While many think of Dallas as a place where skyscrapers rule with jets passing overhead and highway traffic sounds filling the air, there is an oasis just ten miles southeast of the CBD area on the edge of the Great Trinity Forest — the Trinity River Audubon Center.
Sure, you’ve heard the stories how its 120 acres were transformed from an illegal dump site into an exquisite oasis where flora and fauna flourish with five miles of trails for visitors to discover the beauty of the hardwood forest, wetland and prairie ecosystems. It’s been such an amazing success that the National Audubon Society deemed it to be its “flagship environmental education center in the Central Flyway” in 2008.
Unfortunately, some folks make the mistake of thinking that the Center is strictly made for people with binoculars who can tell the difference between a Barn Swallow and a House Swallow, or others who can quote chapter and verse of “Shiners and Mahler’s Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas.”
How wrong they are! The Center is far more than that. In addition to being a sanctuary for wildlife and plants, it’s where Boy and Girl Scouts earn badges, people just take strolls with unobstructed views of Mother Nature’s handiwork, corporations holds meetings and folks celebrate their weddings and other special occasions. Why, even during the pandemic the Center arranged to have virtual Bird Bantering with Jake and Marcus.
However, while the Center is an ever-changing experience, it was dealt a bit of a blow when the pandemic and change of leadership put its Songbird Supper fundraiser on hiatus.
But the trio of Center Director Shelly White, Chair Grace Cook and Honorary Chair Mary McDermott Cook has decided that, like birds returning to their annual habitats, the Songbird Supper’s “Back To The Prairie” will be back on the calendar for Saturday, October 16, with Chef Justo Blanco, formerly of Bolsa Mercado, in charge of the menu.
Following a cocktail party, guests will take their places for “a meal in the meadow” at a seemingly never-ending table that will extend through TRAC’s Blackland Prairies as the sun sets, followed by an after-dinner party. For those who want to explore the grounds after dinner, there will be a “night owl prowl.”
Already on board are Presenting Songbird Sponsor The Eugene McDermott Foundation, Mockingbird Sponsors Cecilia and Garrett Boone, Warbler Sponsor Michelob Ultra Pure Gold, Carol and Don Glendenning, Lynn McBee, LynnPinkerHurstSchwegmann, Carolyn and David B. Miller, Wendy and Jeremy Strick, Vivie Satorsky and Charles Zerner and the Trinity Coalition.
Needless to say, this occasion does not warrant fancy schmancy tuxedos and stilettos. It’s a relaxed evening surrounded by what comes naturally. However, you just might want to bring along some sunglasses, because there’s gonna be a nearly perfect full moon on hand that night.
And there’s a Plan B already in place, if rain is in the forecast. If that happens the whole kit-and-caboodle except for the owl prowl will take place in the Great Hall of the Antoine Predock-designed Center overlooking the grounds.
Alas, tickets start at $200 and are limited, so get that plastic out and reserve your spot now!
* Photo credit: Sean Fitzgerald ** Photo credit: Christina Childress Photography *** Photo provided by Trinity River Audubon Center