Trinity         Nature       Conservancy

Helping people reconnect

with Nature 

OUR MISSION

To help transform Dallas’ Trinity River Corridor into a nationally-recognized conservation and recreation area that will serve as a magnet for environmentally-sensitive economic activity

 

WHAT WE

DO

ESTABLISHING... 

a new label called the "Trinity Nature Park" in order to suggest this is not just a forest to be either managed or left alone, but instead is a place for people to go and use for recreation purposes.

IDENTIFYING...

the boundaries of the area to be included in the proposed Trinity Nature Park that would be the Great Trinity Forest plus adjacent land that has natural significance. 

 
IMPLEMENTING...

the master plan with a timeline that begins work in 2016 and extends in time segments of 2, 5, and 10 years. The goal of all of these efforts is to create a Trinity Nature Park that will re-label the city of Dallas as a nature-center worthy of visiting both by local residents and by those across the globe who have a need to convene with nature.

GATHERING...

the best ideas for how the proposed Trinity Nature Park can be conserved and used for nature-oriented recreation.

WORKING...

with land-use professionals to compile a master plan for the proposed Trinity Nature Park that has three components (1) conservation, (2) recreation, and (3) economic activity. Unlike most other master plans developed for this area, our master plan will include both the cost of implementing the steps and the recommended source of funding for implementation.

Trinity Nature Park

Actively encouraging the City of Dallas to brand the natural features and geography of the Trinity River Corridor as the "Trinity Nature Park", and to build a tourism-oriented marketing campaign and master plan for the long-range development of this park.

Equestrian Trails

Working with the Equine Council to help the City build natural-surface equestrian and hiking trails according to the City-adopted Great Trinity Forest Spine Trail Plan.

Urban Forestry Department

Encouraging the City to follow through on the establishment and funding of an Urban Forestry Department to help manage the tree population within Dallas.

Texas Horse Park

Helping the Texas Horse Park gain City approval to solve its parking problem, which was caused by an insufficient number of parking spaces being built for the size of the facility.

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OUR

PROJECTS

 

The following editorial was sent to the Dallas Morning News and was published in the on-line version on 11/22/16

Dallas is about to have America's largest urban nature park -- surprised?

The City of Dallas is about to become known as one of America’s greenest cities, with America’s Largest Urban Nature Park, and almost no one knows about this. To cause this to happen a number of nature-oriented projects have to all be completed and then the pieces of the puzzle will fit together. This is happening without public awareness because the projects are being conducted independently, managed by different parts of the government whose communications with each other are usually sparse.

 

The location where all of this is happening is in the area the City calls The Trinity River Corridor. The important piece of this vast watershed extends from where the main stem of Trinity River starts, just upstream from the Mockingbird-Westmoreland bridge, and goes all the way down to where the river crosses I-20 at Dallas’s southern City Limit, approximately 20 river-miles away.

(Click the arrow below to continue reading...)

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A MESSAGE FROM 

OUR CHAIRMAN

 
 

OUR BOARD

Steve Smith, CFA
BOARD CHAIR
Deric Salser
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Chayce Wilson 
BOARD VICE CHAIR
Paul Ondrej
SECRETARY & TREASURER
Blake Settle
MEMBER
Carol Nichols
MEMBER
Lucy Hale
MEMBER
Steve Houser 
MEMBER

CONTACT

The Conservancy

For any general inquiries, please fill in the following contact form:

Success! Message received.

 

BOARD CHAIR

Stephen Smith, CFA

After a 20-year career managing investment portfolios for clients of the commercial banking industry, in 1995 Steve Smith founded Smith Group Asset Management, a multi-billion dollar asset manager. Smith Group’s specialty is finding companies that will grow faster than expected and capturing the reward for clients when that happens. Steve’s early career as a rocket scientist in the Neil Armstrong lunar landing program equipped him well to build a technology-proficient team to achieve Smith Group’s investment performance goals. Steve has always loved the outdoors. He is an Eagle Scout, and spent 5 summers living in a tent as a leader of a Boy Scout camp in his home state of Alabama. In recent years, his love of the outdoors has led him to volunteer for a number of nature-oriented non-profits, including recent board seats for Groundwork Dallas, Friends of Reverchon Park, Audubon Texas, and the Trinity Recreation Conservancy, where he currently serves as Board Chairman. He spends most of his free time enjoying either the Colorado mountains as an avid skier and mountain-biker or the Great Trinity Forest where he hikes and cycles. One of Steve’s life goals is to help make the Great Trinity Forest more accessible and safer, so others can also enjoy this natural gem. Steve and his wife Marla are blessed with daughter Tiffany, who now lives with her husband Chris Orcutt in Greenwich, Connecticut, a community that is serving as a model for helping its citizens enjoy their outdoors.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Deric Salser

