all Trail traffic is forced to share the running trail.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

You Deserve VIP Treatment

You wear sunglasses at night to protect your eyes from the flashbulbs of the paparazzi. . . You live on the side of the velvet rope others only dream of going to . . . You always score the best table at the hottest restaurants . . . and you want everyone to know you're a VIP at the Michelob Ultra No. 11 Katy 5K, but how can you do that?

Brand new this year is VIP Registration for $100. Sound steep for a 5K? It's not. It's the best value in town because it includes access to VIP area before and after the 5K with your own catered food and drink, a 2009 Friends of the Katy Trail membership, 5K entry, and a cool, limited edition Katy 5K running hat. As a bonus, it's limited to 150 participants. So sign up today!

D Magazine and Aeon Studio Love Us

Want a free circuit-training session? Want it at a super cool gym that looks out on the Katy Trail? Good news, you can get that at Aeon Studio. Click here to check out the details from D Magazine.

Did we mention Aeon is giving $50 to the Friends of the Katy Trail for every member who joins this month? Go check it out and our friend Ryan will make sure to pump you up, er, motivate you.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's . . .

The Bulldog Mobile Billboard for the Michelob Ultra No. 11 Katy 5K!

Feel free to wave at the truck and tell Rod thanks for promoting the Katy 5K with his cool mobile billboard truck.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Drinking Fountain Arrives at Dedo's

The drinking fountain that will be installed at the plaza near the north end of the Trail arrived on the scene last Friday. As you can see by the photo, the fountain is our standard three-tiered one with drinking bowls for adults, children and people in wheelchairs, and pets. The concrete to anchor the drinking fountain will be poured later this week, weather permitting.

Construction of the $200,000 Dedo's Place plaza is expected to be complete by the end of the summer. Go to the Friends of the Katy Trail's construction page for more photos of the project.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fort Worth Going Bike Friendly

Fort Worth has rolled out a plan to become a Bicycle Friendly City by 2015. The plan includes making complete streets that are accessible to ALL forms of transportation users -- vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, mass transit, disabled, elderly -- as well as requiring new development to meet city codes for bicycle accessibility and parking. They even plan to (gasp!) remove some parking and replace it with bike lanes and bike parking.

Check out our neighbor to the west's effort to solve their transportation and infrastructure problems and move their city into the 21st century.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Bike Oak Cliff on Saturday

Our friends at BFOC (that's Bike Friendly Oak Cliff) are having ribbon cutting for the Coombs Creek Trail on Saturday, April 18. Here are the details from their blog:

"The first leg of the paved Coombs Creek Trail has been completed and a ribbon cutting is set for tomorrow morning. We’ll try to arrive around 9ish in the morning, and will probably be riding in a small parade at 9:30 a.m. The trail is located at Kessler Parkway and Junior Drive (on the northwest side of Methodist Hospital). The best way to get there is to take Sylvan Northbound toward I-30. Kessler Parkway is the street before the highway. Go right (east) to Junior. There should be a good crowd out that can point everyone the rest of the way."

Here's a link to their website. KT says "check it out."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Question of the Month

Last month we asked you what you would spend federal stimulus funds on. The power-brokers down at City Hall must have been listening because the Council approved the submission of a $21 million grant request to finish the Katy Trail-Trinity Strand Trail-Coombs Creek Trail corridor. Now let’s keep our fingers crossed that the Feds like our trail plan, too. The grant will be submitted by the City in late summer.

However, paying the $1 million ransom to Dr. Evil isn’t part of that grant request, so the whole thing may be moot if he’s successful in his quest for world domination. But you were concerned enough to make Dr. Evil the third-most popular answer, and we appreciate that.

Here’s this month’s question:
What are you planning to do for Earth Day and/or Arbor Day this year?

Keep Your Helmet On

We just received a tip from the Mayor of McKinney Avenue (who knew there was one?) about DPD officers issuing tickets to bicycle riders who are not wearing a helmet. As KT said on a recent answer in the Ask KT section of our website, it is a City of Dallas code that cyclists wear helmets. So be forewarned that DPD can give out a ticket, which comes with a $147 fine.

