By Rita Cook
Since 2005, Citizens Organizing for Resources & Environment better known as CORE, has been working hard to collaborate on projects with organizations like the Austin College ECOS group and the Red River Unitarian Universalist Church Green Team to provide resources that facilitate transition toward sustainable living in the area, to incubate ideas for local sustainability projects and services and to raise awareness of key environmental issues that affect the Texoma region of North Texas and Southern Oklahoma.
While the groups original focus was in response to TXU's proposal to convert the Savoy Natural Gas power plant on the border between Fannin and Grayson Counties to a coal-fired power plant and was successful, CORE has also had their eye on what can be done in the future with a specific focus on local food production. Photo: CORE
With about 40 members of CORE, President Chris Voss says for 2013 the group is hoping to keep the Bonham Community Garden, which they began this year, growing while also getting more people involved in the project. “We started the community garden in Bonham for residents of the area who do not have space to garden at their homes or apartments,” Voss explains. “The garden has been a big success. We allocated all the garden plots we had available for the first season to gardeners and we are ready to grow next year by adding some additional plots.” Voss says too that the City of Bonham has been very helpful, providing space for the garden in a city park and providing water for the garden. (Logo CORE)
Other objectives are looking at working with the Austin College ECOS group to alert people in Grayson county to the dangers of hydraulic fracturing or fracking, which Voss says is beginning to happen more frequently.
“We are also fighting the Keystone XL pipeline, the southern portion of which is being built right now all up and down Texas. The pipeline is proposed to come through the north-east corner of Fannin County from Oklahoma and we are working with other groups to stop it,” he adds. CORE’s goal in this latest project much like the Savoy project that had 13 coal plants being proposed all around Texas after Governor Rick Perry fast-tracked the approval process to get the coal plants approved and built, is to move forward and create awareness.
Noting that the group, to date, has succeeded beyond all imaginings, CORE’s bottom line is to preserve the many assets locally for, not only themselves, but for future generations. Texoma has many assets that draw visitors and new residents to our area — clean air, beauty, agriculture, birds, fishing and hunting, open spaces, and our rural lifestyle. Lake Texoma, Bonham State Park, the Caddo Grasslands, and Lake Fannin are among the places we all enjoy. “If any of them is threatened, you can expect CORE to be finding the facts and educating citizens about the problem.” Voss concludes about the group’s ongoing goals and activities for the future.
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Rita Cook is an award winning journalist who writes or has written for the Dallas Morning News, Focus Daily News, Waxahachie Daily Light, Dreamscapes Travel Magazine, Porthole, Core Media, Fort Worth Star Telegram and many other publications in Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago. With five books published, her latest release is “A Brief History of Fort Worth” published by History Press. You can contact her at email@example.com