Boys Ranch Lake receives fish habitat
Improvements continue at the Boys Ranch Lake with the placement of the new fish habitats on the bottom of the Lake. These habitats were built by the Bedford Parks Department, on the recommended designs of the Parks and Wildlife Department, to help improve the fishing at the Boys Ranch Lake.
Most of the structures are made with PVC pipe that will be weighed down by concrete blocks or buried in the lake bed, as well as, concrete rubble piles for fish to congregate around. Several gravel fish beds have been built and placed in the lake to serve as a safe place to lay eggs.
Barring any rain delays, the channels will be opened within the month to let the lake fill up.
Check out the fish habitat pictures on our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BedfordTX/
Temporary Ramps in place for turtles and ducks
Phase I of the Boys Ranch Park Construction is almost completed. Currently the lake does not have fish, however the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will come out in May to stock it with forage fish.
Temporary ramps have been placed around the lake so turtles and ducks can get out of the water. Staff is working diligently on a permanent solution.
|UPDATE 12/18/15 |
Boys Ranch Park playground now open!!
The children’s playground at the Boys Ranch Park is now OPEN, so come on out and see all the new equipment for the kids!
Additional improvements at the Boys Ranch Lake continue and, construction crews have begun building the piers and concrete border and ledge surrounding the Lake.
They are currently working with the Parks and Wildlife Department to build and install a fish habitat in the lake, as well as, working on completing the pavilion structures.
Sidewalks continue to be placed throughout the park and crews are wrapping up the digging of the trenches along the sidewalks, which will be used for the lighting structures.
Barring any weather delays, the projected completion date for the grand opening of the Boys Ranch Park will be the beginning of February 2016.
Wildlife at the Lake
On 08/28/15, the City’s Parks and Recreation along with Animal Control began a series of pumping the remaining water out of the lake that surrounds the main drain along the south end of the lake. This process continues to be performed in order to expedite the relocation of the turtles and ducks to a safer location. As the water is being pumped out, staff has remained on hand to capture the turtles. Staff was able to relocate 31 turtles on Friday, 10 over the weekend, and 20 on Monday. The turtles were moved to the water channels along the north side of the park or to other parks throughout the City. Two alligator snapping turtles that were larger in scale were relocated to Lake Grapevine. Staff will continue with these efforts throughout this week and until all the turtles have been relocated.
Watering containers are currently placed all along the south side of the lake for use by the wildlife. Staff has slowly begun moving the containers around the perimeter and towards the north of the lake. The hope is that the waterfowl will follow the water sources away from the areas where construction is occurring.
The City will continue to provide the public with updates as the construction progresses.
As of Friday, August 28, 2015, the removal of the island has commenced. Keeping the island was never part of the Parks Master Plan. Renditions and discussions regarding the removal of the island date back as far as 2009. This project was discussed at multiple City Council meetings, along with a Town Hall meeting. Additionally, the island is a detriment to the water circulation in the lake – which is important. The island contributes to the trapping of sediment in that area of the lake – which is also not healthy for the lake or the wildlife. The island also collects trash and animal waste. Engineers were consulted on this project and advised that the removal of the island was in the best long term interests of the health of the lake and the wildlife.
Wildlife at the Lake
With the removal of the island commencing, the City’s Parks Department along with Animal Control will begin to pump the remaining water out of the lake that surrounds the main drain along the south end of the lake. This process is being performed in order to expedite the relocation of the turtles and ducks to a safer location. As the water is being pumped out, staff will be on hand to capture the turtles and move them to the water channels along the north side of the park.
Watering containers are currently placed all along the south side of the lake for use by the wildlife. Staff will begin slowly moving the containers around the perimeter and towards the north of the lake. The hope is that the waterfowl will follow the water sources away from the areas where construction is occurring.
The City will continue to provide the public with updates as the construction progresses.
The following provides information regarding the draining and dredging of the Boys Ranch Lake and the wildlife preservation efforts during this process.
Wildlife at the Lake
Prior to the draining of the lake, the City of Bedford worked directly under the supervision of the Texas Parks & Wildlife to remove and relocate as many fish as possible within the Boys Ranch Lake to Lake Worth. This process took place on Tuesday, August 18. Since that time, staff have gone above and beyond meeting the requirements of the Texas Parks & Wildlife by continuing to extract and relocate remaining fish and turtles. These efforts have occurred daily since last Tuesday, which includes daily inspections of the lake and wildlife – and the relocation of fish and turtles as the lake continues to drain. In addition, the contractors hired for the Phase 1 park renovations are also working diligently to help in the preservation of the existing wildlife.
As the lake continues to dry, staff will make every effort to relocate the remaining turtles to the surrounding water channels within the park. The contractors have left water inside those channels specifically for the ducks and turtles. Staff has advised us that during their daily inspections, they have witnessed multiple turtles finding their way to these channels. Our intent is to continue assisting the wildlife into a new habitat.
The City has made every effort to try and preserve the wildlife at the Boys Ranch lake by not only consulting with the experts at the Texas Parks and Wildlife, but also going above and beyond their mandatory requirements. We will continue to put forth those extra efforts with the remaining wildlife. (Please note: the City cannot relocate the ducks. Due to an on-going "duck virus," the City is restricted from physically interceding on behalf of the waterfowl. These guidelines have been in place for several years.)