So unless you're willing to challenge the law, or your head is harder than concrete, we suggest you wear a helmet at all times when on your bike. This goes for inline skates as well.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Report Quality of Life Offenses to DPD

DPD has asked us to help them identify locations where you consistantly see any Quality of Life Offenses. Here's what Lt. Lewis said in an email to us earlier today ...

"With the weather becoming more pleasant and more daylight to enjoy it, there may be a noticeable increase of quality of life offenses such as panhandling, sleeping in public, public intoxication, homeless encampments and urinating in public. I am seeking your assistance in identifying locations that tend to have a chronic problem with such offenses. Please at your earliest convenience e-mail me with any locations you are aware of that need police attention in the Uptown area."

If you know of any specific locations like this, particularly on or around the Katy Trail, please email Lt. Lewis at ricky.lewis@dpd.ci.dallas.tx.us.

Monday, April 13, 2009

What's Your Fav Trail Event?

The Rails to Trails Conservancy asked its members that question in March and listed some of the responses on its website this month. Guess what event topped their list? The Michelob Ultra Katy 5K, of course. The RTC site even ran two photos from last year's event. Check it out.

Obviously, you don't want to miss the Katy 5K this year. The annual event takes place Thursday, May 14 at 6:30 p.m. If you haven't signed up yet, click here to register online today.

Friday, April 10, 2009

New Construction -- Dedo's Place

The contractor working on the plaza near the north end of the Katy Trail is digging trenches to install the irrigation line that will add a new drinking fountain to the Trail. Expect to see that work this week and early next. The hope is they will begin to pour the new concrete for the primary trail by then end of the week of April 13. The photo shows the forms that have been put in place to support the stained concrete that is part of the plaza. Expected completion of the $200,000 project is this summer. Remember, always check out the Construction Updates page on the Friends of the Katy Trail's website for more details and additional images of the construction progress.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

This is a Freaking Cool Calculator

In case you were trying to figure out how green you really can go (while even losing some weight) or you're looking to waste some time at the office, check out this super cool calculator that tells you how much you can save by biking to work.

Dallas Police Department Events

Our friends at the Dallas Police Department sent us an email about two upcoming events that we think you should mark on your calendar. The first is Volunteers in Patrol training on April 11th. Volunteers in Patrol are trained by DPD in order to be a more effective version of neighborhood watch. On April 11th, DPD will teach volunteers how to spot suspicious or criminal activity in their neighborhood. The second event is the Central Patrol Division’s quarterly crime summit, on April 16th.
If you want to learn more information about the events, visit their website at http://www.blogger.com/www.cepatrolcrimewatch.org.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Construction Signs Installed

Just so you can't miss the location and reason for the big mess on the north end of the Katy Trail, here's a shot of the new signs that were installed on both ends of the construction zone. Sure hope we make that construction completion date despite all this rain.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

North End Construction Underway

The area has been fenced off and the concrete is being removed near the north end to make way for Dedo's Place, the entry plaza at the intersection of McKinney Ave and the Katy Trail. Signs will be installed soon on either side of the construction zone that inform Trail users of the project and expected completion date -- sometime this summer. Check out the photo above of what the mess looks like today after all the thunderstorms last night.

Contrary to what some Trail users are saying, the concrete trail will not be closed off forever. It will open in a couple of months, but will simply be in a stained pattern to help create the space that is the plaza. If anyone tells you the concrete is gone for good, please correct them.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Dedo's Place Construction Begins

Construction has started on the entry plaza near the north end of the Katy Trail where McKinney Avenue hits the Trail. Last week, the contractor did the saw cuts for the sections of the concrete that will be removed. You may also see the removable metal bollards out of their collars during the day. And very soon, the contractor will be pouring some asphalt to help move people from the concrete trail to the rubber trail just south of the construction zone.

Friday, March 27, 2009

New Bike Store Offers Free Rides on the Katy Trail

Fleetwood’s Kit Kat, a new boutique near SMU that sells and rents cruiser bikes, is hosting FREE rides on Fridays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Show up early to stake your wheels (we hear hot pink goes fast), then follow him down the Katy Trail to Victory Park where you can grab a snack before heading back.

