Monday, November 30, 2009

Green Slime & No Boats On Fosdic Lake In Fort Worth

I wish I had the napping ability. Somehow that gene didn't make it into my DNA. I've been up since 5, straining my brain, swimming in frigid water at 7, then more brain straining.

Then around noon I needed some upright activity out of a computer chair and away from monitors.

So, I went to Oakland Lake Park to walk around Fosdic Lake. I'd not been to this location in awhile. The tree leaves were being a bit colorful today, as you can see.

But, the leaves were not the only thing that was being colorful at Fosdic Lake today.

As you walk around Fosdic Lake you see several signs advising against eating fish you catch in the lake. And forbidding boating and swimming.

Now, swimming I can understand. First off Fosdic Lake is home to a lot of turtles. I had a turtle attempt to kill me once while swimming in Lake Grapevine. It was the last time I swam with turtles. They are very territorial. And they travel in packs.

But why ban boats on Fosdic Lake?

I have a kayak that would be fun to take out on Fosdic Lake, it being the body of water closest to where I live, other than the Trinity River, which I would be not want to kayak in.

Today as I was crossing the bridge that goes over Fosdic Lake's dam spillway, I saw what may be the reason one might not want to put ones boat in Fosdic Lake.

On both sides of the spillway there is what can only be described as neon green slime. It looks the color of anti-freeze, but intensified.

You can see where the green has stained a rock or two. What chemical is this green stuff? One can't help but wonder.

Is it corrosive? Would it eat at your skin and the structure of your boat? How do the fish, birds and turtles survive and seem to thrive in this chemical stew? Do they build up an immunity?

With Fort Worth closing the city pools, wouldn't it be a nice thing to de-pollute Fosdic Lake and make a swimming beach? Fort Worth could really use a clean lake with a nice beach. Fosdic Lake is one block off the bus line on Oakland Boulevard.

When Fort Worth's Parks & Recreation Director, Richard Zavala, finally got his way and all Fort Worth pools but one where shut down, he told the city council that Fort Worth kids had "other options." When asked what those options were this nincompoop said "Hurricane Harbor."

Hurricane Harbor is in Arlington. It costs about $30 to get in. And there is no mass transit available to take Fort Worth kids to Arlington if they did have $30.

Is Zavala one of the geniuses behind the attempt to dye the Trinity River Purple? Maybe he should check out Fosdic Lake and see what a good job is being done there of dying Fosdic Lake neon green.


Galen said...

This post brought back so many memories. Having grown up in Meadowbrook, I spent a lot of time at Oakland Park as a kid. My dad would take us there to play on the playground. You know, the typical 1950s playground with a set of very tall swings, a merry-go-round (the kind run on kid power), and a very steep, high slide, which sat on compacted earth as hard as bricks and set in great jagged hunks of concrete that had long been exposed from the earth. We would take wax paper with us and wax the slide so we'd go down faster. Needless to say, this type of playground became extinct when lawsuits became popular. We'd also feed the ducks, go there for Girl Scout events, play on the dam (no bridge back then). As teenagers, we gathered there, with a band of our friends performing in the pavilion built by the WPA.

I would like to see FW clean up Fosdick Lake. If it were located in the Hulen or TCU area, I bet they would.

Durango said...

I'd totally forgotten doing so, but when I was a kid we waxed down our park's slide to go faster too. I lived across the street from the city park in Burlington, WA called Maiben Park. It had all those type fun things that you don't see anymore, tall swings, tall slide, monkey bars.

Oakland Lake Park still has playground equipment. It's that plastic safe type you see everywhere.

Galen said...

I had not heard about FW's decision to close all but one of the public pools next summer. After seeing it on your blog, I found the Star-Telegram article about it and read all the comments, pro and con. The argument that FW should move towards year-round, indoor pools that would see more use does have some merit, I suppose. But I admit to a sentimental attachment to the outdoor neighborhood pools of my youth. The reference to "other options" is ludicrous: Hurricane Harbor is out of reach, geographically and financially, to those who make use of the public neighborhood pools. There are plenty of YMCA pools, but the cost of a membership or even a single admission is too high for low-income folks or those with many children. And of course the rich have their country club pools. Arlington has many nice public pools and water parks, but again transportation is a problem.

The best financial decision might be to have an arrangement with the YMCAs, in which the city subsidizes the cost of pool passes for low income folks. That would save them the cost of maintenance, liability insurance, staff, etc. I just think in Texas, where the summer heat prohibits many outdoor activities, it is important to make swimming accessible to kids, who otherwise will spend most of their time indoors, watching TV or playing video games.

Durango said...

You pretty much ooze common sense, don't you? Did there used to be a swimming beach on Lake Worth? Called Casino Beach? Or something like that. A centrally located lake would be ideal. If a swimming/beach lake were part of the bizarre Trinity River Vision I'd likely be more inclined to see some merit in the Vision.

Galen said...

I vaguely remember Casino Beach, but don't think I ever went there. Have you been to Burger's Lake? It's a sort of 1930's "resort" with spring-fed lake, surrounded by huge trees, a sandy beach on one end, diving platforms, trapeze, big old-fashioned slide, etc, nice shady picnic areas. But it's privately owned and somewhat pricey if you have a carload of kids.

Durango said...

I have driven by the entry to Burger's Lake. But I have not had the pleasure of swimming or picnicking there.

Since the city of Fort Worth is so fond of using eminent domain when it really isn't for the public good, it might be nice if for once Fort Worth used eminent domain for the public good and take that lake and turn it into a public park.