Deric is an accomplished architectural business professional, experienced in all aspects of architecture, construction, and real estate development. Excelling at assembling talented project teams is his specialty, but his greatest strength is a personalized approach to building client relationships and friendships that last well beyond the completion of their projects. Previous to founding the Salser Development Group, Deric led the Dallas office of nationally recognized and Cincinnati based CR Architecture + Design. Prior to his tenure with CR, he enjoyed a 19 year career as a partner in his own Dallas based architectural firm, where he designed/managed projects and guided clients through the processes of development and construction. Deric currently serves and has served on the board of directors of several nonprofit organizations, including the chamber of commerce in his hometown, as well as the Sunnyvale ISD Education Foundation. He is a cum laude, salutatorian graduate of the College of Architecture at Texas Tech University, then accepted to Cornell University's College of Architecture, Art, and Planning M.Arch. Program (did not attend).  Deric has a passion for nature and the outdoors, and is an intense fan of Texas based college and professional sports. For the past 15 years of his 42 year presence in North Texas, Deric has resided in the nature-centric Dallas County suburb of Sunnyvale, Texas, with his wife and two daughters.

BOARD VICE CHAIR

Chayce Wilson

Chayce grew up in a small town in central Texas where he was a youth minister, real estate agent, and high school teacher.  He met and married his wife, Hannah, before moving to England to complete his MA degree.  He currently lives in Dallas and remodels homes with his wife.  He has a BA Biblical Studies from Criswell College in Dallas and an MA Theology from the University of Nottingham in Nottingham, England.

SECRETARY/TREASURER

Paul Ondrej

Paul is an accomplished technology leader guided by a strong business sense and practical expertise who provides the leadership, vision, governance and strategic direction required to transition business related technology programs/projects from strategy, to planning, through implementation. He has a proven track record of building and running global technology organizations, driving operational transformation, and facilitating smooth transitions during periods of significant change, including high-growth and downsizing. With 15 plus years of experience in the development and execution of strategic plans, revenue generation, organizational transformation and change management, Paul provides extensive international business experience, driving the actions of global, cross-functional virtual teams. Paul holds a MS in Technology Management, BS in Electrical Engineering as well as multiple certifications.
When not working, Paul enjoys the outdoors as an avid cyclist (mountain & road) and runner.  Paul maintains active involvement in several community service organizations, currently serving on the Board of Directors for Trinity Recreation Conservancy and the Friends of Reverchon Park.

BOARD MEMBER

Steve Houser

Life in the tree care business began for Dallas native Steve Houser while he attended morning college classes and simultaneously spent afternoons maintaining the trees at Brookhaven Country Club in Farmers Branch, Texas. Nights and weekends he fed his passion for flying and became a licensed FAA aviation mechanic, attended Pilot Ground School, and scored 100 percent on the Federal Aviation Administration exam, a rare feat. One of the first certified arborists in Texas, Houser is owner/president of a Dallas-Fort Worth area tree-care experts firm that he started 35 years ago. The firm employs many of the state’s top consulting arborists, as well as national and international award-winning tree climbers. He is well regarded by his peers within the industry; the Steve Houser Award of Excellence (aka “The Houser Cup”), established in 2001, is awarded each year to the Texas state tree-climbing champion by the International Society of Arboriculture, Texas Chapter. In his spare time, Houser contributes more than 1,000 volunteer hours each year toward worthwhile tree-related causes, educating the public about trees and natural resource-related issues. He teaches forest ecology to Master Naturalists and biology and arboriculture to Master Gardeners in North Central Texas. He has been an advisor for Vision North Texas since its inception and works diligently to encourage responsible and sustainable land use.

BOARD MEMBER

Carol Nichols

Carol Nichols enjoys the trails and the outdoors.  Her favorite way to enjoy the outdoors is on horseback. She is a founding member of the Lake Ray Roberts Equestrian Trails Association, the Tioga Trails Association, and the Greater Trinity Forest Equestrian Trails Association. She is currently the President of the Texas Horse Park Foundation.  Carol has been community and business leader in Dallas for over 25 years.  She is a co-founder of Texas Women Ventures and has been an executive at Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Capital One.  Carol was recognized by the Alliance for Greater Works as a “Woman Leading Good” and by the Consumer Credit Counseling Center as their inaugural “Financial Literacy Champion.”  Carol is an native of Austin, Texas with degrees from the University of Georgia in economics and political science and a MBA from Tulane University.

BOARD MEMBER

Blake Settle

Blake is a Dallas native that went to college at the University of Texas and graduated with an Economics degree in 2001. He currently serves as Vice President with PlainsCapital Bank and has been with them for 15 years. He works in their Premier Services department which is a division of Private Banking. They serve high net worth clients and  can help with any banking issue that might arise, day or night. He's have been involved with the Friends of Reverchon Park for 10 years and has been a board member for the past 7. Blake attributes his love of the outdoors from being in Boy Scouts where he rose to be an Eagle Scout. He is a father of three and, with his wife, is happy to call Dallas their home.

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