Monday, November 30, 2020

Let’s Take a Hike: Explore the Trails at Bob Jones Nature Center

What better way to enjoy the great outdoors than to go for a hike at the Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve.

It’s a great place for nature lovers to unplug and take in the environment while getting in a good work out.

The park has three different trails, the Walnut Grove National Recreation Trail, the Bluebird Trail and the Grapevine Lake Trail which can be accessed from the Bluebird Trail.

Are you a first-time hiker? No worries! BJNCP offers fun programs, activities and classes for those who would like to learn more.

On November 14, BJNCP is offering a class for young hikers as part of the Bowmen Day Hike Series.  This introductory course will cover eco-responsible hiking traditions such as “leave no trace,” trail etiquette, safety measures and other important outdoor skills.

If you prefer to hike solo or consider yourself an expert, the Bluebird Trail is great place to start. The trail features interpretive and interactive signage with information about birds and other local wildlife so you can have fun and learn something new while you’re getting in your steps. So, grab a bottle of water, strap up your boots and head out to BJNCP for a hike!

A downloadable trail map can be found on our website.

For more information about programs and courses at the BJNCP, visit

Exhibit Tells the Story of Bob Jones, a Well-Known Name in Southlake

In Southlake, Bob Jones’s name is on a park, nature center and road, but who was he? An exhibit now open through September 4 at Southlake Town Hall, presented by the Southlake Historical Society, will tell the remarkable story of Bob Jones (1850-1936) and his wife, Almeady Chisum Jones (1857-1949). It’s called “Bob and Almeady Chisum Jones: A true story of resilience, courage and success.”

The exhibit will be displayed in the lobby of Town Hall and in the Southlake Public Library during regular business hours. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

Both Bob Jones and Almeady Chisum Jones, had white fathers and mothers who were slaves and grew up on the Texas frontier. Bob’s father brought him to southern Denton County in about 1860. After the war, Bob drove cattle along the Chisholm Trail and later built a prosperous ranch and farm on the Denton-Tarrant County line. In 1858, Almeady and her mother and sister were given to cattle baron John Chisum as collateral for $814 worth of cattle being driven to California. She thought of Chisum as her father.

Bob and Almeady married in 1875 and had 10 children.

“Bob and Almeady were exceptional people, able to make their way through a difficult world. They earned the trust and respect of all who knew them,” said historical society president Connie Cooley. “They valued God, family and education. They took pride in who they were.”

Today, most of the couple’s 1,000-plus acres are under Lake Grapevine, which was built between 1947-1952. In 1948, their two youngest sons, Jinks and Emory, established Grapevine Auction Sales at the southeast corner of Highway 114 and what was then called White’s Chapel Road. Their wives, Lula and Elnora, ran a cafe that is thought by historians to be the first integrated cafe in Texas. For years, the auction barn was the largest business in Southlake.

Bob Jones Road was named in the 1970s. In 1988, the City annexed land up to Lake Grapevine that included former Bob Jones property. Bob Jones Park opened in 1998 and the Nature Center & Preserve opened in 2008. Much of the original Jones homestead that is not under water is part of the nature center.

In gathering information about the Joneses, “We were lucky that amateur historians had interviewed Jones family members over the years,” said Anita Robeson, SHS historian. “This year the Jones family has shared with us memories, pictures, clothing, letters, legal records and other items that give fresh insight into the family’s story.”

“Letters written to Bob by his father, clothing Bob wore at his wedding, a lovely hand-sewn dress worn by one of his daughters, a poll tax receipt and other items will be on display,” she said.

This is the sixth summer exhibit presented by the Southlake Historical Society. Past topics have included old Southlake photos and the stories they tell; private airstrips in Southlake from about 1950-1980; Denton County history through the eyes of a cattle baron, outlaws, lawmen, church ladies and former slaves; How the War “over there” (World War I) impacted now-Southlake and Texas; and the Centennial of Carroll Hill School, the Birthplace of Carroll ISD and the City of Southlake. Each topic is chosen a year in advance.

To read more about the Jones family, see

Hoot & Howl Fall Festival at Bob Jones Nature Center

Southlake Library and Bob Jones Nature Center are hosting an autumn festival at the Preserve on Saturday, October 26 from 10 am – 1 pm.

