The Rainforest Conservatory at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden is open again after being closed since 2016.
Efforts to repair the greenhouse have been underway for months, including replacing much of the glass, installing new handrails and heavy pruning of overgrown plant material.
Following hail damage to the glass, the Rainforest Conservatory had been closed for safety reasons since 2016.
Though many plants were lost or damaged while the greenhouse was closed, the toughest plants survived and are now starting to fill out again. Water features will soon run clear again, and small animals such as fish, lizards and frogs will again flourish.
View a list of botanic garden admission fees, which include entrance to the conservatory.
Over the years, the Botanic Garden has fallen behind in routine maintenance and repairs because of a lack of funding. Some of the features at the garden had to be closed because of safety issues and broken infrastructure. Today there are more than $15 million in needed capital repairs.
A broad-based funding approach currently in development will include city funding, admission fees, membership fees and bond funding. This combination is expected to address current deferred maintenance needs and assure adequate operational funding to prevent future maintenance and programming shortfalls.
Here’s some good news about traffic in the bustling West Seventh Street corridor: automobile crashes and auto-pedestrian accidents have both been reduced as a result of converting certain streets to one-way.
Between June 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018, 70 automobile accidents were reported. Between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019, there were 61 crashes, a 13% decrease.
The number of automobile-pedestrian accidents decreased during that time frame from five to none.
In June 2018, certain streets in the West Seventh Street core were converted to one-way streets to help with crowd control, improve access for emergency vehicles and reduce vehicle-pedestrian conflicts. The one-way streets were part of a slate of projects designed to improve the safety, walkability and accessibility of the thriving West Seventh Street neighborhood, one of Fort Worth’s fastest growing areas.
The changes were brought about primarily by a spike in overall crime in the area from 2015 to 2017. Most crimes occur on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. and involve bar patrons.
City staff worked with businesses, civic organizations, neighborhood associations and other stakeholders to develop the slate of improvements.
The Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce announced the retirement of President and CEO Bill Thornton. His last day will be July 7, 2020.
Thornton, who recently celebrated his 30th year with the chamber, has been in the CEO/president role since 2000. He joined the chamber staff as director of local business development in July 1989, and was named vice president of economic development in 1992.
As president, Thornton has been involved in numerous community initiatives, including the Wright Amendment agreement, the Base Realignment and Closure task force and the formation of the Barnett Shale Energy Education Council.
“I’ve been fortunate to have worked with exceptional business and community leaders, as well as an outstanding staff team at the chamber, past and present,” Thornton said. “With strong community support, the chamber will continue to meet the evolving needs of this region in order to help Fort Worth address challenges and achieve success for all of our residents.”
To ensure a smooth transition, effective Oct. 1, Thornton will assign some of the responsibilities of president to Brandom Gengelbach, executive vice president of economic development.
Reserved seating along the GM Financial Parade of Lights is now available for purchase.
The parade starts at 6 p.m. Nov. 24 — the Sunday before Thanksgiving — at the intersection of Weatherford and Houston streets. View a route map.
Seats are individually marked and reserved. Your seats, once purchased, will be held throughout the parade.
Discounts are available for seniors (60 and older) and children 12 and younger. Infants, as long as they can sit in a lap, do not need a reserved seat.
Of course, there is plenty of space along the route to watch the parade for free.
A public works executive with more than 20 years of experience managing and improving organizations has been named the new director of Fort Worth’s Transportation & Public Works Department.
William M. Johnson will join the city in September.
Johnson has served in many executive roles across the country. Most recently, he was managing director of Witt O’Brien’s, a leading planning, response and resilience firm in Washington, D.C.
He has worked in many public works roles, including as deputy chief operating officer and public works commissioner for the City of Atlanta; transportation director for the City of Baltimore; streets commissioner for the City of Philadelphia; and key leadership roles for various firms involved with emergency management.
He holds a bachelor of science degree in engineering from the University of Mississippi and a master’s degree in geological engineering from the University of Missouri.
“William Johnson comes to Fort Worth with an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience, and we expect he will be an outstanding leader,” said City Manager David Cooke. “Throughout his career, Johnson has been known for improving the quality of services, controlling expenses and developing new and innovative processes.”
A general admission fee for the Fort Worth Botanic Garden goes into effect July 19. The fees will help improve the visitor experience at the 85-year-old garden.
These entrance fees will be in effect: $12 for adult admission, $6 for children 6-15 and $10 for senior citizens; children under 6 are free.
A number of programs will help ensure the popular amenity remains available to all:
Ride Fort Worth Bike Sharing for free every fourth Friday this summer, courtesy of Unity One Credit Union.
Rides can be redeemed at any station kiosk by purchasing a 24-hour access pass. Use promotion code 678678. Free Fridays are June 28, July 26 and Aug. 23.
Across the Fort Worth Bike Sharing system, there are 46 stations and 350 bicycles.
The Fort Worth Fire Department reminds residents and visitors that the private use of fireworks is not only dangerous, but also illegal inside the city limits.
The sale, discharge or possession of fireworks in Fort Worth is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $2,000. Any fireworks that are discovered may be confiscated.
Law enforcement personnel will be on patrol throughout the July Fourth holiday period to target fireworks violations. To report a violation, call 817-392-4444 or report them online. If you have been injured, are reporting a fire or experiencing some other emergency, call 911.
And if you want to ensure a safe Independence Day celebration for your family, check out one of the many public fireworks displays in the area. Leave the fireworks to the professionals.
Cook Children’s shares tips for fireworks safety.
Download information on fireworks injuries.
Trail Drive Management Corp., the not-for-profit operating company for Dickies Arena, has scheduled a series of hiring fairs to bring on more than 1,000 event hourly staff members before the venue’s opening this fall.
Potential applicants will have the opportunity to meet with full-time staff and can be hired on the spot for a variety of open positions. Multiple fairs will be hosted throughout the summer in June, July and August at Will Rogers Memorial Center.
June’s hiring fairs will focus on supervisor roles whose work will begin in July. Roles such as ushers, ticket takers, parking, security, box office staff and food and beverage, including servers, cooks, bartenders and more, will be hired on the spot.
Trail Drive Management Corp. is also looking to complete its full-time team across the organization, including operations, administration and food and beverage. These positions are currently posted on their website.
Hiring fairs are scheduled for:
Job seekers are encouraged to bring a resume to meet with the Dickies Arena staff and should be prepared for a potential interview on the spot. Hiring fairs will be held at Will Rogers Memorial Center, 3401 W. Lancaster Ave. Applicants can register for any of the upcoming job fairs and see available positions online.
North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) will increase toll rates July 1, implementing a biennial toll rate schedule approved by the board. On average, TollTag rates will adjust one penny per mile, from 18 to 19 cents.
In Tarrant County, NTTA operates the Chisholm Trail Parkway.
Regularly scheduled toll rate increases help NTTA plan and fund transportation choices and meet its financial obligations, including repaying more than $9.25 billion in bonds issued to build area toll roads.
In addition, NTTA is reinvesting nearly $2 billion into capital projects, including constructing additional lanes on the Dallas North Tollway, the President George Bush Turnpike and the Sam Rayburn Tollway to alleviate congestion and provide additional mobility to North Texans.
NTTA does not receive taxes to operate and maintain its toll roads. Tolls are a method to recover costs from only those drivers who use the road. Tolls also go toward quality maintenance of existing tollways and NTTA’s safety and service programs.
Crews will be changing toll rate road signs in the coming weeks, and drivers should be alert to workers and give them space.
New rates take effect July 1.
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Office: +1 (817) 692-9931
PO BOX 471391
Fort Worth, Texas 76147