The boutique itself stocks vintage Western shirts, graphic tees, retro home furnishings, stickers (they’re free!), and homemade cupcakes on weekends. Five percent of proceeds from bike sales and rentals benefit Friends of Katy Trail.

Who knew cruisin’ could be so cool?Fleetwood’s Kit Kat, 5214 East Mockingbird Lane (214-282-9951 or fleetwoodskitkat.com).

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Turn out. Take Action

Be part of Earth Hour on March 28, 2009, 8:30 pm local time.

World Wildlife Fund is asking individuals, businesses, governments and organizations around the world to turn off their lights for one hour – Earth Hour – to make a global statement of concern about climate change and to demonstrate commitment to finding solutions.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Graffiti Goes Away - Again

So the graffiti gurus who work for the Parks Department -- Mark and Keith -- got rid of most of the graffiti on the Katy Trail last Thursday and Friday. And, as you know from reading the blog last week, they tackled the biggest problem by painting over the Lemmon Avenue bridge. Well, no good deed goes unpunished.

When the guys returned on Monday to finish up, they found the bridge had been hit again, and the dirty little taggers had hit almost a dozen other places along the Trail. Undeterred, Mark and Keith repainted the entire Lemmon bridge -- again. Then on Tuesday, they attacked the graffiti on the Trail with a power washer, using bio-degradable cleaners. By Wednesday, most of the graffiti was gone.

Mark reports that they have helped wipe out graffiti at other City of Dallas parks, and expect to win the battle of the Katy Trail, too. Thanks, guys, for your persistence and help in eliminating this problem.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

DPD Working Hard in Uptown

Two stories of good work by DPD in the Uptown area.

First, on March 17 around 3 a.m. an individual was robbed in the 4000 block of Cole Ave. As he was getting out of his car to go into his home, two suspects approached him with a gun and an ice pick. They took his laptop and drove off. But he got a good look at their vehicle, and its description was broadcast over police radio throughout the city. The suspects were arrested later that morning in northwest Dallas.

Second, because there had been some cars broken into around Gold's Gym, the Central Division conducted an operation in the area. On March 19 around 9:45 p.m., suspects burglarized a vehicle and removed a piece of property that contained a police tracker. DPD was able to track the suspects to the 3800 block of Cedar Springs, and three individuals were arrested.

Getting Your Workout Even in a Tough Economy

The American Council on Exercise did a survey of its certified fitness professionals, and 48 percent expected gym memberships to decrease in 2009. Aren't you glad you can use the Katy Trail without that monthly fee? (But you should be a Friend of the Katy Trail starting at just $50 a year. Click here to join.)

The Dallas Morning News has an interesting article about other inexpensive workouts. Click here to check it out.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Grafitti on Bridge Goes Bye-Bye

The City of Dallas Park Department gave us a big hand this week by painting over the graffiti that had defaced the bridge over Lemmon Avenue last weekend. Thank you to all the folks in the Parks maintenance division who helped get rid of this eyesore.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dedo's Place - Construction Meeting Set

Valley Crest Landscape Development, the contractor that will build the plaza at the north end known as Dedo's Place, got the notice to proceed from the City of Dallas. So ... the first on-site construction meeting for the entry plaza is scheduled for Tuesday, March 24 at 9 a.m. We're getting close to being fully under construction.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Red Oaks Being Replaced - Today

The saga of the Red Oaks at Reverchon Park is finally coming to a close ... TODAY. We finally found someone to remove them at no charge. And the Parks Department is standing by to install some nice Vitex shrubs (some people call them trees) as soon as the Red Oaks are gone. That should make Oncor (some people call them TXU) happy.

Please be patient as the landscape activity around the Thomsen Overlook may make it difficult to get past today and tomorrow.

Ever Wanted to be a Chair?

The Crime Watch Executive Board (CWEB), is a nonprofit organization made up of crime watch volunteers who act as a liaison between members of the community and the Dallas Police Department. CWEB is electing its chairperson on March 18 at 7 p.m. at DPD Headquarters (1400 S. Lamar St).