Celebrate the beauty of autumn at Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve. This Saturday, bring your family out for the Hoot & Howl Fall Festival where you can enjoy an easy nature hike with storytellers on the trail. Explore the Inspiration Station with cool animals and artifacts to discover. There will be music, seasonal treats and great places to get that family photo.

The festival runs from 10 am – 1 pm and is open to the public. Handicapped parking and limited regular parking will be available at the Nature Center. Additional parking with shuttle or trail access to the festival will be at the Bob Jones Equestrian Center parking area. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring the kids’ off-road strollers to enjoy the trails. Perfect for families with young children. Free event.

Festival Location:
Bob Jones Nature Center & Preserve
355 Bob Jones Rd, Southlake, TX 76092

Equestrian Center Parking

Bob Jones Equestrian Center Parking
Corner of White Chapel & Bob Jones Road
Shuttle or trail access to the festival

Festival Map


Summer Programs at the Bob Jones Nature Center

Turn off your screens and head outside for summer adventures at the Bob Jones Nature Center!

Summer programs at the Bob Jones Nature Center offer exciting and educational nature experiences for kids of all ages.

Pollination Station – Preschool

Join our group of explorers as we learn how insects help our planet. We will learn about pollinators and the job they do to help nature create food for humans. After a fun introduction to entomology (the study of insects), we will create models of winged and terrestrial insects. We will also do observations of nature in the grassy areas. We will not capture insects, and we will respect their habitat.

Date: June 10 – 14
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Resident Fee: $146
Non-Resident Fee: $183
Ages: 3 – 5
Click here to learn more and register.

Wilderness Survival Camp

Little Wilderness School teaches medicine, science and the importance of health in an entertaining, exciting and fun way. This camp teaches children about some dangers in the wild and how to safely handle a medical situation. For example, students will learn about snake bites and hypothermia as well as how to tie a tourniquet, splint a broken leg, filter dirty water and treat bug bites. Each session is led by a trained Little Medical School instructor. Each child will receive a diploma, disposable lab coat, LMS bandanna, thermal blanket and so much more.

Date: July 15 – 19
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Resident Fee: $385
Non-Resident Fee: $482
Ages: 6– 11
Click here to learn more and register.

Want to enjoy the beautiful outdoors as a family? Come out for Family Fun at the Bob Jones Nature Center! For more information about our nature programs, please contact Southlake Parks and Recreation at (817) 748-8019.

Discover Family Fun at the Bob Jones Nature Center!

Learn about the Cross Timbers ecosystem while spending time with your family in the beautiful outdoors.

Looking for something fun to do that the whole family will enjoy? Join us at the Bob Jones Nature Center for exciting and educational hikes, arts and crafts, special group activities, scavenger hunts, snacks and so much more. All ages are welcome. Online pre-registration is required (one per family).

Family Fun at the Bob Jones Nature Center

Saturday, May 18
9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Register Online

Saturday, June 15
9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Register Online

Saturday, July 13
9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Register Online

Saturday, August 10
9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Register Online

Location: Bob Jones Nature Center
Instructor: Outdoor Experience Staff
Resident Fee: $20
Non-Resident Fee: $24

For more information, please contact Southlake Parks and Recreation at (817) 748-8019.

Mayor Laura Hill Presents Arbor Day 2016 Proclamation

On November 3rd, 2016, Mayor Laura Hill presented a proclamation at Bob Jones Nature Center in recognition of Arbor Day in Southlake.

In 1872, J. Sterling Morton proposed to the Nebraska Board of Agriculture that a special day be set aside for the planting and nurturing of trees, and in 2016, we are celebrating the 144th anniversary of Arbor Day which is now observed throughout the nation and the world; and,

Whereas, this holiday, called Arbor Day, was first observed in Nebraska with the planting of more than a million trees, which can reduce the erosion of our precious topsoil by wind and water, cut heating and cooling costs, moderate the temperature, clean the air, produce life-giving oxygen, and provide a habitat for wildlife; and,

Whereas, trees are a renewable resource giving us paper, wood for our homes, and fuel for our fires.  They also beautify our community and are a source of spiritual renewal; now,

Therefore, I, Mayor Laura Hill, on behalf of the City Council, urge all residents to celebrate Arbor Day in November and to support efforts to plant trees, and to recognize all the ways trees enrich our lives and stabilize our environment.


