SUBURBS ROWLETT: TALE OF THE TRAIL

Rowlett. that booming suburb to the northeast, is in the thick of a thorny political battle. Land owners, City Council members, park board appointees, and a fiesty Rowlett woman have been duking it out for more than a year over the Rowlett Nature Trail, a mile and a half of bends and curves running along the eastern shores of Lake Ray Hub-bard. To Karen Jerome, perhaps the trail’s biggest fan, the issue is simple: unspoiled nature versus private profits.

However, to Shirley and Alan Goldfield, who own some adjoining land, the trail is an eyesore, “an unsightly area that has become best for collecting trash.” According to the Gold-fields’ attorney, Shirley Baccus Lobel, her clients lost a contract with a residential developer who had been interested in the land because an agreement could not be reached with the city concerning the maintenance of the nature trail. Because the trail was designated an official city park earlier this year, the Goldfields technically can’t touch it.

City Council and park board members are skewed all over the place when it comes to solving this one. At one meeting a park board member charged that the nature trail was used only by “teenagers looking for a secluded spot to have sex and do drugs.” But a City Council member warned that if you mow a nature trail, you no longer have a nature trail. The council member added that the trail is “used by families, school children on field trips, and for Boy Scout activities.” For now, the city has returned this verdict: Karen Jerome and other concerned Rowlett citizens have until January 15, 1989, to raise $30,000 needed to fence the trail off from private property, including the Goldfields’. The fence would also act as a barrier between the teenagers and nature. If they fail, the Rowlett nature lovers may be facing the end of the trail.

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