A project placed on the back burner is once again coming to light all thanks to the hard work of one Laredo church and several members of the community. Pro 8 News reporter Brenda Medina introduced us to an area some are calling the “lost lakes.” A closer look at the destination which was recently re-discovered.
“The city had a great idea ten years ago to turn this in to a nature park,” said Executive Director for the Big River Foundation Eric Ellman.
But Ellman said that idea never became a reality. Just recently Father Bill Davis and members from his San Francisco Javier Parish discovered this incredible sight.
“Hard working people need a place to go on Saturday and Sunday for picnic and in Laredo there’s very few,” Davis said.
The long dormant city project to transform the 200-acre nature preserve was all part of the River Bend park, Ellman told Pro 8 News.
“The funding didn’t come through and it drifted off of the radar screen,” added Ellman.
Sawing away, branch after branch, through hard work and dedication volunteers from the parish, collaboration of funders, and the Big River Foundation are all pitching in to create a park from abandoned gravel operation and sand.
“Cause talk about pride in Laredo,” said Davis. “This is something to really change the way the world sees Laredo.”
As they clear out the area they’re ensuring they preserve wildlife.
“You can see how the beaver gnawed the tree until it falls,” added Davis. “There’s wild animals out here. There’s hundreds of different kind of birds.”
The nature preserve with lakes, trails perfect for hiking or mountain biking sits nestled west of downtown Laredo.
“You can kayak, you can fish. The lakes are kind of shallow so it’s not the best for swimming but it’s a wonderful place to enjoy, relax and forget the city around you,” Ellman said.
For 67-year-old Moises Flores transforming the area is a dream come true as it brings back some cherished memories. “I used to come here when I was a kid. It’s very important for me to have it again and to enjoy it.”
The activities Laredoans can enjoy at the “lost lakes” are supported in part by the urban waters initiative for EPA. To help low income families discover and learn to protect their water resources. “Lost lakes” is city land and open to the public on a daily basis.