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Take a walk on the wild side at Cross Timbers Trail

Posted Oct. 17, 2017

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The Cross Timbers Trail was reopened by Nature Center Manager Rob Denkhaus, Tarrant Regional Water District Vice President Marty Leonard, Friends of the Nature Center President Chris Smith, Mayor Betsy Price and District 7 Councilmember Dennis Shingleton.

City officials grabbed a pair of loppers and cut a vine — rather than the traditional ribbon — to reopen the Cross Timbers Trail at the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge.

Recent work made it possible for the area to be reopened to the public. A levee breach occurred in 1990, and the area was inaccessible to the public until 2004. Several subsequent breaches occurred before the trail was closed altogether in 2015.

The area, also known as Todd Island, is the specific geographic feature that netted the center’s Natural National Landmark designation. It is a 3.5-mile looped trail, portions of which follow an old, unimproved dirt road used in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The ancient Cross Timbers forest is dominated by post oak trees. Research conducted in the 1980s indicated that some trees were more than 250 years old.

Todd Island was formed as a sandbar along an ancient bend in the West Fork of the Trinity River, which resulted in the deep sandy soils that in turn led to the development of the sand-loving Cross Timbers forest.

Notable wildlife observed on the island includes wild turkey, whitetail deer, opossum, armadillo, pileated woodpecker, and barred and great horned owls.

The Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge is a hidden wilderness of wetlands, forests and prairies near Lake Worth. At more than 3,600 acres, it is one of the largest known municipally-owned nature centers in the United States. The Nature Center was founded in 1964 with a mission to help educate the community in preserving and protecting natural areas through educational programs.

The center features 20 miles of hiking trails and is home to a resident bison herd and prairie dog town, as well as numerous indigenous wildlife species.

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Canceled City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. June 19, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.

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Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone Number Nine (Trinity River Vision TIF) Board of Directors: 4 p.m. June 20, 2018; Ideal Works, 2nd Floor Conference Room, 600 Rosedale.
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North Hi Mount Streetlights Project Meeting: 6 p.m. June 20, 2018; University of North Texas Science Center Carl E. Everett Education & Administration Building, Room 291, 3500 Camp Bowie Blvd.

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Urban Design Commission Public Hearing: 10 a.m. June 21, 2018; City Hall, second floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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Canceled City of Fort Worth “Monthly Informational Forum for M/WBEs”: 11:30 a.m. June 21, 2018; James E. Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus - Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.

Community Action Partners Council: 1:30 p.m. June 21, 2018; Fort Worth City Credit Union, First Floor Board Room, 2309 Montgomery Street.
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Fort Worth Housing Solutions Regular Meeting: 5 p.m. June 21, 2018; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Trinity River Public Facility Corporation Special Meeting: 5 p.m. June 21, 2018; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 120 East 13th Street.
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North Beach Street Streetlights Project Meeting: 6 p.m. June 21, 2018; Lakeland Street Baptist Church, 3551 cindy Drive.

Ridglea Area Infrastructure Improvements Project Meeting: 6:30 p.m. June 21, 2018; R.D. Evans Community Center, 3242 Lackland Road.

Minority and Women Business Enterprise Advisory Committee: 1 p.m. June 22, 2018; James E. Guinn Building, 1st Floor, PharmaFab Conference Room #116, 1150 South Freeway.
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Fort Worth Housing Solutions Board of Directors - Notice of Possible Quorum: 15th Annual City of Fort Worth Housing Summit: 8:30 a.m. June 23, 2018; Cendera Center, 3600 Benbrook Highway.
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Building Standards Commission Pre-Meeting: 9 a.m. June 25, 2018; City Hall, second floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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