In early 1988, citizens joined forces with the City of Arlington to establish River Legacy Foundation, a nonprofit organization challenged with making River Legacy Parks a reality. The land was a vital resource for recreation and education. And yet, a balance had to be established. The last thing these first conservators wanted was to shut out the bluebirds and painted buntings, the barred owls and red-bellied woodpeckers, the beavers and coyotes. They knew that, along with structure and growth, humans require the solace and contrast of nature’s unpredictable wonders.
Mission Statement: To preserve and enhance the land along the Trinity River and its tributaries as an extraordinary recreational, educational and natural resource.
Vision: To preserve a living legacy for future generations.
Philosophy of Preservation: River Legacy Park should be preserved, managed and restored in a manner that protects the park’s reservoir of biological diversity. Natural areas must be carefully managed for long-term preservation to ensure the legacy of the land for the future.
Philosophy of Education: The educational experiences provided by the staff of River Legacy Foundation give children and adults the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the environment and their relationship to it. The hope is that these educational experiences will also serve to inspire a sense of wonder and foster a sensitivity to and an appreciation for the natural world that will influence their choices and actions and inform an attitude of stewardship.
Philosophy of Recreation: Recreational activities within River Legacy Park should support the Foundation’s mission of preservation and not endanger the environmental integrity of the park or the safety of park users. Potential activities must be measured against a nature standard, as well as an urban standard.
The Foundation’s key initiative is to educate the next generation of environmental stewards using the resources of River Legacy Parks and River Legacy Living Science Center.
River Legacy Foundation works closely with the Arlington Parks and Recreation Department to monitor and maintain the preservation and expansion of River Legacy Parks. The Foundation has been instrumental in providing many of the amenities in the park, including the pavilions, pedestrian bridge, trails, grand entryway and canoe launch. Future projects include additional canoe launches and a wetland boardwalk.
Starting with children as young as 3 years old, the Foundation’s environmental education programs expose children to the wonders of nature and their place in it. Through education, we preserve the Trinity River and its unique eco-system.