In a joint celebration on Tuesday, City of Fort Worth and Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) officials marked a significant milestone with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The agreement solidifies collaborative efforts between the two entities in the pursuit of acquiring, creating, and maintaining greenspace within the city.
This initiative aligns with Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker’s recently introduced Good Natured Fort Worth Greenspace Initiative. The broader effort aims to unite public and private partners with the common goal of shaping and enhancing greenspace investment in Fort Worth for the next century.
Mayor Parker emphasized the importance of strong partnerships, stating, “To make a truly significant impact on our preservation goals, we need strong partners like TRWD who share in the City’s commitment of preserving the open spaces and waterways for residents of today and generations to come.”
Both the City and TRWD have historically worked independently to promote recreation, conservation, stormwater management, and water quality. The MOU formalizes their commitment to working together, exploring the potential creation of a private nonprofit conservancy, and collaborating on mutually beneficial efforts, strategies, and goals.
The MOU outlines key commitments, including the issuance of an annual Green Space report and holding at least one joint meeting of the respective governing bodies each year. The emphasis is on furthering greenspace preservation efforts, recognizing its vital role in building sustainable communities by protecting water quality, enhancing flood protection, and promoting physical and mental health through recreation.
Leah King, TRWD’s board president, emphasized the public benefits of this joint initiative, stating, “TRWD’s commitment and investment in this joint initiative will provide the public access to green and blue spaces. Together, we can build a legacy of environment stewardship and community well-being that also helps to protect water quality, reduce flood risks, and improves the quality of life for everyone we serve.”
The MOU reflects the urgent need for greenspace preservation in Fort Worth, where approximately 50 acres of natural open space are lost to development each week. With the city rapidly approaching 1 million residents, the collaboration addresses the growing demand for conservation.
The unanimous approval of the MOU by both the TRWD Board of Directors and Fort Worth City Council underscores the broad support for greenspace investment, as evidenced by a 2022 Trust for Public Land survey where 96% of respondents emphasized the importance of conserving natural areas in Fort Worth. In 2021, residents further demonstrated their commitment by approving a $15 million bond measure to acquire and conserve open space in the city.