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LUFKIN WETLAND GARDEN AND OUTDOOR CLASSROOM
 

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The Lufkin Wetland Garden and Outdoor Classroom was recently visited by a group of LISD students.  The students learned about wetlands and had a great time observing the plants and wildlife at the garden.  The Wetland Garden is also a great place to spend time and catch a few fish.  Recently young Tristan Mosley caught 20 Bluegills.  Tristan practiced "catch and release" and returned them all to be caught again.  Tristan's grandmother was thankful for such a "beautiful place".

 

The Wetland Garden and Outdoor Classroom was developed when Angelina Chamber of Commerce Foundation needed to mitigate wetland for an economic development project at the Southpark Industrial Park. The detention pond, located on a 65 acre Regional Detention Impoundment is one of five constructed by the City of Lufkin to relieve flooding in several neighborhoods. The City of Lufkin realizing that the wetland would be ideal for students to use as an outdoor environmental classroom and for the public to enjoy, sought funding for development. Abitibi awarded the City of Lufkin $180,000 to help with the project which included changes to the pond so that a portion retains water for wildlife and for development of the hardscape.
 

The Lufkin Wetland Garden and Outdoor Classroom is open daylight to dark, seven days a week. The entrance is located at Morris Frank Park between the LISD fields and the soccer fields, next to the playground. An asphalt walkway leads into a wooded buffer to the wetland. The wetland is situated on an open field all of which is engineered to detain water during large rain events. The sidewalk surrounds two thirds of the basin. There is a viewing peninsula, pavilion, elevated walkway and a rustic amphitheater, all of which is ADA accessible. The pond has naturalized and is home to aquatic life. Numerous birds and occasional ducks can be seen. Waterproof boots are needed if you venture into the basin.

Funding is being sought for additional development which will include installation of additional plants, interpretive signage, duck boxes, bird blinds and wetland educational programs for teachers.