By Julie Thibodeaux
Here's a look back at some of the top environmental stories in the Dallas-Fort Worth region in 2014.
The 80-acre wildspace, known as Oliver Nature Park, opens in Mansfield.
DOWN ON THE FARM
Urban Acres, a Dallas-based food co-op with 3,000 members across DFW, held a a ribbon cutting at their new expanded location in Oak Cliff.
Richardson-based author Carol Adams publishes Never Too Late to Go Vegan, aimed at encouraging the over-50 crowd to adopt a plant-based diet for health, environmental and ethical reasons.
The North Texas Corporate Recycling Association and the Greater DFW Recycling Alliance held their first joint event in February. The two groups, which have similar goals and membership, tested a union in 2014 to see if they wanted to make it a longterm commitment. However, as of publication time, the two haven’t set a merger date yet.
Mean Greens for Animals, a student animal advocacy group led by GSDFW award winner Alexandria Beck, convinces the University of North Texas to boycott vendors that use battery cages for hens throughout its dining system.
Longtime environmental advocate and philanthropist Margie Haley accepts the Lifetime Achievement award at the Green Source DFW Sustainable Leadership Awards.
Dallas City Council votes to initiate a bag fee for single use plastic bags to reduce waste and litter.
The locally produced environmental documentary Cry Heard ‘Round the World, debuts in Dallas. The film, which follows Texans on journey to the DC climate rally, was funded by Dallas-based Dolphin Blue.
The day before Earth Day, 80 wind turbines are hoisted to the roof of El Centro College's historic nine-story building on Main Street in Dallas.
DAY OF THE DOLPHIN
Dallas-based Dolphin Blue, launched by Tom Kemper in April 1994, celebrates 20 years selling eco-friendly office supplies and more recently household, children’s and pet items.
The Native Prairie Association of Texas hosts its State of the Prairie Conference in Fort Worth.
North Texas’ first all vegetarian B&B opens in Fort Worth.
LITTLE CHAPTERS ON THE PRAIRIE
Following a successful conference in Fort Worth, the Native Prairies Association of Texas launches two new chapters in Dallas and Fort Worth to support local conservation efforts.
Area bee lovers hold a week of actions, culminating in a rally at Klyde Warren Park in Dallas to bring attention to the bee crisis. The event coincided with world-wide protests known as Bee Against Monsanto.
Great Trinity Forest watchdogs, led by Ben Sandifer, continued to keep an eye on the 6,000-acre green space in Dallas. In August, they spoke out when workers for two city contractors mistakenly drained a beaver pond near Big Spring, endangering wetland wildlife.
Green Source DFW founder and project manager Phillip Shinoda accepts the Green Media award at the North Texas Recycling Awards.
The city of Dallas revives its Green Fest, hosting it on the new Continental Avenue Pedestrian Bridge.
Dallas Sierra Club hosts an Energy Summit in Addison that brought in national experts, including Al Armendariz, to speak on renewable and well as traditional energy sources.
RUN WITH A VIEW
GreenSource DFW’s inaugural ‘Run for the Environment’ 5K at Cedar Hill State Park drew more than 100 entries and nearly 30 sponsors.
HERE COMES THE SUN
Fed Ex installs the largest solar array in North Texas.
Denton becomes the first city in Texas to ban fracking.
Dallas-based Snappy Salads restaurant chain switches from serving plastic to eco-friendly paper straws.
Fort Worth-based Go Green Smokeless Oil claims to have invented the world’s first green biodegradable motor oil.
Despite an outcry from solar advocates, North Richland Hills passes an ordinance to restrict solar panel installation, citing aesthetic concerns. The new rule requires a special use permit for street-facing solar panels and ground-mounted systems.
Dallas Green Alliance, an environmentally themed political action committee, launches with the goal of electing green city council members in Dallas and stopping the Trinity Toll Road.
Did you or your organization or business achieve a green milestone in 2014? Leave your comment below.