Directors serve for two-year terms, and the Boards meets monthly. At these meetings, CWEB invites speakers to keep them up-to-date on subjects such as Homeland Security, 911, crime statistics, etc.

CWEB works very closely with the Divisional Neighborhood Police Officers (NPO) and neighborhood crime watch groups. It strives to encourage citizen involvement in these and other volunteer programs. Some of CWEB's goals are:
  • To identify all crime watch and Volunteers in Patrol (VIP) groups and their contacts for better communication and to target areas for expansion
  • To increase crime watch groups' knowledge of CWEB
  • To improve communication with the DPD
  • To change CWEB's composition to better reflect the crime watch community, including apartments and businesses

If you are interested in being nominated for the Central patrol Chairperson please email Sgt. Dennis Craig at dennis.craig@dpd.ci.dallas.tx.us. If you have any questions call 214-670-4420
CWEB chairperson will be nominated by the crime watch representatives who show up at 1400 South Lamar; police headquarters in the media conference room. There will also be a short crime watch meeting with refreshments provided.

HP to Start Digging Up Dirt

Here's hoping you have nothing to hide, because the Town of Highland Park will begin digging up dirt on Katy Trail users in the next week or two. OK, seriously, our friends at HP have been making improvements to Abbot Park, adjacent to the Trail, and need to fix the storm drain from the Park into the alley that sits between the Park and the Trail. So they'll be flinging dirt from the Park to the Trail just north of the HP Pump Station by the end of the month. Most of the work will be in the alley, but could impact the Trail. Nothing to fear, though.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Dedo's Place Construction to Begin

You may notice some pin-flags on the north end of the Katy Trail soon. They'll be marking the site for the construction of Dedo's Place, the plaza connecting the Trail to McKinney Avenue. Demo work should start the week of March 23.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Red Oak trees find a home

After much hard work done by Todd at SWA and Reuben and Parks, the Red Oak trees on the east side of the Thomsen Overlook have a new home. The company that will remove the trees -- a no cost to Parks or the FKT -- will do their work the first half of next week. So be on the look out for these trees to be removed and replanted elsewhere.

The FKT and Parks will put some new Vitex trees (or shrubs, whichever you think they are) in place of the Red Oaks in the near future.

Reverchon Roundup Cancelled

The Dallas Park Department has just notified us that the Reverchon Roundup will unfortunately be cancelled for Saturday, March 14, 2009. We all share their concern for the safety of the volunteers and the potential damage to the Park as a result of recent heavy rains with more forecast for tomorrow. The event will not be rescheduled this year.

Thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing you next spring! Please feel free to contact Texas Scottish Rite Hospital at (214) 559-7825 if you have any concern.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

When is Earth Day?

Officially, it's April 22. According to the latest City of Dallas newsletter on Stormwater Management (yes, there's a newsletter for stormwater) ... they believe in "Earth Day, Everyday." But if you want info on what's happening on the "official" Earth Day, just click here to link to the City's "green Dallas" website.

Did you know the first Earth Day was on April 22, 1970 and was celebrated by 20 million people worldwide? Neither did we. Thank goodness for the Stormwater Management newsletter. Oh, and here's the website for this City department.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Crime Down in Uptown

Just got an email from Lt. Ricky Lewis of DPD who reported the following about crime in Uptown ...

"The crime numbers look pretty good for your community. All but one offense categories are down except robberies and auto thefts. The last robbery was committed on February 15th. Auto thefts have seen the most significant increase year to date. Burglary of motor vehicles is still our number one offense. The good note is that overall crime is down."

Thursday, February 26, 2009

We are Not Alone

There's a new Katy Trail joining our favorite one in Dallas and the other, rural Katy Trail in Missouri. Please welcome Houston as the newest member of the Katy Trail family. While it's still under construction, supporters in the Heights area of our fellow Texas city are getting more excited. Check out this blog post from Houston Press for the latest.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Opera Buffs Love the Trail

What did Opera Conducter Pietro Rizzo notice when he came back to Dallas to conduct La Boheme this week? The Katy Trail, of course. Click here for the full story.

