Friday, August 12, 2022

Five Ways to Get your Fit City Challenge Time This Weekend

Hey there Team Southlake! We’re about two weeks into the Fit City Challenge, and we’re all about bringing home the gold!

We know you like to stay fit and active, but sometimes it can be challenging to find creative ways to get your time in—especially on the weekend. Fret not, Team Southlake, because we’ve compiled a list of five fun ways you can get your 45 minutes in this weekend. Are you up for the challenge?

Shop Til’ You Drop at Southlake Town Square
Olympic athletes may roll their eyes, but Southlakers know shopping is not a joke! With over 100 shops to choose from, five beautifully located public parks, and public art pieces, getting in 45 minutes of walking activity in Southlake Town Square is a no-brainer!

Take a Free Bootcamp Class on Saturday
Start the day off right and blast through over 45 minutes of activity during this fast, fun, and free Outdoor Fitness Series class. Join us at the Champions Club Outdoor Turf 1 as we sweat, build muscle, and elevate our heart rates with Skyler. The best part is it’s free, and no registration is required! Learn more here.

Explore the Bob Jones Nature Center
Nature-lovers will have no problem getting in their minutes at the Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve. With over 20 miles of hiking trails, beautiful natural scenery, and proximity to Lake Grapevine, this is an outing you won’t forget. Check out the trail map here!

Check out EVO Entertainment
There’s a new venue in town, and it’s called EVO Entertainment. Evo elevates the traditional movie-going experience by offering 11 bowling lanes, a multi-level ropes course, bumper cars, and more! Who said going to the movies was a passive activity?

Join Champions Club
We’ve saved the best for last. If you want to make sure to get your 45 minutes of activity every day, there’s no better place to do it than at Champions Club. Our state-of-the-art facility has everything you need to work up a sweat. From a world-class Aquatics Center, top-notch fitness machines, a weight room, free weights, and functional training areas, a two-court gymnasium, indoor track, group and personal fitness studios, and more, Champions Club has it all! Become a member today to take advantage of our members-only benefits!

There you have it, Team Southlake, five incredible ways to get active this weekend. They all sound so much fun! Let’s keep Team Southlake on top!

Don’t Miss Our Adult Outdoor Education Opportunities This Spring at the Bob Jones Nature Center

The Bob Jones Nature Center is a natural classroom for community members of all ages.

You may be familiar with our award-winning Cross Timbers Forest Preschool and legendary Community Hikes, but did you know the Nature Center offers free Outdoor Education classes for adults? Mark your calendars because there are three incredible class options this spring!

Photography Basics: 3/26/22 10:30am-11:30am
Join local photography expert, Bruce Rosenstiel, to learn about wildlife photography! This class will touch on the basics of photographing nature while focusing on pollinators in the garden. Topics will include equipment, the basics of shooting, general tips and tricks, and more! Feel free to bring your camera with you.
Register here.

Healing Gardens: 4/16/22 1:00pm-2:00pm
During this class with Betsy Marsh, Conservation Education Coordinator for Tarrant Regional Water District, you’ll have an opportunity to walk through the beautiful gardens at BJNCP, learn about specific plants and garden features that can promote health and well-being, and discuss new pathways to health in your own home garden.
Register here.

BJNCP Garden Tour: 5/14/22 9am-10am
Tarrant and Denton County Master Gardeners work incredibly hard to make the Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve (BJNCP) gardens beautiful and beneficial to wildlife. Join head BJNCP Master Gardener, Carol Dowd, for a tour of the Nature Center gardens. Carol is an expert in all things gardening and can teach you about our plants and give you tips for your garden. This class will be entirely outside. Please dress for the weather and bring a water bottle.
Register here.

Bob Jones Nature Center Hosts Haunted Family Campout

It was a dark and spooky night, and ghosts and ghouls gathered at Bob Jones Park for a weekend of Halloween-themed fun.

The Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve hosted its annual Haunted Family Campout this past weekend from Saturday, October 9, through Sunday, October 10. 70 community members gathered in Bob Jones Park with their tents, sleeping bags, and sense of adventure for a weekend of freights and delights under the Southlake stars.

Camping activities included morning and evening hikes, a scavenger hunt, games, and Halloween adventures! Families also enjoyed tales from local Storyteller and retired Southlake Librarian, Elizabeth Beamon. Participants rose to the occasion, bringing their costumes and decorations to make their campsites the spookiest around. The festivities also featured arts and crafts, nature-themed hikes on the glowstick-lined Bluebird Trail, and dinner, snacks, and breakfast for the participants. The Bob Jones Nature Preserve provided the perfect background to learn more about our local wildlife while getting into the Halloween spirit. Local in-kind sponsors included Sprouts and Starbucks.

The Haunted Family Campout is for sure a community-favorite program that staff enjoys putting on and sells out quickly every year.

There’s always something exciting happening at the Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve! Don’t miss out on our next Community Lake Hike happening on November 20!

