Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Join Southlake Sister Cities for the Rock Walk in the Park

We’re almost to the finish line of the Fit City Challenge, and we know just the way to rack up those final minutes!

Grab your walking shoes and creativity and meet Southlake Sister Cities on Saturday, May 14 at Bob Jones Park. Come out to Southlake’s new painted rock garden at 9:00 AM for a family-friendly, 0.5-mile hike on the paved path!

Come marvel at the painted rocks under the trees and take a moment to create your own painted rock that you can keep or leave behind to join the other painted rocks! Southlake Sister Cities will provide all the supplies to make your artistic vision come to life!

This is the perfect event to flex your athletic and creative muscles. Finish the Fit City Challenge strong with your friends and learn more about this incredible non-profit organization!

The rock garden is located next to the baseball fields, across from Boo Boo’s Buddies Dog Park.

See you at Bob Jones Park!

 

The City of Southlake Unveils Bob and Almeady Jones Statue at Bob Jones Park

On Sunday, October 24, the City of Southlake hosted a public art dedication and celebration for Seth Vandable’s “Bob and Almeady Jones” statue at Bob Jones Park.

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon at the park. Descendants from the Jones family, City Council members, Arts Council members, and Southlake Historical Society members gathered to unveil Southlake’s latest public art piece. Southlake Mayor, John Huffman opened the ceremony, followed by remarks by Arts Council Chairperson Tamara McMillan and Historical Society Historian Anita Robeson. The ceremony concluded with some words from Bob Jones’ grandson, Dr. William Jones.

“Art, in all of its forms, is so vital to a City and a community. Southlake has shown a steadfast commitment to the arts in recent years as we have unveiled public art pieces in the City’s roundabouts, parks, and facilities. Today’s celebration is another example of the City Council’s commitment to ensuring that art tells the story of our past, present, and future,” stated Mayor Huffman.

The Bob and Almeady Jones Statue is a memorial to the monumental role the Jones family played in Southlake’s development.

“Bob was a brilliant horse and cattleman. An excellent businessman, whose word and a handshake was his bind… He eventually acquired and operated over 2,000 acres in what is now Southlake. It’s a wonderful tribute that part of that original property is preserved in the Bob Jones Park and Nature Center. I am the youngest of the last of Bob and Almeady’s 24 grandchildren. No Jones descendant carries on the ranching tradition or lives in the area at present. But new generations of Jones descendants have the opportunity to visit the property and remember our past with pride…. The statue is a marvelous addition to Bob Jones Park, and will serve as a positive pictorial reminder of their legacy to all who visit for years to come,” stated Dr. Williams Jones.

After the ceremony, Jones family members unveiled the new statue together. The interactive art piece depicts Bob and Almeady Jones enjoying a freshly harvested summer meal after a hard day’s work of farming and teaching their 10 children. They are dressed in period attire and are seated on a stone bench and table, welcoming visitors to sit with them and enjoy a community meal together.

When describing the statue, Southlake Arts Council Chair, Tamara McMillan, stated that, “The portraits are welcoming likenesses, while still reflecting a measure of determination required to meet the challenges they face and burdens they carry. The sculpture is designed in the round, highlighting possible fruits and foods they would have harvested in the area, making it interesting from every angle.”

This public art dedication was unlike any other the City has hosted. After the unveiling, guests enjoyed a community meal at the Bob Jones Park Fishing Pavilion. A fiddler played as Jones family members from across the country ate together in celebration of their family’s legacy.

The Bob and Almeady Jones statue is located in Bob Jones Park in front of the playground. Community members can visit and take pictures with the beautiful interactive piece. Thank you to the Southlake Arts Council and Southlake Historical Society for helping make this addition to our Public Art collection a reality.

To learn more about Bob Jones and his family, visit the Bob Jones Exhibit at the Bob Jones Nature Center.

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!

Work Out Buddies and Boo Boo’s Buddies Meet Up

We mean it when we say we are a Champions Club family, and that extends to our four-legged champions!

Champions Club members, join us on Monday, September 27 from 5:00 pm-7:00 pm for a can’t miss member appreciation celebration! This legendary crossover event will have you asking, “who let the dogs out?”

We love working out and prioritizing wellness for the whole family, and this time we mean the entire family! Because our fur babies can’t join us at Champions Club, we are bringing the fun and exercise to them! Bring your favorite four-legged friend and meet us at Boo Boo’s Buddies Dog Park for a fun evening inside Bob Jones Park featuring giveaways, dog treats, toys, and more!