Red Oaks Staying Put -- For Now

The Red Oak trees on the east side of the Katy Trail adjacent to the Thomsen Overlook at Reverchon Park were supposed to be moved in mid-February to another location along the Trail. The reason they need to be relocated is because Oncor (formerly TXU) said they are too big to be under their power lines.

Unfortunately, the company that was going to do that for the Friends of the Katy Trail pro bono has backed out. So the job is on hold pending other options that won't cost the FKT thousands of dollars.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Complete Streets Generating Interest

Following a column in The Dallas Morning News by FKT Executive Director Eric Van Steenburg in December, several media outlets have shown interest in the concept of "complete streets."

First it was "Think" with Krys Boyd on KERA radio that discussed the topic when Van Steenburg and bike-ped guru Mia Birk were interviewed. Now, the Advocate magazine is on the case with a cover story in all of its editions about the Dallas trail plan. Included on the Advocate website is a podcast interview with Councilmember Angela Hunt and our favorite Executive Director. Click here to check it out.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Light at Hall to be Fixed Next Week

The contractor that installed the lighting on the Katy Trail informs us that the parts are in for the replacement of the light on the Trail just south of the Hall Street bridge. Expect to see crews repairing that light sometime next week.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tell Us What You Like ... Or Don't

We've got a fun online survey that takes almost five (5) minutes to complete. If you haven't had a chance yet, please take it by clicking here. We definitely appreciate your feedback and interest in the Trail.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Congress Keeps Trail Funds

Last week we mentioned that the House of Representatives had millions of dollars for Transportation Enhancements -- the largest federal funding source for trails as well as bike-ped improvements -- in the stimulus bill, but that the Senate version did not. We suggested that you could contact your elected officials to help protect the TE funding if you wanted.

Apparently a lot of people did. And Congress listened. Click here to see a news release from the Rails to Trails Conservancy on the bill.

Congress allocated $825 million to TE. While this is less than 2 percent of transportation funding in the whole bill, it is twice as much TE spending for communities like ours than ever before.

These hundreds of millions of dollars for TE will allow communities across the country to create jobs by building trails and other infrastructure immediately, while simultaneously addressing congestion, environmental concerns, the obesity epidemic and economic challenges in the long-term.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

No, that wasn't KT naked on the Trail

Contrary to popular belief, KT informs us that it was not he who was naked, painted orange and hanging out at 11 a.m. on the Trail last Thursday. The witnesses of the bizarre act say that the naked man was painted a terracotta color. KT says he prefers terra firma.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Dallas and the Bike Queen

When the Friends of the Katy Trail helped lead a feasibility study to improve the bicycle and pedestrian connections between the Trail and downtown, the consulting firm hired was Alta Planning+Design out of Portland, Ore. The principal and founder of Alta is Mia Birk, who personally worked on the design of what has become known as the Katy Trail-Arts Loop Connection. Here's a great story about how Birk became the expert she is, and how Dallas is on her list of cities to convert.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Safe Routes to School - our Poster

A column in Sunday's edition of The Dallas Morning News talked about the growing obesity epidemic in Dallas, and said the City and DISD needed to implement the "safe routes to school" program as a way to combat the problem. Click here to see the opinion piece.

The Katy Trail -- along with other trails, bike lanes and improved pedestrian access -- is a great way to get kids active again and could be part of these programs. And today, someone sent the Friends of the Katy Trail a link to what could be the poster to support this initiative. Check it out by clicking here.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Federal Funds for Trails

The U.S. Senate passed the stimulus package today. Officially known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, the Senate version left out something that the House version had that is very important to trail lovers -- funding for Transportation Enhancements.

The Rails to Trails Conservancy, of which the Friends of the Katy Trail is a member, identified more than $3.4 billion worth of shovel-ready Transportation Enhancement projects that create new bicycle and pedestrian routes and trails across the country. Among those, the Katy Trail leadership has identified almost $8 million in projects that improve the Katy Trail or make important connections to other trails and destinations.

