White Rock Lake Park was initially formed in 1910 as a water supply for Dallas when severe droughts prompted the city officials to build an artificial reservoir. In 1914, the city supplied a nursery of trees beside the lake to implement a park system. By 1930, the White Rock Lake was approved as a public park by the Park Board of Dallas.
White Rock Lake Park is now the ongoing project of an organization called "For the Love of the Lake." The organization maintains the beauty of White Rock Lake Park by picking up litter and recyclables. They are also involved in gardening and restoration projects. The organization has raised over a million dollars and used the revenue to install various park amenities like trash receptacles, playgrounds, information marquees, and drinking fountains. The organization works relentlessly and tirelessly to make the White Rock Lake Park more beautiful and accessible to the Dallas public.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Association labeled White Rock Lake Park as an excellent place for fishing. Fisherman catch crappie, catfish, and large-mouth bass. The fish caught at the lake are safe for digestion because White Rock Lake has shown no evidence of pollution. A fishing license is necessary to fish at the lake but can be obtained through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. In order to maintain the health of the lake, swimming is not allowed.
Bicycling is another favorite hobby of the thousands of people who go to the park on an annual basis. The bike trail is 9.3 miles long and makes a perfect loop around the lake. The park offers information for those who want to rent a bike from a rental place in close proximity to the park. White Rock Lake Park is used by the public for a variety of activities. Bicycling, fishing, boating, picnics, sporting games, and even weddings are all part of the activity that takes place there.
One of the most interesting and ecologically friendly programs that was instituted by the For the Love of the Lake Organization is the Adopt-A-Shoreline Program. The program has run for twelve years and enables groups to adopt a small portion of the lake's shoreline with the promise that they will keep the area litter-free. Each month members who have adopted the shoreline show up at the park and clean their adopted area. Currently, over forty organizations actively participate in the Adopt-A-Shoreline program. Participants who come to clean the shoreline monthly are rewarded with a continental breakfast and bottled water before the spruce up begins.
White Rock Lake Park in Dallas is also committed to reforestation and maintaining the natural beauty of the city of Dallas. In April of 2006, the park established The Celebration Tree Grove where people can honor and remember loved ones by donating to reforestation efforts heralded by the park. The grove is located in the northeast area of the park and new trees are placed there to surround the pathways. Donations of $1,000 or more are celebrated with a bronze plaque that is placed among the tree groves. The Celebration Tree Grove consists of an array of cypress, oak, elm, cherry, buckthorn, holly, and many other tree varieties.
Volunteers who want to give back to White Rock Lake Park are always welcome to participate in the on going restoration, recycling, cleaning, and adoption efforts that are consistently taking place.