Oak Cliff supporter touts area - Beauty, not gunfire, dominates, he says

The Dallas Morning News - Tuesday, January 3, 1995
Author: Colleen McCain, Staff Writer of The Dallas Morning News
Many Dallas residents have the wrong idea about Oak Cliff, said Terry Shields, the new president of the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League .

But Mr. Shields, 41, hopes he can help people better understand and appreciate Oak Cliff.

"A lot of people don't realize that there are distinctly

different areas of Oak Cliff," Mr. Shields said. "And a lot of people think that we're surrounded by gunfire in Oak Cliff. I want to educate people and show them the beauty of the neighborhood."

The conservation league, which is an umbrella organization for neighborhood associations in North Oak Cliff, helps areas attain historic district status. The league also offers a tour of historic homes in north Oak Cliff each spring.

Mr. Shields, who took office Sunday, said he plans to continue the league's past activities, but he also would like to expand its role in the community.

"One of my goals is to improve Oak Cliff's public relations," he said. "We're working on a brochure about Oak Cliff in an effort to increase awareness, and I also hope that we can increase

participation in the league."

Al Fox, past league president, said Mr. Shields' motivational skills will be the key to increased participation.

"Terry is a person who can motivate others to get involved and get things done," Mr. Fox said. "Since this is a group of volunteers, convincing people to donate their time is essential."

Mr. Shields is the director of banquets and catering for the Dallas Market Center at the Infomart. He said he first became involved in the conservation league five years ago when he was elected president of the Winnetka Heights neighborhood association.

"I've come to realize that the conservation league has a voice for north Oak Cliff," Mr. Shields said. "In the next year, I want to use that voice to show people the beauty and history of our area."