Sheldon Lake State Park & Environmental Learning Center

Sheldon Lake State Park & Environmental Learning Center Houston's neighborhood State Park & Environmental Learning Center...a hidden gem! This state park is FREE to enjoy! No entrance fees required.
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Sheldon Lake State Park and Environmental Learning Center is comprised of two units, Sheldon Lake (access point located at the boat ramp off Pineland Rd.) and the State Park and Environmental Learning Center (main entrance at 14140 Garrett Rd.) The primary activities at the lake unit are fishing and wildlife observation. Sheldon Lake is open every day to public fishing. Boats must not exceed headway speed while operating on the lake; they may be launched at the south boat ramp on Pineland Road. Bank fishing is permitted year-round. Activities at the State Park and Environmental Learning Center include group programming, birding, wildlife/nature study, hiking, and fishing for children. The park (open daily) includes several nature trails which pass through 28 naturalized ponds, prairie, and wetland habitats. These offer opportunities to view alligators and other wildlife. (Binoculars are recommended for best viewing.) Free catch-and-release family fishing is permitted for children accompanied by adults, in the two fishing ponds. Alternative energy technologies and green building techniques (photovoltaic, solar hot water, wind turbine and ground coupled-geothermal) are demonstrated at the Pond Center. A wildscape demonstration garden shows techniques for using native plants and wildflowers to attract birds, butterflies and other wildlife to your backyard.

Operating as usual

Sheldon, Park Investigator, was patrolling the Prairie Trail when he almost stepped on some s**t that was left on the bo...
05/02/2021

Sheldon, Park Investigator, was patrolling the Prairie Trail when he almost stepped on some s**t that was left on the boardwalk. He wants to know who, or what, left their s**t in the middle of the trail. Was it a park animal or a pet? Can anyone give him a lead?

Sheldon, Park Investigator, was patrolling the Prairie Trail when he almost stepped on some s**t that was left on the boardwalk. He wants to know who, or what, left their s**t in the middle of the trail. Was it a park animal or a pet? Can anyone give him a lead?

It’s time for Friday’s Featured Creature!A Monarch Butterfly puts on a colorful display, basking its wings in the bright...
04/30/2021

It’s time for Friday’s Featured Creature!
A Monarch Butterfly puts on a colorful display, basking its wings in the bright afternoon sun as it stops to drink some privet nectar. But what’s this? It looks like this impostor forgot one detail! The black band on its hind wing gives away this butterfly’s true identity: A Viceroy. Both butterfly species are toxic, foul-tasting and have evolved to mimic each other’s warning colors to deter predation. Viceroy’s can be found fluttering through meadows, marshes, swamps, and wetlands; places that house the willow and poplar trees their caterpillars feed on. The adults feed on flower nectar and have also been observed eating dung, carrion, and fungi. Being brush-footed butterflies, they appear to only possess two sets of legs instead of the standard three. This is because they have one set of vestigial legs curled up near their head. It’s been speculated that the hairs on these legs act as additional sensory organs, though this hypothesis has not been confirmed.

It’s time for Friday’s Featured Creature!
A Monarch Butterfly puts on a colorful display, basking its wings in the bright afternoon sun as it stops to drink some privet nectar. But what’s this? It looks like this impostor forgot one detail! The black band on its hind wing gives away this butterfly’s true identity: A Viceroy. Both butterfly species are toxic, foul-tasting and have evolved to mimic each other’s warning colors to deter predation. Viceroy’s can be found fluttering through meadows, marshes, swamps, and wetlands; places that house the willow and poplar trees their caterpillars feed on. The adults feed on flower nectar and have also been observed eating dung, carrion, and fungi. Being brush-footed butterflies, they appear to only possess two sets of legs instead of the standard three. This is because they have one set of vestigial legs curled up near their head. It’s been speculated that the hairs on these legs act as additional sensory organs, though this hypothesis has not been confirmed.

Last call for StoryWalk®!Don't miss out on your chance to splash like an otter with our StoryWalk®, starting on our Swam...
04/29/2021

Last call for StoryWalk®!
Don't miss out on your chance to splash like an otter with our StoryWalk®, starting on our Swamp Rabbit Trail
This interactive, educational storybook walk-through goes down after May 2nd.
The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. StoryWalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.

Last call for StoryWalk®!
Don't miss out on your chance to splash like an otter with our StoryWalk®, starting on our Swamp Rabbit Trail
This interactive, educational storybook walk-through goes down after May 2nd.
The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. StoryWalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.

04/27/2021
Dutch Oven Cooking Recipes!

Check this out! We had a blast collaborating with Huntsville State Park and Lake Livingston State Park to make some delicious, home-cooked Dutch oven recipes.

Let us know if you try one!

