March 10, 2017

Media Contact: 
Chris Smith, president
Friends of the Fort Worth Nature Center

VineCutting2017Visitors to the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge can now enjoy more of the center’s natural beauty following completion of the new Lotus Marsh Boardwalk. The Nature Center boardwalk officially opened to the public at 11 a.m. Friday, March 10. Fort Worth Councilman Dennis Shingleton cut the dedication vine (rather than a ribbon), alongside Nature Center Manager Rob Denkhaus, and Friends President Chris Smith.

The new $1.4 million boardwalk, funded in part with city bonds as well as with gate fee funds and other donations, was constructed in the past year and replaces the old boardwalk.

The old boardwalk, built in the 1970s, was sagging and many sections of it had collapsed into the water. The new boardwalk, which is 345 feet long with a 1,026 square foot pavilion, is built with much more durable material than the old boardwalk.

The Lotus Marsh Boardwalk has long been one of the most popular attractions at the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge, providing access to one of the most biodiverse areas of the Refuge where literally hundreds of species of plants and animals can be found.  From flitting prothonotary warblers to swimming beaver to lurking alligators, all can be seen nestled in amongst the willows, buttonbushes, and marsh flowering plants. In addition to providing wildlife habitat, the Lotus Marsh provides untold ecological services by cleansing our water and providing vast water storage during periods of flooding.

About the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge
The Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge, a division of the City of Fort Worth Parks and Community Services Department, is a hidden wilderness of wetlands, forests and prairies located 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 the preservation and protection of natural areas through educational programs. It 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. The Nature Center was designated a national natural landmark in 1980 by the National Park Service. For more information, visit

About Friends of the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge

Friends of the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge was established in 1974 as a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization to help financially support the Nature Center. The organization hosts a variety of annual fundraising events, hosts an on-site gift shop, and offers Nature Center memberships. Contributions have resulted in the purchase and care of the Nature Center’s bison herd and other ambassador animals, the acquisition of kayaks and canoes and for other capital improvements. For more information, visit


Spending time with people who love nature creates priceless experiences; sharing a mission with them generates exceptional satisfaction. Both are benefits of Friends membership. This award-winning organization is a strategic force in keeping the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge an exciting and innovative place to visit in our fair city.

To preserve, protect, and conserve in perpetuity the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge.

View a gallery of the photos our members have taken!