Arlington, Texas – Population across the Dallas-Fort Worth area has surged in recent decades, transforming many towns with an agricultural heritage into bustling cities in just a few short years. Denton County is one of the region’s fastest-growing counties, having doubled in population since 2000. Today, the county is home to more than 900,000 residents.
But there’s another fact about Denton County that may help it hold onto its roots, even as its cities continue to expand. Denton County is home to the second-most horses and ponies in the region, behind Parker County, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Finding the proper balance between development and preservation of agricultural land may have an added benefit. Pastures and other open spaces have been found to mitigate flooding, allowing for the infiltration of stormwater.
As development surges in North Texas, stormwater runoff could impact assets such as the Denton Greenbelt and its recreational trails, which have experienced flooding in recent years. Preserving the county’s Western heritage may be one way to help these important assets.
The North Central Texas Council of Governments is partnering with the Denton County office of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Denton County Equine Committee to talk with horse farm owners about how to preserve their land if they do not wish their land to be developed in the future.
The annual Red River Equine Summit is scheduled for 9 a.m. April 2 at the Denton County Cowboy Church, 400 Robinson Road in Ponder. The summit will feature equine experts from across Texas, including top veterinarians, farriers, agriculture attorneys, horse trainers and experts in pasture management and hay quality. Register here by March 26 and attend the conference for $25. Those registering on March 27 and beyond can attend for $35.
Open spaces such as pastures mitigate flooding by allowing for more stormwater infiltration. Texas’ 1.6 million acres of preserved lands provide an estimated $470 million in flood prevention. And there are mechanisms for preserving land in Texas and ensuring agricultural interests can be protected for generations to come, even as the region continues to grow substantially. Attendees of the summit can learn about some of these tools.
The Denton County Greenbelt Corridor is a 20-mile multi-use trail located in Ray Roberts Lake State Park, alongside the Elm Fork Branch of the Trinity River between the Ray Roberts Dam to the headwaters of Lewisville Lake. offering equestrian and bicycle-pedestrian trails.
About the North Central Texas Council of Governments:
NCTCOG is a voluntary association of local governments established in 1966 to assist local governments in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit and coordinating for sound regional development. NCTCOG's purpose is to strengthen both the individual and collective power of local governments and to help them recognize regional opportunities, eliminate unnecessary duplication and make joint decisions.
NCTCOG serves a 16-county region of North Central Texas, which is centered on the two urban centers of Dallas and Fort Worth. Currently, NCTCOG has 238 member governments including
16 counties, 169 cities, 22 school districts and 31 special districts. For more information on the NCTCOG Transportation Department, visit www.nctcog.org/trans.