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Khaleel Ahmed, District 8 Candidate, responds to FIG Questionnaire

Updated: Apr 27

As an elected official, what role could you play to promote the use of green spaces for gardens that can help beneficial wildlife, like pollinators and native plants?

Policy Development:

Introduce or support policies that encourage the creation and maintenance of green spaces specifically designed for native plants and pollinators. This could include zoning laws that favor green spaces or tax incentives for properties that maintain such areas.

Public Awareness Campaigns: Launch campaigns to educate the community about the benefits of native plants and pollinators. These campaigns can include workshops, seminars, and informational materials distributed through local media and public spaces.

Partnerships with Local Organizations: Collaborate with environmental groups, schools, and community organizations to develop and maintain these green spaces. Partnerships can leverage additional resources and expertise, enhancing the impact of the initiatives.

Funding and Grants: Allocate city funds or pursue grants dedicated to environmental conservation to support the development of these gardens. This could include funding for research on local ecology, the planting of native species, and the maintenance of these areas.

Community Involvement Programs: Encourage community involvement through volunteer programs or citizen advisory boards that focus on the development and care of green spaces. Engaging the community can help ensure the sustainability of these projects.

Urban Planning: Integrate green spaces into urban planning and development projects. Ensure that new developments or renovations of city areas include dedicated spaces for ecological gardening.

Recognition and Rewards: Establish recognition programs that reward businesses, schools, and residents who actively participate in creating and maintaining pollinator-friendly gardens.

What are some of your favorite places to enjoy nature in Irving / the DFW area? What kind of botanical features might Irving benefit from?

In the Irving and broader DFW area, there are several beautiful spots where you can enjoy nature, each with its own unique features:

Irving's Campion Trails: A highlight in Irving, this extensive trail system offers scenic views along the Elm Fork and West Fork of the Trinity River. It's a great place for walking, biking, and observing wildlife.

Mandalay Canal Walk at Las Colinas: This area provides a tranquil setting reminiscent of European canals, complete with cobblestone walkways and beautiful water views, ideal for a relaxing stroll.

DFW Founders' Plaza: Located near the DFW Airport, this spot is great for watching planes and enjoying the outdoors, with picnic areas and telescopes for plane spotting.

Fort Worth Botanic Garden: Just a bit west of Irving, this is the oldest botanic garden in Texas, featuring 110 acres with extensive native and exotic plant collections.

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden: Overlooking White Rock Lake, the Dallas Arboretum offers 66 acres of lush gardens and is famous for its seasonal festivals and educational programs.

As for botanical features that might benefit Irving, considering these could be quite impactful:

Native Plant Gardens: Emphasizing Texas native plants can conserve water and support local wildlife. These gardens can serve educational purposes while promoting sustainability.

Community Gardens: Establishing more community gardens can encourage community involvement, provide fresh produce, and create green spaces in urban areas.

Pollinator Gardens: Dedicated spaces for pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds can enhance biodiversity and support local ecosystems. These could be integrated into parks, public spaces, or along trails like Campion Trails.

Rain Gardens: These are effective in managing stormwater runoff and can improve water quality. Installing rain gardens in strategic areas can also add to the aesthetic value of the surroundings.

Tree Canopy Enhancement: Increasing the tree canopy in urban areas can reduce heat, provide shade, and improve air quality. This initiative could involve both planting new trees and preserving existing ones. These features not only enhance the beauty and ecological health of Irving but also improve residents' quality of life by offering tranquil and attractive places to relax and reconnect with nature.

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