GRAPEVINE — Grapevine city leaders and community members recently dedicated the former Soil Conservation Building as a Nash Farm classroom and training facility.The dedication was done during the the 12th annual Spring Into Nash celebration hosted by the city.“This is an excellent building that will continue to serve as an educational facility,” said Curtis Ratliff, Grapevine Heritage Foundation chairman. “It is very appropriate that at Nash Farm it will be used to teach about the soil and farming.”Nash Farm, which was established around 1859, is the oldest operating farmstead in Tarrant County. Through interpretive programs, events and exhibits, the farm educates the community about the heritage and importance of the Grapevine Prairie and Grapevine’s pivotal role in the development of North Texas.The latest addition will be used to continue educating the community about the early days of farming, said Leigh Lyons, city spokeswoman.“Soil conservation was a topic of prime concern following the Dust Bowl years,” she said.The Soil Conservation Act of 1935 created the Soil Conservation Service. Grapevine’s Soil Conservation Building was originally used to teach local farmers how to better cultivate their land and incorporate conservation techniques to halt soil erosion.“By incorporating the building into Nash Farm’s education programs, the building returns to its original purpose of teaching about the use of soil, farming and conservation techniques,” Lyons said.From the late 1940s through the 1950s, the Soil Conservation Building was located on the northeast corner of Main and Hudgins streets in Grapevine. After the Soil Conservation Service Office closed, the building was moved to 409 E. Hudgins Street and was used as a residence.“Eventually it was acquired by the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau and the building was moved to Nash Farm and restored,” Lyons said.The building became an issue in a lawsuit between residents who live near the historic Nash Farm and the city attorney representing the Grapevine Heritage Foundation last year.On June 7, 2012 residents sued the foundation and the city over proposed changes and some of the conditions at the farm. The dispute involved the proposed placement of the 600-square-foot former Soil Conservation Building on the property.Dawn Grams Horak, a resident near the farm and the lead attorney representing the residents, said the lawsuit has not been dropped.“It’s still going on,” she said April 17. “We’re still looking for an amicable resolution. What we want to do is amend the land use restrictions.”Paul W. McCallum, the director of the Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau which also has oversight of the farm property, told the members of the bureau’s board both sides made concessions in wake of the lawsuit.
Marty Sabota, 817-390-7367