If you'd like to help make sure these Transportation Enhancement funds remain in the final bill, simply call or email your U.S. Representative and encourage them to protect these funds as this bill goes to the House-Senate conference committee.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

New York Times Loves the Katy Trail

The New York Times did an article on "36 Hours in Dallas." Most importantly the Katy Trail was mentioned. Click here to check our what New Yorkers are saying about the Trail you already know and love.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Turf Tales

At the end of this month, Moore Lawn and Garden will adjust the mowing length of the turf on the Trail in order to remove damaged blades. Now, because Moore Lawn and Garden understands that healthy turf makes Katy Trail users happy, they will be adjusting the height by one setting over a two week period in order to ensure that the turf remains healthy. Even more exciting news is that Moore Lawn and Garden is a good friend to the Trail and has recently gone green! They now recycle their lawn and garden waste and now use burlap bags, which are more eco friendly than trash bags. So next time you travel down the Trail, be sure to admire the beautiful and healthy turf and remember that your membership helps to pay for upkeep of the Trail.

Dedo's Place Nears Construction Phase

The official pre-construction meeting for the plaza/entry project near the north end of the Katy Trail -- a.k.a. Dedo's Place -- was Wednesday and went well. The only thing standing in the way of starting construction is approval by the City of the contractor's certificate of insurance. The contractor, Valley Crest Landscape Development, said they'd get that certificate to the City by the end of the week. If all goes well, it's possible that we will break ground by March 1. To see a rendering of Dedo's Place, click here.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Trees Moving North

The dozen Red Oaks that are along the back of the Thomsen Overlook adjacent to the chain link fence will be getting a new home. Sometime in the first two weeks of February, Fannin Tree Farms will be digging up these trees and moving them about a mile north along the Katy Trail. The new home for the trees will likely be in the median between the main trail and pedestrian path around Lemmon Avenue.

So don't be alarmed when you see these trees being dug up. They're moving to a better place and will be replaced with other trees.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Plaza Bid Package Complete

SWA Group -- the landscape architects of record for the Friends of the Katy Trail -- has substantially completed enough of the designs on the project to build a plaza on the Trail overlooking Lee Park that it has put together a bid package. The package will be sent to general contractors who have the capability to construct such a delicate project in the green public space that is shared between the Katy Trail and Lee Park.

Once the bid package is mailed to GCs with an invitation to bid, a pre-bid meeting is held to answer any questions the bidding companies may have. Bids are typically due three weeks after the bid package is mailed. If the current dates hold on the construction schedule, expect to see work begin by the end of March.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Dedo's Place - Pre-construction set

The official pre-construction meeting with the Park Department is set. Friends of the Katy Trail and Valley Crest Landscape Development will meet at Parks the afternoon of Wednesday, Feb. 4 to go over the final plans for the plaza to be built on the north end of the Trail. Construction should begin soon after, and last about 4-6 months.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The 5K is Coming

Oh, oh, when's the Michelob Ultra No. 11 Katy 5K?

Thursday, May 14. Put it on your calendar now because it's definitely on ours. Planning is well on its way and we thought we'd give you a sneak peak at this year's logo. It's going to be awesome because we're going to make sure we retain the title of D Magazine's "Best Post-race Party." Did we mention that the party is going to be better than ever? Stay tuned for details and we'll see you there.

New intern from SMU

On Monday, Sloan Armstrong joined the Friends of the Katy Trail staff as the part-time intern from SMU this spring. Look for Sloan helping out at FKT events. And if she does a real good job, we might even let her answer the phone.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Lee Park plaza gets green light

The project to build a plaza on the Katy Trail overlooking the fountain at Lee Park got the go-ahead from the Dallas Park Board's Planning & Design Committee. The next step for this estimated $1.25 million project is approval of the project and its name by the full Park Board in February.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Steaks Anyone?

Moore Lawn & Garden, the company the Friends of the Katy Trail pays to take care of the landscaping from the parking lot south of Knox Street to Airline Road at the north end, will be removing the stakes that held the trees in place since they were planted several years ago. The trees are now mature enough to stand on their own. Thanks to everyone who "adopted a tree" during our landscape fundraising campaign three years ago.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thinking about Bicycle Commuting?

Click here to check out a cool article in today's Dallas Morning News about bicycle commuting. It's got some great tips and commuter bike reccomendations.