Odor at the Lake
Currently, there is an odor associated with the draining of the lake. The odor is stemming from the large volume of silt that lined the bottom of the lake. The lake has not been dredged in approximately 31 years. As the lake continues to dry, the odor will become less noticeable. Once the lake is dredged, the odor will be completely eliminated. Dredging of the lake is a necessary process in order to maintain a healthy habitat for the wildlife.
Island at the Lake
The removal of the island has always been part of the Parks Master Plan. Renditions and discussions regarding the removal of the island date back as far as 2009. This project was discussed at multiple City Council meetings, along with a Town Hall meeting. Additionally, information including artist renditions and a Phase 1 timeline have been posted on the City’s website for the past couple of years. To our knowledge, every rendition has clearly shown the reconstructed lake without the island. You may access this information at http://www.bedfordtx.gov/phase1/.
The City of Bedford is excited about the improvements to the Park and lake and the enhanced quality of life it will provide to our residents and the wildlife. The Phase 1 project is projected to be completed in November of this year.
Boys Ranch Lake Fish Relocated
On Tuesday, August 18, 2015, Bedford Parks personnel worked in conjunction with the Texas Parks and Wildlife (TP&W) to relocate the fish within the Bedford Boys Ranch. An extensive effort was made to capture and relocate as many of the lake fish as possible. TP&W supervised the project and all relocation efforts were in accordance with TP&W guidelines and approval.
In any project such as this, it is impossible to successfully capture every fish. The lake draining and dredging are proceeding. TP&W has provided a telephone number should any lake visitors have any questions or concerns regarding this project. TP&W contact numbers:
Texas Park and Wildlife Department
Texas Park and Wildlife Department KAST
Boys Ranch Phase I Project Update
Construction has begun on the $3.2 million voter approved Boys Ranch Phase I project. Though the improvements have been long anticipated, there will be temporary impacts due to construction and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. The first part of Phase I is the drainage channel improvements. This will impact the playground, sidewalks and surrounding areas. At this time, this area should be completed including the installation of a new playground area around April 2015.
Immediately following is the second part of Phase I, which includes dredging of the lake and construction of surrounding amenities. The estimated completion date of this portion of construction is August 2015.
At this time access is restricted to the playground areas, sidewalks around Doug Rivers Drive and the area around the drainage channel. The trail system around the Boys Ranch Lake is still open to park users.
At no time will entry into the Senior Center, the Boys Ranch Activity Center, Splash or the baseball fields be affected.
If you are looking for a playground, please visit our other parks at Central Park (1200 Central Drive) or Stormie Jones Park (2500 Block of Brasher).
Again we apologize and thank you for your patience as we work to improve the parks system.
May 5, 2015 Update
C. Green Scaping (Green Scaping) continues working on the phase 1 of the Boys Ranch Master Plan Project. Progress continues to be affected by the weather. Green Scaping is still focusing their efforts on the drainage portion of the project. The concrete ledge continues to be poured daily. Green Scaping plans to install a small section of stone ledge at the north end of the drainage channel. Once staff has visually inspected the stone and mortar combination, stone work will begin on the ledge. The bridge structures and playground equipment should be in place within three week depending on the weather. Green Scaping is in the process of putting together a report regarding the bad weather days, as well as an update project timeline. After meeting with Green Scaping and Kimley-Horn, the consensus was that the drainage channel portion of the project should be complete at the end of June. Green Scaping will be working to make sure the Boys Ranch Park is usable for the 4thFest festivities.
Kimley-Horn recently met with a local disc golf representative to discuss plans of the installation of the 18 hole disc golf course. The plans currently call for a nine hole course that spans the south end of the Boys Ranch property. Discussions are ongoing on the possible layout to incorporate all 18 holes in order to be able to host future disc golf events.
Monday, April 13, 2015 Update
The contractor is approximately 25% complete with the excavation work on the channel. . They are currently working on the deepest section of the channel, which is approximately nine feet in depth. They have also completed the footers that form the base of the ledgestone walls. In the section of the drainage channel where they are currently working, the walls will step down to meet the water, which will be around 18 inches in depth. The drainage channel gradually slopes down to where it meets the lake and the ledgestone border around the lake is only two stones high. Greenscaping will also complete the concrete border work for the new playground next week and then they will begin work on installing the new playground and 30-foot pavilion on the west side of the channel.
Project & 4thfest Impacts
The contractor’s schedule will not impact the event. They are still on schedule to be complete with the channel work before 4thFest, with the exception of some landscaping that will be installed at the end of the project. There are no anticipated impacts on the primary 4thFest site.
When will the lake be drained?
When rain occurs, staff must drain a little out of the lake to get water out of the channel to accommodate the construction. In addition, it was determined that immediately following 4thFest, the lake will be drained as much as possible to facilitate the dredging.
What about the birds and fish in the lake?
The City of Bedford was required to submit and have approved an Aquatic Resource Relocation Plan. This plan was approved by the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife (TPWD). This plan allows the City of Bedford to relocate the game fish. In addition, staff from TPWD have conducted two site visits the Boys Ranch Lake. Once in December 2014 and again on Friday, April 10, 2015. They inspected the lake, surrounding area and the island to look for any protected nesting migratory or native birds. During both instances they found no evidence of such activity.