Watch your head, it’s Friday’s Featured Creature!Walk into a grove of Yaupon Holly and you’ll quickly become acquainted ...
04/23/2021

Watch your head, it’s Friday’s Featured Creature!
Walk into a grove of Yaupon Holly and you’ll quickly become acquainted with the Basilica Orbweaver! These small arachnids love to congregate in the park’s shrubs and low-growing trees, covering the branches with their sticky spider silk. While they are members of the Orbweaver family, they don’t build the iconic wagon wheel webs. Their webs are decidedly more three-dimensional compared to those built by other members of their Taxa. The outer rim is more spherical, while the inner disc is raised into a dome shape resembling the Capital Building. This dome, or basilica, gives the spider its name. unlike other spider species, they don’t tear down and rebuild the web each day. They prefer to maintain it with small repairs. When the web is no longer viable, they simply build a new one on top of it.

Watch your head, it’s Friday’s Featured Creature!
Walk into a grove of Yaupon Holly and you’ll quickly become acquainted with the Basilica Orbweaver! These small arachnids love to congregate in the park’s shrubs and low-growing trees, covering the branches with their sticky spider silk. While they are members of the Orbweaver family, they don’t build the iconic wagon wheel webs. Their webs are decidedly more three-dimensional compared to those built by other members of their Taxa. The outer rim is more spherical, while the inner disc is raised into a dome shape resembling the Capital Building. This dome, or basilica, gives the spider its name. unlike other spider species, they don’t tear down and rebuild the web each day. They prefer to maintain it with small repairs. When the web is no longer viable, they simply build a new one on top of it.

04/22/2021
Earth Day 2021

This Earth Day, take a few minutes to visit our restored coastal prairie. Listen to the stridulations of the Katydids as the wind blows through the grass.

04/21/2021

It's time for the Wild Word of the Week!

Sheldon, Park Investi-Gator, was pruning the trees around our fishing ponds when he noticed a strange growth along one o...
04/18/2021

Sheldon, Park Investi-Gator, was pruning the trees around our fishing ponds when he noticed a strange growth along one of the branches. Can someone give him a clue to what he’s found?

Thanks for your help everyone! Sheldon has deduced that the growth on the tree branch is actually a praying mantis ootheca! When a mantis lays her eggs in the fall, she creates a foamy substance, called the ootheca, that covers the eggs and attaches them to a structure. The foam quickly hardens, giving the eggs protection from both the elements and potential predators. When the eggs hatch in the spring, the mantis nymphs exit the ootheca and begin searching for food. They’re born hungry, and if they can’t find enough food in their habitat, they resort to eating each other!

Sheldon, Park Investi-Gator, was pruning the trees around our fishing ponds when he noticed a strange growth along one of the branches. Can someone give him a clue to what he’s found?

Thanks for your help everyone! Sheldon has deduced that the growth on the tree branch is actually a praying mantis ootheca! When a mantis lays her eggs in the fall, she creates a foamy substance, called the ootheca, that covers the eggs and attaches them to a structure. The foam quickly hardens, giving the eggs protection from both the elements and potential predators. When the eggs hatch in the spring, the mantis nymphs exit the ootheca and begin searching for food. They’re born hungry, and if they can’t find enough food in their habitat, they resort to eating each other!

It’s time for Friday’s Featured Creature!Wading gracefully through the shallow pond, the Black-necked Stilt carefully sc...
04/16/2021

It’s time for Friday’s Featured Creature!
Wading gracefully through the shallow pond, the Black-necked Stilt carefully scans the water’s surface. Suddenly, it thrusts its head forward, catching a small aquatic invertebrate with its beak. These small-bodied shorebirds prowl through both salt and freshwater shallows, hunting for small invertebrates, amphibians, and fish. They also nest near the water, digging out indents in small, sandy islands or nesting atop clumps of vegetation. Though small in stature and lacking more conventional defenses, these birds have a few tricks to deter nest predation. As a group, they engage in what is called ‘popcorn display.” The flock surrounds its target, hopping, jumping, and flapping in tandem until the interloper is driven away. When working alone they draw attention away from the nest by flying around and making lots of noise. They’ll also trick potential predators, either by faking injury to lure them away, or by moving between different locations and pretending to incubate eggs.
Thanks Tom and Florence Rollins for the great picture!

It’s time for Friday’s Featured Creature!
Wading gracefully through the shallow pond, the Black-necked Stilt carefully scans the water’s surface. Suddenly, it thrusts its head forward, catching a small aquatic invertebrate with its beak. These small-bodied shorebirds prowl through both salt and freshwater shallows, hunting for small invertebrates, amphibians, and fish. They also nest near the water, digging out indents in small, sandy islands or nesting atop clumps of vegetation. Though small in stature and lacking more conventional defenses, these birds have a few tricks to deter nest predation. As a group, they engage in what is called ‘popcorn display.” The flock surrounds its target, hopping, jumping, and flapping in tandem until the interloper is driven away. When working alone they draw attention away from the nest by flying around and making lots of noise. They’ll also trick potential predators, either by faking injury to lure them away, or by moving between different locations and pretending to incubate eggs.
Thanks Tom and Florence Rollins for the great picture!