Cross Timbers Forest Preschool Wins Texas Recreation & Park Society North Region Excellence in Programming Award

A few weeks into the Fall Semester, Cross Timbers Forest Preschool won the Texas Recreation & Park Society North Region Excellence in Programming Award!

Cross Timbers Forest Preschool is an explorative, hands-on preschool experience focused on connecting students to nature. Hosted at the Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve, the curriculum highlights our local ecosystem and includes hikes, storytime, arts and crafts, imaginative play, and discovery. Forest Preschool allows students to build knowledge of the world around them, develop confidence and self-esteem while inspiring connections with nature. With two 15-week semesters in the fall and spring, students spend more than 80% of their day outside learning through exploration. Cross Timbers Forest Preschool is a community-favorite program that maximizes 700 plus acres of preserve to instill an appreciation for nature and a sense of stewardship in our youngest community members.

Forest Preschool staff is honored to receive this award, especially after working so hard to make Forest Preschool the premier preschool experience in DFW. When we first started operations in 2019, we only held classes three days a week and had about 11 students. Since then, we have added an extra day and have increased our student roster times three! In the last three years, Forest Preschool has become a favorite community recreational program. We often see multiple generations of siblings go through Forest Preschool, and watch our kiddos move to Nature Camp after aging out of preschool. Our classes are consistently full, and the growth we witness in our students fuels us to continue making this the best preschool program around. Our curriculum is unique due to unparalleled access to nature. The skills our students gain prepare them for success in kindergarten and beyond!

“I’m so thrilled about winning this award! My staff and I work hard to make Forest Preschool a world-class program that is safe, fun, and educational. We take a tremendous amount of pride in our work and being recognized for it feels wonderful! We are honored to accept the award and can’t wait to continue growing Forest Preschool!” Hannah Nyquist, Programs Coordinator.

Congratulations to all Cross Timbers Forest Preschool staff for your world-class work! The TRAPS North Region Excellence in Programming Award (Class II) will be presented to the City of Southlake Community Services team on Friday, November 5, 2021, at the TRAPS North Region Conference in Allen.

Southlake Sister Cities’ Rocks for Peace Program is Coming to Bob Jones Park

Paint one, take one, share one, leave one. Southlake Sister Cities is introducing their Rocks for Peace Program to Bob Jones Park and needs your help growing their painted rock collection!

What are Rocks for Peace, you ask? Southlake Sister Cities’ new program is one you won’t want to take for granite. In collaboration with the Community Services Department, SSC is forging a trail of painted rocks in Bob Jones Park to bring joy to everyone who sees them.

The goal is to create enough painted rocks to cover a trail, get people to explore a new side of Bob Jones Park, and share positive messages with the community. Southlake Sister Cities’ mission is to promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation; one individual, one community at a time. Now it will be one rock at a time as well!

We’re looking to grow our rock collection before placing them on the trail, and we need your help to paint some happy rocks! Southlake Sister Cities is participating in two Nature Center programs to create more painted rocks. Join in on the fun and paint a pebble that will have sedimental value for years to come!

Painting supplies and rocks will be provided. Just bring your creativity!

Paint Rocks for Peace with Southlake Sister Cities.

Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve Open House
Saturday, September 25
9:00 AM- 3:00 PM

Cross Timbers Nature Club
Wednesday, September 29
4:00 PM- 4:30 PM
*Registration required*

We’ll see you at the Nature Center!

Getting Wild at Nature Camp

We are right in the heat of summer, and things are getting wild at our annual Cross Timbers Summer Nature Camp.

Summer camps are an industry staple in Parks and Recreation. Here in Southlake, we are fortunate to offer our young residents various fun and entertaining summer camp options each year. Something that makes our community unique is our proximity to the Cross Timbers and Prairies ecosystem.

Our Cross Timbers Summer Nature Camp is a community favorite and a vital part of Our Park and Recreation Story. This summer, campers get to explore their wild side with fun activities to practice outdoor skills, hike, create arts and crafts, and learn about our local ecosystem.

Here are a few highlights of what Nature Camp has been up to this summer:

  • Campers do a 2-mile hike to Lake Grapevine every week. At the lake, they get to play on the swing and near the water before hiking back. On average, each camper hikes around eight miles per week!
  • Guest presenters are a special treat for Nature Camp. This summer, the kids have learned from the Tarrant Regional Water District, The Blackland Prairie Raptor Center, Creature Teacher, archery, and Mad Science!
  • Each week presents a different theme. Last week, the campers learned about sustainability and made some awesome recycled robots.
  • Campers always make great use of the Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve! Each week, kids spend hours searching for grasshoppers and other critters. They always talk about the history of the land—which includes the Jones Family and the Tucker Family.
  • Every Friday, there is a Field Day Party!

With so many out-of-this-world activities, it’s no wonder Nature Camp is such a crowd favorite! But the summer is not over yet.

Here’s a sneak-peak into what campers can look forward to in the weeks to come:

  • This week, campers are learning about flowers and will be planting around the Nature Center. They will also dye and plant seeds that they can take home.
  • There will be more animal presentations coming! In addition, the Southlake DPS will present a Wilderness First Aid class to campers!
  • The final week will be the “Animal Olympics.” Campers will learn about the extraordinary feats animals can achieve—including the critters found right here in Southlake.

