Pictured, great egret at White Rock Lake. Photo by Chris Jackson, DFWUrbanWildlife.com.
In the new year, GreenSourceDFW.org and Natural Awakenings DFW are partnering in a new series called Green Neighborhoods. Over the coming months, we will be exploring the eco-friendly neighborhoods in North Texas with Green Source DFW reporter Amy Martin as our guide. Amy will show readers those communities where green retail, green venues and green folks intersect. If there’s a green neighborhood we should know about, email Julie@GreenSourceDFW.org.
EASTLAKE – A constellation of neighborhoods — including Casa Linda, Old Lake Highlands, Forest Hills and Little Forest Hills — wraps around the east side of the White Rock Lake. For ease of discussion let’s call the area Eastlake. Rich with natural beauty and green-living options, it has the hipness of Lower Greenville and the pastoral residential vibe of Lakewood, but without the fast traffic and crowds.
White Rock Lake is the center of life in Eastlake. It shapes the rolling terrain and is refreshingly non-commercial. Everyone spends time with it, even if just zipping over for the occasional spectacular sunset. For many Eastlakers, to boat, bike, run, bird or just hang there is a daily necessity. But zipcode studies show it draws from all over the county.
Once moribund and bereft of wildlife from being filled with silt, the lake was brought back to life by a bond program that funded a thorough dredging in 1997 and ’98. Groups that championed it later coalesced into the White Rock Lake Conservancy.
For the Love of the Lake trash bash.
Vowing never to let the lake fall into disrepair again, For the Love of the Lake tapped the rising citizen passion with an Adopt-A-Shoreline Program and monthly Second Saturday Shoreline Spruce-Ups. Their Texas Stream Team and Aquatic Alliance tests the water for pollutants and shares data with environmental authorities.
For those who want their nature all gussied up, the Dallas Arboretum provides easy walking paths, occasional naturalistic gardens and several spectacular lake views. Dogs have their day — and even a swim in the lake — at Mockingbird Point Off-Leash Park.
Scattered throughout Eastlake are some of Dallas’ coolest stores. It all started in 2007 with Green Spot, a convenience store with bio-fuels emphasizing holistic and natural products just a few blocks from the lake. A little café in the back features light breakfast and lunch to go with cage-free eggs and chemical-free meats, with Kombucha on tap.
It was a big holistic boon when Natural Grocers opened up, giving Eastlake residents a place for organic food and holistic health and beauty care. It took over a beloved movie theater and kept much of its exterior charm.
George the Rooster is the mascot of Rooster Home and Hardware.
Rooster Home and Hardware, known as Gecko Hardware until bought by Sharon Anderson Wright of Half Price Books, sells a spectrum of products, but with a strong green emphasis. The garden products especially rock. Home to Eastlake’s unofficial mascot: George, the rooster.
The ultra charming Makers Connect is chock full of goods from decorative to practical made by local artists, many from the nearby neighborhoods, plus occasional classes. Long-time craft retailer Tandy Leather still thrives a few doors down. White Rock Soap Gallery nearby features natural, handmade Castile soaps, soy wax candles and vegan body care products.
Curious Garden, a spin off of Lakewood’s Curiosities, puts the funk in “Keep East Dallas funky.” It’s just up the street from Walton’s Garden Center, a full-service organic garden center and nursery nestled beneath giant pecan trees.
Lucky Dog Books is a book re-seller and community hub for word lovers. Wonderfully whimsical and very hip screen-printed clothing and household textiles are made local at Dowdy Studio. The Good Pagoda, a spin off of Good Records located above Lounge Here, is a rock-flavored boutique featuring vinyl records, books, clothing, jewelry and art. More than a resale shop, Echo Boutique also offers handmade gifts and jewelry in a setting with repurposed fixtures.
Restrictive liquor laws in East Dallas were repealed in 2010, opening the gate for quality restaurants. Now Eastlake is considered a dining destination area.
• Hypnotic Donuts: Wildly creative donuts and chicken biscuits.
• Hypnotic Emporium: Homemade ice cream, classic candies and soda shop.
• Lounge Here: Ultra-hip cocktail lounge with gourmet bites.
• Steel City Pops: Gourmet natural popsicles.
Peace biscuits from Hypnotic Donuts.
• 20 Feet Seafood: Fish and chips, shellfish and grilled fish, all sustainably sourced.
• Cow Tipping Creamery: Natural soft serve with endless toppings.
• Cultivar Coffee: Espresso drinks and exotic coffees.
• Goodfriend Beer Garden & Burger Bar: Locavore artisan burgers and beer.
• Goodfriend Package Store: Breakfast spread and quality sliced meat sandwiches.
• Cane Russo: Neapolitan style pizza in a wood-fired oven, with dog rescue efforts on the side.
• The Lot: Beer, burgers, sandwiches and veggies (emphasis on local sourcing) with huge play area for kids.
• Nature’s Plate: Enthusiastically received vegan meals to go and smoothie bar.
• One90 Smoked Meats: Quality meats and salmon smoked with local wood.
• White Rock Coffee: Friendly place with basic coffee array and local pastries.
Smoothies from Nature’s Plate.
GREEN & HOLISTIC SERVICES
Many people who provide green and holistic services, including green architect Gary Olp, acupuncturist and reiki master Jennifer Walz, native plant landscape architect Michael Parkey, and aromatherapist Kath Koeppen, to name a few, are drawn by the nature and slow pace of Eastlake.
Bath House Cultural Center is the artistic heart of Eastlake, with theater and visual arts, special events, and the ever so enjoyable White Rock Lake Museum. Their biannual Art Mart is a big social occasion, as is the White Rock Artists Studio Tour.
A beloved Eastlake pioneer, formerly at the Green Spot, Good Local Market hosts a plethora of organic (and regular) produce vendors, locavore food creators and regional artisans, plus fun foodie events each Saturday. Holistic Tree Care, headed up by Chuck Ranson, is dedicated to “preserving the urban forest, one tree at a time.”
White Rock Yoga class.
The Mix Coworking & Creative Space co-working community provides shared office space and support to Dallas Peace and Justice Center, Taoist Tai Chi Society, Ahadi Collective and more. Classes in dance, tai chi and yoga offered.
After a few rough starts, yoga now flourishes in Eastlake at Uptown Yoga and White Rock Yoga and the recently opened Super Yoga Palace in The Good Pagoda. With their Northwest Highway storefront, Lake Highlands Acupuncture and Herbs bring a higher profile to Chinese healing.
Learn how to weave with a loom, or join with those who knit, crochet or macramé, at the White Rock Weaving Center.
Is your neighborhood green? Tell us about it! Email Julie@GreenSourceDFW.org.