- Associated Press - Friday, March 18, 2016

DALLAS (AP) - A natural spring near downtown Dallas is closer to attaining rare historic status in a move usually limited to old buildings.

The Dallas City Plan Commission on Thursday approved a proposal for historical protection of the so-called “Big Spring.”

The Dallas Morning News (https://bit.ly/1RqxVch ) reports the final decision rests with the Dallas City Council.

The Dallas Landmark Commission on Feb. 1 voted to preserve the artesian (ar-TEE’-zhun) spring. The designation would ban new construction nearby, plus restrict fences, signs and trails in the area settled more than 150 years ago.

Dallas in 2004 bought the land. Neighbors Billy Ray Pemberton and his wife, Zada, have been the unofficial caretakers.

Billy Ray Pemberton welcomed Thursday’s vote and said he hopes public education about protecting the environment will follow.

Surrounded by oak trees, Big Spring gushes 10 million gallons of fresh water into the Trinity watershed each year. Few other natural springs still flow in north Texas because many have been destroyed or covered over by development.

Plan Commissioner Michael Jung told conservationists that their job isn’t done because the city has failed in past years to look after its natural resources.

“Big Spring will only be fully protected when you and people like you and generations that come after you will exercise that eternal vigilance and make sure that what we adopt here today is adhered to 100 percent,” Jung said.

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Information from: The Dallas Morning News, https://www.dallasnews.com

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