Champions Club members have more in common than they may think. They are determined, love a challenge, are willing to go the extra mile, and love their dogs! What better way to get to know your fellow workout buddies than by meeting their Boo Boo’s Buddies as well?

When asked about the inspiration behind this furtastic idea, Membership Services Coordinator, Marianne Burton explained that she, “thought it might be fun for members to connect with other members that share a common interest. Spending time together with friends and pets in a park that’s part of their community is a great way to bond outside of the Champions Club environment! We will have a fun giveaway as well as treats and toys for pets!”

Don’t miss out on one-of-a-kind members-only appreciation events like this one! Join Champions Club today to get the true family experience!

Boo Boo’s Buddies Dog Park is located inside Bob Jones Par at 3901 N. White Chapel Bvd.

Fight the Bite When You Visit Parks This Summer!

Summertime and the living is easy—except for the mosquitoes are back with a vengeance!

 

There’s nothing we love more than hiking on the Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve trails or playing baseball and tennis at Bicentennial Park. However, with the mosquito season in full swing, it’s time to take the necessary steps to fight the bite, Southlake!

 

If your blood is as sweet as you are, then you probably know the pain of taking a step outside to enjoy one of our lovely parks only to feel the instant sting of a mosquito bite. Mosquitos are prevalent this time of year, and with some North Texas mosquitoes carrying diseases, bite prevention is not merely a convenience, it’s a health necessity. Luckily for you, we have compiled a list of handy tips to help you fight the bite this summer.

 

Use insect repellent

It may not always smell pleasant but using insect repellent such as DEET is a must when you want to spend some time outdoors. There are even natural options such as lemon eucalyptus oil to help you keep mosquitos away from you.

 

Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants

Nothing says “hot girl summer” more than light and breezy long layers! By wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, you are limiting mosquitoes’ access to your skin. Not only is this helpful for preventing mosquito bites, but wearing long layers also protects you from the sun! Double win for enjoying our parks with ease of mind.

 

Use screens to protect your windows and doors

If you want to enjoy the Southlake summer breeze from the comfort of your own home, make sure to put up screens on your doors and windows to keep the critters outside. 

 

Get rid of standing water

It’s been raining a lot in Southlake lately, and that means you may have areas of standing water near your home. Standing water provides the perfect environment for mosquitoes to breed. Look out for dog bowls, rain gutters, empty pots, and still fountains in your back yard to prevent unwanted visitors in your garden.

 

It’s mosquito time in North Texas, but if you take the tips we provided to heart, you can celebrate summer knowing you are doing what you can to fight the bite!

Going Mutts over Boo Boo’s Buddies Dog Park

There is no time like Springtime in North Texas: the weather is pleasant, your dog’s tail is wagging, and the great outdoors are beckoning!

If your pup is craving a fun day in the sun, look no further than Boo Boo’s Buddies Dog Park at Bob Jones Park. Bob Jones Park consists of almost 500 acres of primarily native Cross Timbers habitat. Apart from its multiple soccer fields, ample parking, playground, and six miles of scenic trails, Boo Boo’s Buddies Dog Park boasts 2.5 acres of canine fun! Who says the perfect playdate must include other humans?

A trip to Boo Boo’s Buddies Dog Park is sure to be a day you’ll never fur-get; however, we’re offering some tips to make sure your puppy outing is pawsome!

Tip #1: Walk your dog before going to the park

If your dog is smiling with his head out the window and his tail is wagging on your drive to the park, you can bet he is excited to play with friends. However, other dogs and owners may get scared if an overly energetic puppy dashes through the park. To blow off some steam, take your dog on a short walk before letting him in the park.

Tip #2: Ensure your dog is well trained

Dog parks are ideal places for dogs to socialize, exercise, and exhaust their energy, but an untrained dog can easily turn a day at the park sour. Before letting your pup off the leash, it is essential to have mastered basic training commands such as sit, stay, come, and leave it. Additionally, your dog must be comfortable socializing with other dogs calmly and without getting aggressive or scared.

Tip #3: Pay attention to your friend

The atmosphere at a dog park can be very stimulating. Keep a close eye on your pup at all times to ensure he is having fun, playing nice, and not getting into fights. A trip to the dog park is not the time to catch up with your news feed. So put your phone away and pay close attention to body language as well! Your dog might feel overwhelmed or could be intimidating other pups. Don’t forget to keep your dog hydrated and pick up after him with one of our available Dog Stations!

The dog park is a fun space for your furry friend to play and meet other pups! Make your stay at Boo Boo’s Buddies Dog Park a positive one with these tips! Adhering to this advice will ensure your best friend is the most pupular pooch in the park!

