By Hallie Kutch, City of College Station Marketing Staff Assistant
Many people consider the 515-acre Lick Creek Park to be the crown jewel of College Station’s park system.
On Saturday, that precious jewel takes on an even shinier gleam with the grand opening of the long-awaited Lick Creek Nature Center. From 9 a.m.-noon, we cordially invite you to enjoy education stations, guest speakers, and guided tours through the 2,400-square-foot facility and the park’s many trails.
The free event begins with a welcome ceremony and ribbon cutting, followed by guided tours every half hour starting at 9:30 a.m. We’ll serve light refreshments, and dogs on leashes are welcome. Horses and bikes are not permitted.
Residents overwhelmingly approved the $2.1 million Lick Creek Park Nature Center as part of the 2008 bond election. The design was approved in 2014, but construction was delayed until an adequate water line could be installed for fire protection.
The nature center serves as the focal point of the picturesque park, which is located at 13600 Rock Prairie Rd. As the area’s premier nature preserve, the park displays a variety of native plant and animal species, including the endangered Navasota Ladies Tresses. It offers five miles of marked trails and provides ample opportunities for hiking, cycling, bird watching, equestrian activities, and nature study.
The facility features a meeting room, restrooms, indoor and outdoor classrooms, and an amphitheater available to rent for receptions, classes, meetings and more. Additional improvements and amenities have enhanced one of College Station’s favorite recreational areas and made it more accessible — and enjoyable — for young and old alike.
The nature center’s mission is to provide exceptional experiences while educating and inspiring visitors to explore, respect, and protect the natural world. The Parks and Recreation Department is teaming with community partners and organizations to host educational classes, programs, and events for all ages to enhance appreciation of the environment and encourage wildlife conservation and stewardship.
The nature center officially opens to the public on Nov. 1. Operating hours will be weekdays from 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sundays from 1-6 p.m.
Paid classes already are underway. A few of the offerings include:
- Outdoor education field trips.
- Weekly Saturday programs such as birdhouse building contests, campfire building demonstrations, storytelling, survival tips, etc.
- Saturday Showcase: once-a-month traveling education exhibits.
- Self-led nature walk/wildlife identification scavenger hunt.
- Birding 101 and guided nature walks.
- Sunrise and sunset yoga classes.
- Wild Wednesday: weekly hands-on programs to get you up close and personal with native critters and plants.
- Friday Family Hikes: bring a picnic and hike before dinner with your family.
- Little Ag Producers: youth learn how to identify, grow, harvest and prepare local vegetation.
- Sunday Safety Series: learn snake and insect identification and bite protocol and outdoor and trail bike safety.
For more information on classes, special events, and facility rentals, go to cstx.gov/parks.