04/16/2021

It's National Stress Awareness Day!

Take a brief minute to stop scrolling, breathe, enjoy a little slice of Sheldon Lake, and be happy in the fact that it's Friday!

Some quick tips for helping reduce everyday stress:
1- Exercise. Everyone says it, and for good reason. Exercise can release endorphins in your brain, triggering a happy response. It also lowers stress hormones like cortisol, so it's a two-fer!
Not enough time? Talk a walk during your lunch break, take the long/ round-about way to your car, or take dinner tonight to the park with the family and a hike!

2- Light candles or use aromatherapy diffusers. Creating a calm space reduces distraction in the mind.
At your office desk? Give your office a quick clean sweep to reduce anxiety that accompanies clutter.

3- Reduce caffeine intake. Caffeine can make us jittery and hyper-aware, so instead, this afternoon try replacing that with water. Bonus points if it gets you up frequently to visit the office water jug!

Don't forget - tomorrow is International Plant Appreciation Day!If you are among the first 25 to stop by the pond center...
04/12/2021

Don't forget - tomorrow is International Plant Appreciation Day!

If you are among the first 25 to stop by the pond center starting 10am tomorrow, treat yourself to a free potted prairie plant!

Don't forget - tomorrow is International Plant Appreciation Day!

If you are among the first 25 to stop by the pond center starting 10am tomorrow, treat yourself to a free potted prairie plant!

As you enjoy a day in the park, take care that you don't bring one of these nuisance species with you!
04/10/2021

As you enjoy a day in the park, take care that you don't bring one of these nuisance species with you!

As you enjoy a day in the park, take care that you don't bring one of these nuisance species with you!

04/09/2021
Featured Creature: American Bumblebee

It’s time for Friday’s Featured Creature!
When it comes to flowers, the American Bumble Bee isn’t picky. From Thistles to Rose Mallows to Goldenrod, these busy bees buzz from blossom to blossom, collecting pollen and nectar to bring back to their nest. Like their honeybee cousins, Bumble Bees are very social insects, living in colonies of up to 600 individual works. New colonies are created each spring when the Queen Bees born the previous year emerge from their hibernation. They first seek out a suitable nest location underground, usually under grass thatch or in an abandoned burrow. Then, they begin gathering pollen and nectar. After gathering enough food stores, they lay their first batch of eggs. They tend to these eggs by themselves, guarding them and keeping them warm by vibrating their wings. After the eggs hatch and mature, these new daughter-workers take over the tasks of colony maintenance, while the queen focuses all her energies on egg production.

Sheldon, Park Investi-Gator, has gotten himself into some trouble! He was egg-sitting for another alligator and managed ...
04/04/2021

Sheldon, Park Investi-Gator, has gotten himself into some trouble! He was egg-sitting for another alligator and managed to lose track of the entire clutch. Can you help him find all 28 eggs before their mother returns?

Sheldon, Park Investi-Gator, has gotten himself into some trouble! He was egg-sitting for another alligator and managed to lose track of the entire clutch. Can you help him find all 28 eggs before their mother returns?

It’s time for Friday’s Featured Creature!Birds of a feather flock together and the Black Vulture is no exception. Take a...
04/02/2021

It’s time for Friday’s Featured Creature!
Birds of a feather flock together and the Black Vulture is no exception. Take a drive down Garret Road and you’ll see flocks of these rugged raptors roosting in Sheldon Lake’s cypress groves. These vultures are very family focused birds, staying in monogamous pairs for several years and living in flocks with their extended family. Black vultures have no voice box and therefore no call. They communicate with each other through hisses and grunts. Take care when near a nesting site; as a defense mechanism, they vomit on interlopers.
Like most birds, they have a weak sense of smell. They’re often seen tailing the more solitary turkey vulture, who possesses a much stronger olfactory sense. When their marks find some tasty carrion, the more numerous black vultures often chase the turkey vulture away. Their bald heads allow them to tear through the rotting carcasses without making a mess of their feathers. Most of their diet is made up of dead meat. Sometimes they’ll indulge in catching live skunk, night heron, or even young livestock, as a treat.
Thanks Stephanie Trice for the great photo!

