Galveston’s East End Lagoon is a special place for residents and visitors alike. The nearly 700-acre preserve is teeming with plant and animal life and is set to receive improvements thanks to partnerships with state and local organizations.
Soon, the East End Lagoon will offer a new way to experience its treasured natural environment with the addition of an interpretive walking trail. Construction of the trail, which will be wheelchair accessible and create a half-mile loop around the nature preserve, is expected to begin this month.
The park board, which manages the lagoon, has contracted with League City-based Lucas Construction for the $67,290 project with funding support from the Texas General Land Office and the Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council. The trail is scheduled to be completed in April.
“The East End Lagoon is another jewel on Galveston Island that will attract visitors from all over adding to the quality of life here and contributing to our nature tourism economy,” GINTC member Diane Olsen said. “This area has the potential to be not only a world-class destination for visitors, but to be a place that Galveston residents will enjoy as well.”
The trail will take visitors through the marshy grasses of the lagoon allowing for easier access to view the myriad plant and animal life there. The East End Lagoon is one of Galveston’s largest undeveloped spaces. It is one of the few remaining sizable tracts of coastal prairie on the island and is home to wetlands, beach dunes, black mangroves and a host of bird species. Recreation opportunities there include kayaking, fishing and stand up paddleboarding.
The trail construction project is one of the elements of the East End Lagoon Master Plan. Eventually, the park board plans to build an open air pavilion at the site to serve as an education center for visitors. In 2016, the park board applied for more than $1.4 million for the pavilion through the Restore Act. The project has received the green light for approval and a final determination for funding is expected in April.
Park board meetings are open to the public and the public may address the board of trustees during the meetings. Park board meetings are typically held at 1:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesdays of the month at 601 23rd St. If you are interested in seeing a park board issue discussed in this column, or if you have any questions, please send them my way. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.