Parks & Recreation Administration
2140 L. Don Dodson
Bedford, TX 76021
, Parks Superintendent
Boys Ranch Activity Center (BRAC)
2801 Forest Ridge
Bedford, TX 76021
, Recreation Coordinator
The Parks Division is responsible for the maintenance of the City's parks and open spaces. Parks must be kept in a clean, safe, and aesthetically pleasing condition in order to provide an enjoyable experience for the patron. The Parks staff is responsible for the maintenance of parks, medians, and selected City facilities. The landscaping of medians and park entrances is necessary to provide a favorable and lasting impression of the City of Bedford by residents and visitors. The facilities under Parks' direct care require maintenance in many areas including, but not limited to, building repairs, irrigation, electric, plumbing, woodwork, light bulb changes, etc. Parks oversees city tree-trimming because branches are protruding into streets, causing damage to fire trucks and high profile vehicles. Dead trees in the city rights-of-way must also be removed. Other program areas include chemical application for weeds, insects, and fertilization; inspection of playgrounds; maintenance of pools; preparation and maintenance of athletic fields; repairs and inspections of tennis courts, etc. City medians, once constructed, are maintained by parks staff in all areas with the exception of mowing, which is contracted out. This includes plant replacement and care, weeding, irrigation and lighting.
1. Boys Ranch Park & Activity Center | 2801 Forest Ridge Dr.
This 68-acre city park is the jewel of the Bedford Parks system. The park has a small urban lake with a spray fountain, a 4/10th of a mile jogging path around the lake, three youth baseball fields, three youth soccer fields, two sand volleyball courts, 6 lighted recreational tennis courts and the home of Bedford's "Splash", a premier aquatic facility. The "BRAC" offers classrooms for rental use, a fitness room, restroom and shower facility, a game room and a common entry for the pool and center. In addition, there are picnic tables, grills, two practice soccer / baseball fields and three covered pavilions. Other features include security lighting around the lake, a physically challenged playground, shuffleboard court, a swing set by the large pavilion, fencing around the soccer fields, a roller hockey court and a fishing pier.
2. Meadow Park Athletic Complex | 3200 Meadow Park
This 11-acre park features two 300-foot softball fields with lights, electronic scoreboards, and two youth soccer fields. Other features include two covered awnings, the Parks Department's Tree Farm, fencing around the soccer field and windscreens for outfield fencing.
3. Bedford Trails / Linear Park
This 32-acre linear park, which follows the T.U. easement in Northeast Bedford, has a 1 - 1/2 mile jogging / walking trail, playground equipment, shaded areas and a physically challenged playground. Features include water fountains, a swing set, security lighting and a large pavilion.
4. Brook Hollow Park | 600 Block of Rankin
This 9-acre park in Southwest Bedford is home to physically challenged playground equipment, a large open space, practice soccer field and picnic areas. Features include security lighting and 3 water fountains.
5. Central Park | 1200 Central Drive
Wooded area, houses and Pennington Stadium surround this small 5-acre community park. There are picnic tables with grills, a physically challenged playground, a small covered pavilion and one sand volleyball court. Features include security lighting and a water fountain.
6. Monterrey Park | 1000 Block of Monterrey
This small 1/2 acre residential park in South Bedford, located just North of Pipeline RD., has a small play structure/equipment, picnic areas and plenty of shade.
7. Carousel Park | 1100 Simpson Terrace
This 1 acre community park has plenty of shade trees, a physically challenged playground and several play structures/equipment.
8. Stormie Jones Park | 2500 Block of Brasher
Wooded areas & houses surround the 13 acres of this secluded community park. Some of the features of this park include a 1/2 mile walking / jogging trail that is within the boundaries of the park, an exercise unity, picnic areas, restrooms and plenty of trees. This park is also the home of our two "premier" lighted soccer fields. Features include one small pavilion, one volleyball court, security lighting and three water fountains.
Frequently Asked Questions: Ducks at the Boys Ranch Lake
1.What is the disease among the waterfowl at the Boy’s Ranch Lake?
Lab results at the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory at Texas A&M University have confirmed the presence of a herpes virus infection called Duck Virus Enteritis (DVE). This virus only affects waterfowl. It can be fatal to many species of waterfowl such as ducks, geese, and swans. Some species, such as the Muscovy ducks that make up the majority of the duck population in Bedford, are more susceptible to this virus than other species of waterfowl. This naturally occurring virus has been confirmed from coast to coast and from Mexico to Canada in at least 22 states since first being diagnosed in New York in 1967.
2. Is this virus contagious or harmful to humans, pets, or other lake animals?
No. This virus only affects waterfowl. There are no indications that the virus affects humans, dogs, cats, beaver, fish, or turtles.
3. What happens to ducks infected with the virus?
According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the mortality rate of DVE can be as high as 60% of all infected birds. Of those who survive the infection, many become carriers of the virus with no outward signs of illness. These carriers will shed the virus periodically, but are not identifiable as a “sick” bird.
4. What are the signs a duck infected with this virus might display?
There is no prolonged illness associated with DVE and sick birds may not often be seen. The disease progresses very quickly and birds that appear healthy one day may be very sick or deceased the next. A susceptible duck will begin to show signs of DVE three to seven days after they are exposed. Infected birds may exhibit no outward signs or may become lethargic, lose their appetites, become unable to fly, and may have a bloody or foamy discharge from their beak or vent.
5. When does this virus usually affect the duck population?
Outbreaks in Bedford have always occurred in the early spring. An outbreak usually lasts for two to three weeks. This virus becomes active during a mild temperature period and becomes dormant as the weather gets warmer or colder.
