Dallas Parks and Recreation introduces carbon credit for preservation efforts

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas’s Great Trinity Forest is recognized as one of the region’s most valuable natural resources.

Some city leaders have an idea to protect it – through a creative business arrangement.

A 14-mile loop along the Trinity Forest Trail—on rollerblades—is one of Reno Marquez’s most popular outdoor activities.

“It’s hot right now, but when you get back there and it’s in the shade, it’s very nice,” he said.

He said the huge canopy provides much-needed cover – something he hopes to preserve for the future.

“There aren’t many places like this in Dallas anymore. It’s all town now. We need to do more to protect them,” he said.

Arun Agarwal, president of Dallas Parks and Recreation, supports one way to do this: through a currency called carbon credits. Businesses looking to offset their carbon emissions can purchase credits to be used towards Great Trinity Forest conservation efforts and more.

“The Great Trinity Forest is the largest urban forest system in the country. Not in the state, not in the city. So this is a value worth preserving,” he said.

Agarwal said many city leaders, including Mayor Eric Johnson, were on board. On Monday, the mayor called the idea “intriguing” and called on the parks authority to study its feasibility.

The plan, proponents said, could net $20 million to $25 million. That money would also be earmarked for other green projects, including a trail that would connect East and South Dallas. Agarwal called it a win-win situation.

“It’s a transformative process that we can use to take care of two of the most natural environments in the city of Dallas without costing the citizens a dime,” Agarwal said.

CBS DFW staff

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