Interactive Artwork Malfunctioning

The interactive artwork, sometimes called the "musical bollards," at David's Way are not functioning correctly. The local maintenance guy in charge of keeping them working tried rebooting the computer that controls them, but they still didn't work 100 percent correctly. Another tech guy will examining the DSL connection and trouble shoot a few other items to see if it can begin to work properly. This should only be temporary.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Post Already in Place

The metal posts were installed today near the Knox Street parking lot and at the end near the AAC. They're bright and shiny.

Metal Posts Coming Soon

The three metal posts, or bollards, that are missing on the Katy Trail should be replaced soon. The posts -- located near the Knox parking lot (2) and the AAC (1) -- have been missing since the lighting construction was in full swing during the summer. After much difficulty and delay, it appears they are in the final stages of being manufactured. Our contractor tells us they are being galvanized right now, and could be in the ground by the end of January.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Crime Meeting Thursday

Central Patrol, the division of DPD that covers the Katy Trail, is hosting a meeting on Thursday, Jan. 15 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss with the community the accomplishments in 2008, areas needing improvement in 2009, and DPD's plans for the future regarding public safety in our community.

The public meeting, officially called Central Patrol Division's Year End Crime Synopsis, will be in the Cesar Chavez Learning Center, 1710 N. Carroll at Ross Avenue. Hope to see you there.

Friday, January 9, 2009

VIP Training Session - Next Week

One of our New Year's resolutions is to kick-start our Volunteers In Patrol program on the Katy Trail. We need at least a dozen VIPs in order to start the Friends of the Katy Trail VIP program. (To find out what a VIP does, check out our homepage under "Safety.")

DPD will be offering VIP classes next Monday, Tuesday and Thursday -- Jan. 12, 13 and 15. The Monday and Tuesday classes are 7-9:30 p.m. at the Northeast Station, 9915 E. Northwest Hgwy (just east of Buckner Boulevard). The Thursday class is in the basement of City Hall, 1500 Marilla Ave. also from 7-9:30 p.m. and includes a tour of the 911 system. All three nights must be attended in order to participate in the VIP program.

If interested, please contact Sgt. Dennis Craig via email -- dennis.craig@dpd.ci.dallas.tx.us -- for an application. You can also apply online at www.cepatrolcrimewatch.org under "volunteers." Or call Sgt. Craig at 214-670-4422.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dedo's Place Construction

Good news from today's pre-construction meeting with Valley Crest regarding Dedo's Place - the plaza near the north end of the Katy Trail. Valley Crest thinks they'll have everything done by the beginning of the summer. While that's a preliminary estimate, it's still encouraging news.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Pre-Construction Meeting Set

The pre-construction meeting for the new plaza near the north end of the Trail is Thursday afternoon. The Friends of the Katy Trail has hired Valley Crest Landscape Development - the general contractor that built the Thomsen Overlook at Reverchon Park - to do this plaza as well. It will be called Dedo's Place in honor of long-time board member Dedo Kidd. Construction should begin in February, but we'll know more after Thursday's meeting.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Katy Trail Party at Vert Fitness on Saturday Night

The holidays may be winding down, but the parties just keep on coming. Particularly if the Friends of the Katy Trail has anything to say about it.

And just so you keep your New Year's resolution to get in shape, we're kicking off 2009 with a member happy hour at Vert Fitness.

They're brand new to the neighborhood, so please join us:
5-8 p.m.Saturday, January 10
1909 N. Henderson Ave.
RSVP to Office@KatyTrailDallas.org

You can get in shape and help the Katy Trail all at the same time. (OMG, does it get better than that? We don't think so.) Check out all the details below and note that all January proceeds go to help YOUR Trail. You can also click Vert Fitness to get details.

We'll be in our hottest workout gear, so see you there.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Tollbooth on the Katy Trail?

In a recent online story about getting into shape in 2009, one Katy Trail user said, "There's no tollbooth on the Katy Trail, so this was a good place to start." Makes us wonder if perhaps there SHOULD be a tollbooth on the Katy Trail. After all, the Trail is a privately maintained park. Unfortunately, only 10 percent of the users actually contribute to its maintenance.