Sheldon Lake is a recreational state park and environmental learning center. The park is located in North-East Houston. The park is 2,800 acres, including the lakes, reservoirs, levees, and swamplands. The park itself is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, with the waterways open from sunrise to sunset.
Sheldon Lake State Park was founded on the site of the Sheldon Reservoir, constructed in 1942 to provide water for industries engaging in wartime production. In 1952, Texas Parks and Wildlife acquired the land. They commissioned it as the Sheldon Wildlife Management area and opened the area in 1955. Sheldon Lake State Park was designated as a state park in 1984.
There are two primary functions of the Sheldon Lake State Park; the State Park and the Environmental Learning Center. The main activity at Sheldon Lake is fishing; the lake is open daily to public fishing. Bank fishing is allowed all year round. Additionally, boats are allowed on the lake, although they are not to exceed headway speed. Along with this, Sheldon Lake State Park offers family fishing and fishing education for children with two free catch and release ponds located at the park.
The Environmental Learning Center offers many opportunities for wildlife observation. The park contains trail systems with naturalized pond environments containing wildlife, particularly alligators. Alligators are a significant staple of the park, and the park offers safety tips on how to properly engage (or more aptly not engage) with the creature. Another activity of the environmental learning center is wildlife and nature studying.
The learning center offers group programs for teaching about wildlife. Groups can get a reservation for organized nature and ecology programs. This activity is particularly useful for local schools, as Sheldon Lake State Park is a Texas Aquatic Science Certified Field Site. The park offers educational activities on pond ecology, gardening of native plants, recycling, and composting. Typically, the programs are between one and two hours long.
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