Duncanville residents have grown increasingly involved in efforts to preserve a 42-acre tract of land off Danieldale Road and Santa Fe Trail. The Ladd family donated the land to the City some years ago, but retained ownership of seven acres adjacent to that tract. The deed restricts any commercial or residential development to less than 49% of the tract. Ten Mile Creek runs through the property, along with a gas pipeline that makes development more difficult.
Ladd Preservation Advocacy
Members of the Ladd Preservation Advocacy group have attended several recent Duncanville City Council meetings to share their views on keeping the property as a nature preserve. Mark Graham, an outspoken member of the Ladd Advocacy Group, often contributes photos and information about the site. He has been instrumental in urging Duncanville residents to visit the property to see for themselves what a hidden jewel is located in the heart of their city.
Here is an excerpt from one of Graham’s recent posts on the Ladd Preservation Advocacy blog: “…while I have been visiting the Ladd Land and Ten Mile Creek for much of the last ten years, I only got serious about posting images of the Ladd Land in the last few years. My goal was to raise awareness that the city wanted (to) develop a part of the land. As time went on, it became clear to me that the only way to prevent commercial or residential development was to have the land be declared a nature preserve.”
“No one has to agree with that but it is my goal. I want the land to remain natural forever and to have areas of it returned to a blackland prairie much as this whole area once was. A return of the open fields to become seas of native tall grasses, wildflowers, plus flowering plants that attract bees and butterflies is also what I hope for. Plants that once they take hold require little upkeep. I would love to see the fields returned to a state where they can be sustained with minimal human help.”
Duncanville City Manager
Duncanville City Manager Aretha Ferrell-Benavides said, “The Ladd Property has been an enormous discussion for the City for a few years. Each time discussion starts, many of the efforts stop as many different views exist on the land’s best use. Upon my selection, I received a message from a developer interested in developing the property. This person was directed to our Economic Development Director, Gus Garcia, to explore further.”
“Based on his role over the EDC, he initiated a discussion with the EDC on the interest in the land. This is what started the most recent talks about the land. Given our City is over 90% developed, we do not have many options for further development, and given some of the recent state legislation, our property tax revenue is capped. As staff we are not pushing for the development of the land, but instead tasked to present options for what can be done with the land,” Ferrell-Benavides said.
“This is a hot topic, and with the other tasks ahead of the Economic Development team, I believe at this time we need to slow this process down and focus on other opportunities for redevelopment and development in the community,” she added.
Duncanville City Council meets every first and third Tuesday of the month, and their next meeting is Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. at City Hall.