A group of citizens who love Boggy Nature Park and want to see it utilized to its fullest extent have formed an advisory committee to develop a plan for the improvement of the park. In July, this group asked Calhoun County Commissioners Court for its support of initiating a process to develop such an improvement plan. While the County has no source of funding to improve Boggy, they are supportive of the Committee’s efforts to identify needed improvements and the Committee researching ways to fund future improvements. The Commissioners Court is in the process of establishing a Parks Board. This Parks Board will provide more authority for the county to operate, fund and oversee county parks. The Boggy Nature Advisory Committee, which includes representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, Service Club and other POC residents, will collaborate with the new Parks Board in whatever procedures they establish.

Boggy Nature Park was acquired by the county in 2006 “for a park and wetlands wildlife habitat; and for public access to Boggy Bayou and Matagorda Bay…” The committee wants to see it used to its best in this regard. While in the beginning stages of its work, the Boggy Committee has identified ideas for improvement that include better roads, a walking trail, a kayak trail,  additional day use sites, enhancing the nature experience by adding educational and informational signage, and ultimately addressing the serious erosion problem.

A pressing need at Boggy is road improvement. Anyone who has gone there, whether to fish, bird or sight-see, has experienced the rough road conditions. Given that Boggy offers excellent fishing and kayaking as well as the only other beach in POC besides Kingfisher Beach Park, improving the roads to this treasure is an important community feature.

Likewise, improving the nature experience and bird habitat at Boggy will have a positive economic impact for our community. According to a USDA Forest Service National Survey, nearly 20 million people took birding trips away from home in 2009 and bird viewing and photography is “the most steadily growing (recreational) activity in the United States.”

Recently, Mr. Dan Walker, Project Leader, Coast Bend Ecosystems – Texas Parks and Wildlife, toured Boggy with advisory group members pointing out various habitats for resident and migrating birds. He believes Boggy Park has excellent and untapped potential as a birding site. With preservation and protection of some of the habitat by limiting vehicles in upland and sensitive areas, there is potential for nesting use by Wilson’s Plovers and Willets. Addition of a water drip and feeding station in the oak motts would result in excellent birding/photo opportunities during spring migration of neo-tropic song birds. Dan advises that when he hosts birding tours on Powderhorn Ranch and the visitors ask where else they can bird, he directs them to Boggy Park.

Boggy provides opportunity to see a clapper rail, a secretive marsh bird. Brigid Berger, local Master Naturalist states that she sees 25-30 species on her monthly birding trips in Boggy Park.

One of the most serious needs at Boggy is putting a stop to the littering, dumping and disposal inside the park. Household trash, landscape debris, carcasses from fish and game cleaning and other rubbish all finds its way into Boggy Park. It threatens the wildlife in their natural habitat, threatens the safety of the humans wanting to utilize the area and destroys the beauty and experience. Victoria Electric employees have invested enormous time and effort in the three times a year Beach Clean Up at Boggy and have removed tons of garbage and scrap from the park. Historically, many have used this area to ‘dump’ unwanted items, but it is not a legal or appropriate place to dump. There are other ways to dispose of these things and protect the resources of Boggy Nature Park. If all POC citizens would try to get the word out that the clean-up and improvement is an organized effort and dumping is not allowed, we can make progress much faster. If you see others dumping please ask them not to.

Your ideas and suggestions are welcomed as the Committee proceeds. Together we can make Boggy a more beautiful nature area and a benefit to our community. If you have not been out to Boggy recently, you should go. It is a beautiful example of our natural world. Kayak and wade fishing, hiking and walking, birdwatching and sunset viewing are all special at Boggy Nature Park. What are your favorite things to do there? Please let us know so we consider it in the plan for the improvement there. Contact Kelly Gee, Joe Wiatt, Troy Wygrys, Brigid Berger, or Allan Berger with your thoughts and ideas. Once a specific plan is developed, comments will be sought from the community.

One comment for “Advisory Committee Works to Improve Boggy Nature Park by Kelly Gee and Brigid Berger”

1
SMH

Putting up signs warning of video surveillance and the fines for dumping might deter some. This has worked in several cities, even without the actual cameras in place.

August 21st, 2017 at 10:59 am

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