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New Horseshoe Bay Nature Park for conservation, education, enjoyment

Horseshoe Bay Nature Park Board of Directors

The Horseshoe Bay Nature Park Board of Directors includes Vicki Adcock (left), Vice President Rev. Johnny White, President Steve Jordan, Kyle Wommack, Andy Thurman, and Stan Smith. Courtesy photo

Horseshoe Bay Nature Park recently opened officially on 11 acres at 1514 Golden Nugget off of Texas 71 in Horseshoe Bay. The park includes a half-mile hiking trail, a bird blind, an observation deck, benches, a water fountain, and wildlife housing and watering stations. It’s open daily from sunrise to sunset, and entrance is free.

The best part, according to Steve Jordan, president of the park’s Board of Directors, is how it was built.

“The whole thing is done with donations,” he said, adding that it is a nonprofit, so donations are tax-exempt. “It’s a park everybody will be proud to show friends and family.”

Jordan credited the John W. Smith family and daughters Whitney and Shelley Smith for leasing the property for a park for the next 25 years. 

“This park is something the entire Hill Country can be proud of,” Jordan said. “We have interest from the Master Naturalists, Master Gardeners, and the bird groups. It’s amazing to find the interests of others.”

The vision for the park came about on Nov. 4, 2019, a day before Jordan’s term as Horseshoe Bay mayor ended. He went about the task of finding people to serve on a park board and developing a conceptual plan, which led to a master plan.

In December 2020, the board began fundraising. The park dedication and opening happened one year later on Dec. 20, 2021.

“The community has been very supportive, and we’re very thankful for that,” Jordan said. “The park has been very well-accepted. Guests have been many. It’s obvious the park is a welcome addition. People love it.”

The park is used as an education site as well as for conservation and restoration. The observation deck should be finished in the next few weeks, Jordan said. Recently, a sun dial was donated by a Marble Falls Boy Scout.

“We plan to put beehives in in March,” he said. “Chimney swifts, hopefully, will return in March.”

Funds are still needed for other amenities, including interpretive signage, restrooms, another chimney swift tower, and a water fountain, Jordan said.

“The nature park is something we want to preserve,” he said. “We want to teach the preservation of nature and teach children. We talked to school officials in Burnet and Marble Falls, and they’re very excited about the possibilities of field trips. We have designed the parking lot to accommodate school buses.”

PARK RULES

  • Stay on the trails at all times
  • Do not feed or disturb wildlife
  • Pick up after your pet
  • Keep dogs on leash and on trails
  • Place all trash in trash cans
  • Pedestrians only — no bicycles, golf carts, or horses
  • Take nothing but pictures; leave nothing but footprints
  • No smoking

For more information, including a park map, visit the Horseshoe Bay Nature Park website.

jfierro@thepicayune.com