By Rachel Knight
Once in a while it is nice to escape the busy growing cityscape of Bryan College Station. Now, thanks to a bond that passed back in 2008 to build a $2.1 million nature center at the 515-acre Lick Creek Park, residents’ and visitors’ opportunities to connect with nature are seemingly endless.
Since 1987 Lick Creek Park has served as a nature hub for the B/CS community by providing opportunities for hiking, cycling, bird watching, equestrian activities, and nature study. At the grand opening for the nature center on Oct. 14, park visitors will see and experience additional opportunities to connect with at the new Lick Creek Nature Center facilities.
Virginia Godwin, City of College Station assistant recreation supervisor, has been involved with the park’s improvements since the bond passed to build Lick Creek Nature Center.
“I am looking forward to seeing more people come out to this park,” Godwin says. “This is such a huge resource in the way of natural species, plants, animals, and everything. To get people out here to actually be able to utilize this space and learn from it, I’m super excited about that.”
The nature center’s grand opening will kick off at 9 am with a ribbon cutting ceremony. During the ceremony visitors will get a look at what the project has looked like from the beginning to now. Guided nature tours will follow at 9:30am, and will take place every 30 minutes. Education stations will have a little something for nature lovers of all ages, and will be set up by the new outdoor classroom. BioBlitz, Friends of Lick Creek Park, Rio Brazos Audubon Society, and FUNginering will be among the educational presenters at the grand opening.
The facility’s new outdoor classroom, amphitheater, water cistern irrigation system, native plants display, monarch butterfly garden, and sidewalks with various animal prints will serve as educational tools for College Station schools, Texas A&M University, and the public. An indoor classroom and meeting room will serve as a serene place for reading, relaxing, bird watching, and escape for those with limited mobility.
While the grand opening of Lick Creek Nature Center is a one-weekend event, the impact the new facility will have on the community is one Ana Romero, City of College Station recreation manager, hopes will have a lasting impact.
“I’m super excited about being able to get families out here,” Romero says. “Mom and son can share and dad and daughter can be able to be out here and create memories, so then when they grow up they’ll be able to do that with their children, too.”
Connecting with nature, making memories, and learning about what’s in our B/CS backyards has always been at the heart of the Lick Creek Nature Center investment.
“Environmental stewardship, that’s the heart of what we want to instill in people,” Godwin says. “We want people to be excited to be outside. We want people excited to learn outside because it offers hands on learning and can really get people engaged.”