Hikers Just Want to Have Fun

While you’re out for your hike, incorporating an activity during your journey can add some fun to getting some exercise.

Here are three engaging, educational and fun activities include in your hike:

  1. Interpretive signs – the Bluebird Trail at Bob Jones Park and Nature Center has interpretive and interactive signage signs that feature information about local wildlife.
  2. Nature alphabet game – this game involves looking for things along your route in alphabetical order, such as an acorn, bug or caterpillar. The more you go down the alphabet, the more challenging the game becomes.
  3. Scavenger hunt – a classic game for all ages to enjoy. Bring a list or use your phone and discover fun items to search for along your route.

For more information about hiking and all things mobility in Southlake, visit ConnectSouthlake.com, the Southlake Mobility Facebook page or sign up for the mobility e-newsletter.

City Council Approves Bob Jones Sculpture

City Council approved the final concept and contract for new Public Art as a tribute to Bob and Almeady Jones at the November 17, City Council meeting.

Jones was a former slave, husband, and father who became a prosperous landowner and rancher in the Roanoke-Southlake. He and his wife Almeady Jones raised 10 children together and were well-respected residents.

As a part of Southlake’s art initiative to promote public art in Southlake, the Southlake Arts Council extended an invite to local artists to submit a proposal for a commissioned sculpture in honor of the Jones Family to be placed at Bob Jones Park. Artist Seth Vandable was selected for his piece, Bob and Almeady Jones Monument.

The bronze monument depicts Bob and Almeady dressed in period attire relaxing beside a picnic, enjoying a freshly harvested summer meal after a hard day of work farming, and teaching their children to welcome visitors to the park.  

The piece incorporates the agricultural history of Southlake along with the family values and work ethic which would serve as a cultural touchstone to current residents and visitors.

According to Vandable’s artist statement, he believes the sculpture will be a reflection of the City’s past.

“I believe Southlake will strongly identify with this sculpture as a beautiful timeless symbol of your strong City’s past, the strength of the family and determination to succeed in the face of challenges,” he stated.

The monument will be on display at Bob Jones Park in Spring 2021

Funding for this project is allocated within the approved FY 2021 Public Art Fund CIP budget in the amount of $100,000.

City Approves Matching Funds Request for Projects in Bicentennial Park & Bob Jones Park

Two Southlake parks are set to receive major upgrades thanks to a couple of local sports associations and a long-standing partnership program through the Southlake Parks Development Corporation (SPDC).
On October 16th, the City Council, following a recommendation from the SPDC Board of Directors, approved SPDC Matching Funds requests from the Southlake Girls Softball Association and Dragon Youth Baseball awarding more than $112,000 toward park improvements.

The Southlake Girls Softball Association was awarded $37,500 toward the purchase and installation of up to 16 soft-toss hitting stations at Bob Jones Park, half the total project cost of $75,000. These improvements will provide effective batting practice and alleviate overcrowding at the existing revamped batting cages.

Dragon Youth Baseball was awarded $75,000, half the total project cost of $150,000, toward the purchase and installation of synthetic turf on Field 9 at Bicentennial Park. Installing synthetic turf will provide a dependable surface for players to train and will allow them to maintain a consistent schedule by avoiding weather-related closures.

These improvements will be made possible through the City’s SPDC Matching Funds program. The program dates back to 1997, with a mission to provide a process for considering requests by petitioning individuals or organizations for the SPDC Matching Funds projects. Proposals are considered on a project-by-project basis and should align with the ongoing advancement and implementation of the Southlake 2030 Parks, Recreation and Open Space/Community Facilities Master Plan. If the proposed project meets the criteria and can help further enhance an existing project, the City Council, following a recommendation from the SPDC Board of Directors, determines the percentage match up to 100%.

Approval of the matching funds requests not only meets City goals to provide attractive spaces and collaborate with partners to implement service solutions, but it also substantially offsets City cost for capital improvements. “It enables the City to leverage its capital funding to implement worthwhile capital park improvements for the enjoyment of Southlake citizens,” said Chris Tribble, Director of Community Services.

Since 2013, the City has contributed more than $300,000 in SPDC Matching Funds and over $600,000 in project costs supporting a total of 5 organizations toward the development and improvements for parks and recreation programs.

The Southlake Parks Development Corporation was formed when Southlake voters approved the special levy of a half-cent sales tax in the mid-1990s. The half-cent, which generates about $5 million per year, is dedicated toward the acquisition and development of Southlake’s parkland as well as park maintenance and other parks-related operational costs. The SPDC is governed by a seven-member Board of Directors that are appointed by the City Council.

To learn more about the SPDC visit their webpage.