“Learn and Grow” at the Bob Jones Nature Center

Event Sign Final

Come to the Learn and Grow event at the Bob Jones Nature Center this Saturday, April 30, 2016 from 9:00am to 1:00pm.

The City of Southlake, Tarrant Regional Water District, and the Bob Jones Nature Center have partnered to bring you “Learn and Grow at Bob Jones Nature Center” this Saturday, April 30, 2016!

This is a free workshop led by Dr. Dotty Woodson from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. Dr. Woodson will cover the importance of lawn care maintenance, basic irrigation fixes, sun and shade plants, and more! There will also be hands-on activities, as well as a rain barrel raffle and a walking tour of the Nature Center.

Register here for the event.


Volunteers contribute service for Southlake’s Great American Clean Up

On Friday, March 18, the City of Southlake partnered with Hurst Texas Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for the annual Great American Clean Up. 168 volunteers, most of them between the ages of 14-18, dedicated an afternoon during their spring break to help with multiple park projects.

There was a lot to be done and our volunteers worked hard all afternoon and were able to accomplish a significant amount. Volunteers spent time at Bob Jones Park painting the restrooms and moving the horse pens at the northern equestrian parking lot. The Walnut Grove trails have been greatly impacted by all of the rain in the past year, and the volunteers used flex base to fill in eroded and washed out areas. The team worked a section of the trails that led from the Bob Jones Nature Center all the way to Lake Grapevine. Along the trails they trimmed low limbs, cleaned up liter, and used rakes to smooth out ruts. The volunteers also tackled projects at the Bob Jones Nature Center. They built a fence and installed 50 cubic feet of decomposed granite to improve the restroom area and improve accessibility for all users. They also removed overgrown grass and installed 200 cubic feet of decomposed granite to the trail leading from the Nature Center to the Pavilion.

When all was said and done, 336 total man hours of service were donated, which saved the City $8,285 in labor costs. The volunteer groups were led by community equestrian volunteers as well as the City of Southlake Parks Crew. A brief video has been posted to the Southlake Parks Facebook page:

For more information, visit the Keep Southlake Beautiful page, or contact the Community Services Department at 817-748-8019.

Wise Water Use and Lawn Care Events – Spring 2016

This spring, the City of Soutlake will be focused on promoting wise water use in and outside your home.

This March and April 2016, the City of Southlake is promoting several events that encourage wise water use and conservation inside and outside your home. The lists of events include:

“Fix a Leak” Week (March 14-20): This annual event aims to empower individuals to take control of water use in their homes by identifying and fixing common sources of water leaks. Beginning the week of March 14, a display will be in the lobby of Town Hall that shows helpful tips on identifying and fixing common household leaks. In addition, there will be several free items at tables near the display that will help you identify leaks, save water and save money.

The “Get to Know Your H2O” Forum (March 29): The conversation about water doesn’t stop once Fix a Leak Week is over. Join us March 29, 2016 at 6:00PM for the “Getting to Know Your H2O” forum to be held in the City Council Chambers of Town Hall. Come to the event and engage experts in a discussion about water use and conservation and hang around the lobby and learn what you can do to take control of your water use all year ’round.

Texas SmartScape™ Plant Sale (April 23): Searching for the best candidates for your landscape? Texas SmartScape™ will help you identify native or adaptive plants that can thrive with less water. This means you can save money and still have a beautiful yard. Go to the Southlake Home Depot at 300 S. Village Center Drive from 8:00am to 12:00pm on April 23rd to get ideas and tips for landscaping by talking with a master gardener, plant expert, or irrigation specialist.

Learn and Grow @ Bob Jones Nature Center (April 30): This free workshop at the Bob Jones Nature Center is all about lawn care. Speaker Dr. Dotty Woodson from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension will discuss lawn care maintenance, the benefits of native and adaptive plants, and sprinkler system quick fixes. Space is limited for this workshop. RSVP with Leigh Langford at 817-491-6333 or

Take control of your water use and come join us in March and April for any or all of these events!