Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Northshore Park

Each photograph is a full sized page when you click on the photo. The entrance to this park is on Lake Woodlands Drive just west of the Lake Woodlands bridge, west of Town Center. Mapquest link

This is one of the most highly used parks in The Woodlands. It is located on Lake Woodlands. It is the place to take families and visitors alike. You find fisherman here, with family and neighborhood gatherings, or just an occasional duck admirer. This is a place to bring the children to watch baby ducks in the Spring or have a whole flock circle about you. BBQ or roast some wieners on the grills. In the summer, this is the location for Sunday evening free concerts. Also, the Rowing Club is active with boat storage on site and an annual regatta in the spring. You will find the annual YMCA Dragon Boat festivities here in September. Recently, the park's hours were extended to 11PM to accommodate those who need late park hours, especially giving fishermen a place to hang their hats (and park their cars) in the evening. Normally the parks in The Woodlands close at dusk. One can fish from the shores of the park for catfish, perch, Crappie and anything else in the water. The fish can be kept as this lake is not restricted to the catch and release limitations as are the ponds of The Woodlands. However, any small body of water is easily contaminated with chemicals or feces. I do not recommend eating fish out of such a location.

For boaters, this is a good place to go to launch a Kayak, sailboat, Jon boat or canoe. Motor boats are not allowed except for electric motors. There should be no boat wake on the water. This is the location of the summer concerts. Families will bring their chairs to sit out on the grass and a picnic to watch and enjoy the performing musicians. This large covered pavilion is ideal for group parties and can be reserved through the park department of The Woodlands. Families and groups enjoy outdoor grass games in the area in front of the children playground. A small Gazebo for group events. Along the shoreline of Lake Woodlands where the fisherman will typically be found. The swarm of ducks. Domestic and wild ducks live on this pond. Fewer are seen this day than normal. Notice the bridge. The boat ramp is visible, along with a fishing pier, close to that bridge. Children's playground. Rowing club practicing a race.

Related sources

Friday, July 11, 2008

Alcohol in The Woodlands Texas Park System

This commentary is intended to be an adjunct of a proposal to outlaw alcohol beverages in the park system of The Woodlands.

The Woodlands community has been concerned about an issue with violence in one particular park in Grogan's Mill. At the first July meeting, the WCA board discussed the issue. A proposal is being considered to eliminate alcohol from the park system to mitigate the risk of future violence and crime in our parks.

Although I do not condone excessive alcohol consumption, I do have a position that we should not outlaw its consumption in our park system. Our community parks are for the general public. We have several levels of parks that should be considered however. The neighborhood parks for children should not have alcohol, but I am unaware of any related problems in this respect. In the village parks, many people enjoy having a beer, especially in the summertime. That alcohol is consumed with BBQ prepared on the grills and in general,in very normal family and friend gatherings. People fishing on the ponds enjoy a beer, just like they do elsewhere. Picnics will often be accompanied by alcoholic beverages, including wine. This is an amenity which many people can and do enjoy. I would like our parks to attract all of our residents and be comfortably used as they are intended.

A more palatable solution might be to focus on the human behaviors at the parks which is the real issue, not the consumption of beverages. Drunkenness should not be allowed, just like it is not allowed on the streets. Public intoxication is something that law enforcement deals with regularly. This might be a more acceptable solution to everyone. What is really needed is a way to enforce a set of behavioral rules on property belonging to The Woodlands.