Texas waterways are teeming with life. Now, Jones Park visitors will get a chance to explore this hidden world at the park’s new Turtle Pond Aquatics Lab.
The lab will play a key role in water-based nature programs for all ages including Jones’ Freshwater Ecology class, Gulf Coast Naturalist field day, and Summer Nature Camp. It will also serve as a field trip destination for local school districts. Interested school groups can request a tailored aquatics program from the park and schedule a visit to the lab by contacting the park at 281-446-8588.
With seating for 18 to 25 people, the outdoor lab includes a covered area with a connected dock and equipment such as compound microscopes and nets. Visitors can use the equipment to collect and test water samples for health indicators such as oxygen levels and clarity. Since aquatic organisms need oxygen to survive, low oxygen levels could mean trouble for an ecosystem.
Other benefits of the lab include a rainwater-collection system for sustainability, onsite storage space for faster program setup, and wheelchair ramps. The covered lab can also withstand damage from debris and logs during flood events. When it’s not in use, visitors can use the lab as a rest stop at the park’s Turtle Pond located along the Cypress Overlook Trail. For more information, visit www.hcp4.net/jones.