It’s time for Friday’s Featured Creature!
Birds of a feather flock together and the Black Vulture is no exception. Take a drive down Garret Road and you’ll see flocks of these rugged raptors roosting in Sheldon Lake’s cypress groves. These vultures are very family focused birds, staying in monogamous pairs for several years and living in flocks with their extended family. Black vultures have no voice box and therefore no call. They communicate with each other through hisses and grunts. Take care when near a nesting site; as a defense mechanism, they vomit on interlopers.
Like most birds, they have a weak sense of smell. They’re often seen tailing the more solitary turkey vulture, who possesses a much stronger olfactory sense. When their marks find some tasty carrion, the more numerous black vultures often chase the turkey vulture away. Their bald heads allow them to tear through the rotting carcasses without making a mess of their feathers. Most of their diet is made up of dead meat. Sometimes they’ll indulge in catching live skunk, night heron, or even young livestock, as a treat.
Thanks Stephanie Trice for the great photo!

04/01/2021

Learn about this week’s Wild Word of the Week!

Spring is here, and we are excited to celebrate the season outdoors with you all!With warmer temperatures coming and hol...
03/31/2021

Spring is here, and we are excited to celebrate the season outdoors with you all!

With warmer temperatures coming and holidays to enjoy, we want to remind and encourage visitors to be mindful of our Leave No Trace policy. Whatever you bring into the park, you must bring out with you or dispose of properly. Confetti, plastic eggs/ grass, eggshells, and litter in general are damaging to the health of our wildlife and their habitats.

Help us keep our park wild!

#betteroutside #txstateparks

Spring is here, and we are excited to celebrate the season outdoors with you all!

With warmer temperatures coming and holidays to enjoy, we want to remind and encourage visitors to be mindful of our Leave No Trace policy. Whatever you bring into the park, you must bring out with you or dispose of properly. Confetti, plastic eggs/ grass, eggshells, and litter in general are damaging to the health of our wildlife and their habitats.

Help us keep our park wild!

#betteroutside #txstateparks

03/30/2021

It's National Take a Walk in the Park Day!

What better place to celebrate than Sheldon Lake State Park? Come stretch out your legs, check out our trails, and enjoy the diverse wildlife spanning multiple habitats.

#betteroutside #txstateparks

Once again, it’s Friday’s Featured Creature!As Winter turns to Spring, the Black-and-white Warbler makes its way north t...
03/26/2021

Once again, it’s Friday’s Featured Creature!
As Winter turns to Spring, the Black-and-white Warbler makes its way north to its breeding grounds. This checkerboard chick is usually found in deciduous forests, crawling up and down dead trees and branches on the hunt for tasty insects that may be hiding in the bark. During the spring migration their favorite food is juicy moth and butterfly larvae. Males reach the breeding grounds first, allowing them to stake out their territories. They aggressively defend their borders from other males and chasing away any other interlopers. After forming a mated pair, the female takes the lead on nest construction, leading the males to prospective nesting sites.
Thanks Tom and Florence Rollins for the great photo!

Once again, it’s Friday’s Featured Creature!
As Winter turns to Spring, the Black-and-white Warbler makes its way north to its breeding grounds. This checkerboard chick is usually found in deciduous forests, crawling up and down dead trees and branches on the hunt for tasty insects that may be hiding in the bark. During the spring migration their favorite food is juicy moth and butterfly larvae. Males reach the breeding grounds first, allowing them to stake out their territories. They aggressively defend their borders from other males and chasing away any other interlopers. After forming a mated pair, the female takes the lead on nest construction, leading the males to prospective nesting sites.
Thanks Tom and Florence Rollins for the great photo!

Address

14140 Garrett Rd
Houston, TX
77044

Opening Hours

Tuesday 08:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 08:00 - 17:00
Thursday 08:00 - 17:00
Friday 08:00 - 17:00
Saturday 08:00 - 17:00
Sunday 08:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(281) 456-2800

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Comments

My friend and I found this pitbull at the park! Very friendly, no name tag but was wearing a collar! We tried calling animal Control and other places but no one was picking up! I could not take him home… but If you would like this dog or know whose dog it is please go get him!
This is such a great place for families to go in order to stay active and learn about their environment! As I have been trying to share more about the environment since the pandemic, I came across the Kiss the Ground Educational Cut Documentary! This film covers topics such as erosion and photosynthesis, which is great for kids! The documentary is free on the Kiss the Ground movie website and it is a great way to start getting involved with sustaining the world! Let me know what you think!
We found all 10 monsters! But by the time we got back we had no one to tell😕. The kids had a lot of fun figuring out the clues and running around. Thank you!!
What is the name of these beautiful flowers? We saw them on our walk this morning.
When are the lotus blossoms in bloom in your park?
Didn't see any alligators this time but got some awesome pics of flowers and dragonflies! 😊
What a wonderful place to hike so close to the city!😊
Learning is FUNdamental
Fun at Sheldon Lake with Garden Villa
So much fun with my boys!