It wouldn’t be a Southlake summer without our summer camps and the incredible staff that make them happen. Part of our Park and Recreation Story is working hard to create life-long memories for our kiddos, and Cross Timbers Nature Camp is the perfect place to get wild!

Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve Offers Virtual Adult Outdoor Education Programs This Summer

The Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve is not just a hub for children to learn about the great outdoors. Did you know that there are multiple opportunities for adults to learn more about nature as well?

The Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve Adult Education classes will teach you easy ways to make a big difference in your life and our ecosystem. Thanks to our partnership with Tarrant Regional Water District and local Master Gardeners, all classes will be virtual this summer. Not only that, but all courses are 100% FREE!

There are multiple fantastic opportunities to learn more about improving your garden while helping our ecosystem this summer.

June is all about Tough Texas Plants. With an often unpredictable climate, it’s crucial to choose the right type of plants to thrive in Texas. This three-part series will teach you about low-maintenance landscape design, tough Texas perennials and annuals, and tough Texas trees, bushes, and vines. Registration for June classes is now open! Learn how to register here.

Things will get prickly in July with cacti and succulents taking center stage. Learn the hottest tips and tricks to maintaining these increasingly popular plants. Registration will be available soon.

Finish out the summer with a month of shade gardening knowledge in August. These classes will teach you what plants grow best in the shadier areas of your yard. Be on the lookout when registration for these classes becomes available.

When it comes to having the sturdiest yard in Texas, knowledge is power. Take advantage of our free Adult Outdoor Education program and become the envy of the neighborhood!

Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve to Celebrate Earth Day with a Community Hike

Grab your sunscreen and hiking boots for the Earth Day Community Hike!

The Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve is celebrating Earth Day early this year by inviting all nature enthusiasts to join us on an Earth Day Community Hike on Saturday, April 17 at 10 am. Earth Day is celebrated globally on April 22 in honor of working towards a more sustainable future. What better way to connect with the Earth and the creatures that inhabit it than by spending quality time in nature?

Join us for a morning on the Preserve Trails as we make our way to Grapevine Lake. Led by Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve staff, this Community Hike will be all about the plants and animals who call the Preserve home, how we can help them, and the incredible history of the land.

Learn more about the Jones family who lived on this land and their contributions to the City of Southlake as you explore the winding trails. Be on the lookout for tracks and hints of the diverse wildlife that are native to this land. Get in some solid exercise while becoming more knowledgeable about this treasured Southlake spot.

The Earth Day Community Hike is suitable for guests of all ages and hiking levels. Be sure to bring a water bottle, comfortable clothes you can get dirty, and closed-toe shoes. The hike to Grapevine Lake is two miles, and there will be frequent stops.

Registration ends on Thursday, April 14. Don’t delay; register today!

Leaf Your Worries Behind and Take a Hike at the Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve

Spring is almost here, and that means hiking season is upon us!

There’s no better way to connect with nature than to disconnect from the screens and get outside! With the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, it’s easy to forget about the benefits of going outdoors and exploring. Luckily for us in Southlake, the Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve is the perfect spot to leaf all your worries behind and take a hike!

The Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve provides a sanctuary for humans and wildlife to reconnect with nature away from the urban DFW metroplex. The Preserve, which features 758 acres of Cross Timbers ecosystem, is home to about 700 identified species of plants and animals!

The Bob Jones Nature Center provides over 20 miles of hiking trails to explore for those who are looking to escape into nature. Follow the Bluebird Trail surrounding the Nature Center for a short and sweet retreat, or challenge yourself to complete the expansive Walnut Grove National Recreation Trail. Wherever your adventures take you, you’re sure to run into fellow nature-lovers such as birds, squirrels, and maybe even deer!

If you’re new to hiking and not sure where to start, never fear! We’ve compiled a list of hiking tips to make sure your first excursion to the Preserve is a life-long positive memory.

Leave no Trace

One of the most critical tenets of hiking is to leave no trace. Preserving the land and protecting the wildlife that inhabits it is necessary to be a good steward of the land. Staying on designated trails, not disturbing plants and animals, and not littering are all characteristics of a good steward of the land.

Pick the Right Trail

Hiking can be the best adventure, but it’s imperative to pick the adequate trail for your experience level. It can be easy to get lost, so make sure you stick to the path, read signage, and let a friend know where you are going. Better yet, go in a group!

Be Prepared

Make sure to dress in light, moisture-absorbing layers. Long sleeves and pants are best for protecting against the sun and elements. Don’t forget the sunscreen! Make sure to wear comfortable closed-toed shoes to support your feet, and drink plenty of water.

Have fun

Hiking is all about reconnecting with nature and with yourself. The Bob Jones Nature Center hosts a variety of outdoor education programs for all ages if you are interested in learning more about the Cross Timbers natural habitat. Be on the lookout for exciting hiking opportunities coming up next month! See you on the trails!