6. Are there other factors that contribute to the virus infecting the ducks?
Yes. Overpopulation is a major factor. Overcrowding causes unsanitary living conditions for the birds and leads to a general decline in their overall health. This makes them more susceptible to all diseases, including DVE. Other factors can include the ph balance of the lake, water pollution, and soil and vegetation contamination to the surrounding lake property from duck feces.
7. What steps are available to eradicate the virus?
There is no guarantee that we will ever be able to completely eradicate the virus. To completely eradicate the virus would possibly include having to complete many or all of the steps below:
Humanely destroy all the current ducks (because of the virus, we are prohibited from relocating any ducks)
Drain and dredge the lake
Monitor and balance the ph level of the lake
Burn the foliage in the area around the lake.
Attempting to complete each of the above steps creates problems and more questions.
How do we know we have caught every duck?
The ducks at our lake are dispersed through the surrounding neighborhoods and if we miss just one duck that is a carrier, a very likely result would have been the destruction of many ducks that a great many citizens enjoy, only to fail to remove the virus from the population.
Draining and dredging the lake will be time consuming, very expensive, and would require that we sacrifice the additional wildlife that make their home at the lake. This would include the fish, frogs, turtles, etc.
Monitoring and balancing the ph balance of the lake would be difficult. Our lake receives runoff from many sources and this influx constantly changes the lake’s ph balance. The amount of chemicals that would have to be added on a regular basis, to attempt to maintain a certain balance is unrealistic.
Burning the foliage around the lake is extreme and only makes sense if all of the other above listed steps were successfully completed.
8. What about vaccinating the ducks?
This has been discussed. There seems to be no consistent answer from the experts as to the effectiveness, or even how to implement a vaccination program. For example:
We have been advised that vaccinating each duck two years in a row would protect that duck for the remainder of it’s life. We have also been advised that each duck would have to be vaccinated every year for the remainder of its life.
How will we catch such a large population of ducks? The majority of the ducks, when healthy, are difficult to catch. We do not want to accidentally injure the ducks in the course of trying to vaccinate them, nor do we want to stress or exhaust the ducks and thereby weaken their immune systems.
Even if we were successful in vaccinating every current duck at the lake without injury, the inoculation would not prevent any of these ducks from being carriers. A female duck would not pass her virus immunity on to any of her offspring. These ducklings, and any migrating ducks that visit the lake, would all be susceptible to the virus.
9. What can we do then?
Last year the City of Bedford began an egg-addling program based on the advice of experts familiar with our problem. Egg addling allows for a means of controlling the over-population problem at the lake and gives the current ducks at the lake what we believe is their best chance of survival. For example:
Last year there were occasions when over 400 ducks were counted on the lake. This number did not include those ducks that were in the surrounding residential neighborhoods. The size of the Boy’s Ranch Lake limits the actual number of ducks that it can naturally support to approximately 150 ducks.
10. What is egg addling?
Egg addling is a technique endorsed by the Humane Society of the United States and many wildlife organizations, as a means of controlling waterfowl populations. Eggs in a new nest are gently shaken to break the yolk within the egg and this ensures that the egg will not hatch out. Our Animal Control Officers are familiar with this practice and will again be addling nests on the lake property as nests are located. The eggs in the nest are marked to identify them as already being addled, but they are not removed so that the female duck will remain with the nest. This is important for the health of the female because if she abandons her nest or finds her nest removed, she will lay another clutch of eggs use up valuable nutrients from her own body in the process.
We DO NOT addle any nest where there is doubt about the age of the egg or where we know that the egg has developed past the embryo stage to the fetus stage.
11. How effective can addling be?
If we have the help and support of the community, it could provide us the best chance to protect those ducks currently at the lake. But without the help of the residents around the lake, we will most likely continue to see sick and dying birds during the spring months due to the overpopulation. Considering that a single female duck can lay three nests per season, with up to thirty eggs per nest, it is feasible that every female duck could increase the population of the lake, in just one season, by approximately 75 ducks. Muscovy ducks are known for being good mothers and most, if not all, of their ducklings reach adulthood. These numbers illustrate the uphill battle that our Animal Control Officers face in trying to control the duck population.
With the public’s help in identifying new nests on the lake property, and neighborhood residents notifying us and allowing us to addle nests on their property, we can minimize the population increase this year.
12. A lot of citizens visit the lake and feed the ducks. Doesn’t this help support a larger population of ducks at the lake?
Actually, according to the experts the reverse is true. Visitors to the lake frequently feed the ducks bread. The bread will fill the ducks stomachs, but provides very little nutritional value to the ducks. The ducks feel full so they don’t eat as much as they normally would. These ducks then don’t receive all the daily nutrients they need to help resist the virus and other diseases. The uneaten bread in the lake can foster bacteria and mold that leads to contamination at the lake that affects all of the wildlife.
13. So how can I, as a visitor to the lake, help?
In several ways. If you see a new nest or a duck that appears ill, lethargic, or displaying mucus, please call our Parks Department at 817-952-2323 or our Animal Control Shelter at 817-952-2191, or finally, our Police non-emergency telephone number at 817-952-2127. Parks and Animal Control Officers will be making several patrols a day to try to remove sick or dead waterfowl from the rest of the lake population. The quicker a dead or sick duck is identified and removed, the less chance it has to infect other ducks at the lake. This provides the remainder of the population with the best chance of survival.
If you are a Bedford resident living near the lake, we would ask that you also call us if you have a new nest on your property. City employees will NOT go onto private property without the permission of the property owner.
Help us educate others. If you know someone who has questions, please refer them to this FAQ, or provide them our number at the Animal Control Shelter (817.952.2191 or 817.952.2245) and we will try to answer any questions they may have.