Last Thursday I posted that TxDOT recently purchased land that includes the natural lake and wildlife habitat known as (Portland) Cement Lake. The Lake was one of the top priorities for acquisition in the City's Open Space Master Plan. In the end, TxDOT's dollars were more attractive to Cemex.
The good news in all of this is that Bob Bielek, TxDOT's Regional Engineer, has let it be known that TxDOT would like to Master Plan the area which includes the lake and work with the City and PSB. He has made it clear that all he needs is an official letter from the City or PSB (or a Councilwoman perhaps?) in order to get the ball rolling on master planning.
Here's how youcan help now:
As a wildlife expert, open space advocate, conservationist, outdoor enthusiast or someone like me who just cares: please urge city officials to work with TxDOT and involve the conservation/wildlife/open space community at all stages of the discussion and in all phases of the planning.
Cement Lake should not be destroyed and it should not become a public, recreational park. It should be preserved as an unusual ecosystem and habitat - a place to visit, view and study - and treasure.
Please urge the Mayor and others to work with TxDOT to preserve the lake as a wildlife habitat and a place for visiting and viewing.
I have discovered that the best way to contact Mayor Leeser is to email his Assistant, Taylor Moreno at MorenoTL@elpasotexas.gov. Mr. Balliew's email is better known: email@example.com. Rep. Niland's is firstname.lastname@example.org. (Cement Lake is in her district. I spoke to her briefly and she is interested.)
Please keep your messages positive. There is no itch at this point to scratch. Please make your title or position known whether it is Urban Biologist, Curator, former Curator, Secretary of FMWC, President of Audubon, OSAB member, Outdoor Enthusiast, Birder, Concerned Citizen - whatever.
Please share this post with others and forward to your groups, friends, colleagues, etc.. This is a wildlife issue not a political one. Let's be heard now and get the ball rolling and make sure that those of us who know about development, wetlands, wildlife, open space, conservation or those who simply love our outdoors are very much involved. Cement Lake is an El Paso Regional treasure.
Let's save Cement Lake!