Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring is coming! Roadside Park on Hwy 17 north of Fort Davis

Taken Wednesday afternoon, on Hwy 17 between Fort Davis and Balmorhea...some signs of spring!  What a welcome sight is the green we see here, and here:
We're not certain when this roadside stop was erected, but here's some neat information from the Texas Almanac from 1939-40.

"The roadside improvement division of the State Highway Department was inaugurated in April 1, 1933, for the preservation of existing growth and for planting on barren roadsides where no vegetationwas growing.  Two million young sprouts from old stumps of trees, which were cut before tis program of roadside preservation was begun, and 320,000 large trees have been preserved in the rights of way.

The planting of roadsides is intended primarily for safety, by placing plants where they accentuate outside curves, hilltops, culvert and bridge ends, cross-roads, country roads, and highway direction signs by planting behind them.  For these safety measures 500,000 trees and 600,000 shrubs and numerous vines had already been planted along the roadsides to the close of this fiscal year ending August 31, 1938.  Eighty tons of wild flower seeds and 100 tons of grass seeds had been planted to aid in the control of erosion and add to the appearance of the highways.

Recent State Legislatures have passed stock laws for fenced highways, making it a misdemeanor to permit loose stock along such highways; also a dumping law which prohibits dumping trash 300 feet of any highway right of way.

For the comfort and convenience of travelers, there have been established at intervals along the highways:

Roadside parks larger than 1/2 acre.......363 (total acreage approx. 940 a.)
Turnouts and small parks (less than 1/2 acre).......311
Park tables on usual right of way.....131
(perhaps this spot is one of these?)
Centennial historical markers have been erected.....264
Extra right of way for tree preservation....81.24 miles
Completed miles of federal aid planting projects....332.5 miles"

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