One of the benefits of calling Bridgeland home is the amount of unique amenities that come with each new addition of the community. The latest and grandest amenity will be the opening of Josey Lake. As the winner of the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) 2017 Parks and Natural Areas Award competition for process planning, the extensive, 140-acre waterway is on track to open this spring. H-GAC honors projects that serve as models for innovative approaches to designing natural areas in the region. Bridgeland was recognized because of the lake’s multi-function as a stormwater detention system and communal greenspace.
After four years of development, the unparalleled enhancement will offer residents kayaking on a three-mile waterway, birding tower, boardwalk, skyway bridge, playground-style zip line as well as additional land activities. Two pedestrian tunnels will provide residents with safe passage to the amenities without having to engage with vehicular traffic.
Providing access for outdoor enjoyment while maintaining harmony and balance with nature has been the blueprint for developing Bridgeland, since day one. You may not know it, but everything from the types of plantings, which attract wildlife, to the waterways and path system that traverse the entirety of Bridgeland’s 11,400 acres have been carefully planned and designed to encourage conservation of resources and wildlife.
The formation of Josey Lake continues to champion these guiding principles. Meadow-like plantings will line the lake’s edge. All were carefully chosen to enhance not only the look of the lake and surrounding area, but also to provide a natural habitat for the many species of waterfowl and other wildlife that will visit the area.
From the birding tower, hikers will be able to cross Josey Lake on a walking skyway bridge which gently meanders over the water to the southern banks adjacent to Bridgeland Creek Parkway and connects to the main pavilion. The pavilion is complimented by a formal lawn area where future concerts and activities will take place. Residents will also have the ability to rent the pavilion space for private events.
A 3,500-square-foot kayak pavilion will complete the experience and will include a kayak rental office, outdoor event space, boat dock, kayak storage and a boat launch, where residents can rent or store kayaks for enjoyment on the water. Kayakers will be able to venture a mile and a half in either direction from the pavilion to enjoy the serenity of the water.
Dotted along the walking path that encircles the lake, there are many places to sit and relax. Benches made from salvaged, live edge timbers will allow walkers to stop for a moment to take in the tranquil surroundings. This type of wood produces an oil that hardens when in water, making it very durable. Repurposing these timbers, which were submerged in a lake, is a perfect example of how Bridgeland continues to incorporate sustainable construction methods, while creating a beautiful outdoor space.
Strategically located informational panels that educate about different aspects of the lake’s ecosystem will give viewers a better understanding of the plant and wildlife community that comprises the area.
These interpretive narratives describe some of the permanent and migratory wildlife that can be seen, as well as various food and shelter sources for these animals. Other panels inform of applied conservation measures and how the specific plantings used around the lake are crucial to preserving a healthy balance for the ecological community that lives here. There will be 16 panels in all.
In the 1950s, rice and cattle ranches sat on what is now the Bridgeland property. In a nod to the history of the area, the lake was given its name because a vast majority of the acreage was the former Josey Ranch.
The concept of incorporating nature and the environment into one’s lifestyle is brought into full focus with the debut of Josey Lake. Future plans include extending the lake amenity to the proposed Town Center following additional phases of development.
Bridgeland’s new addition – Parkland Village – will grand open on March 24 and April 7, and Josey Lake will be one of the highlights of the day. The general public is invited to experience all the festivities as well as Josey Lake during the event. For more info, visit here.