Selective tree cutting and grass mowing in both East End Park meadows should take place before the end of June. The purpose: to halt the spread of the forest into the meadows. This annual effort will help KSA maintain vital winter habitat for threatened and endangered species. These actions are part of a multi-year effort to implement Audubon Society recommendations for meadow management.
As a result of last year's mowing, the meadow produced an exceptional crop of grass last winter (below). The Lake Houston Nature Club has reported seeing eight rare species of birds in the meadow last November.
Chinese tallow trees, sometimes called Florida aspen, are an aggressive, invasive species that crowd out native plants and actually poison animals. KSA is attempting to remove these trees from the park.
Because these trees grow through their root systems like aspen, they are difficult to eradicate. Entire areas must be treated simultaneously. Treatments nine years ago addressed all tallow in the southern part of the park, including a large grove at Otter Point. The Chinese tallow trees have grown back so KSA is pursuing another project to eradicate the invasive species.
TRAILS & BICYCLES
The crushed granite trails will support mountain bikes. However, sudden stops and skids damage trails. The ruts left behind funnel rainwater which accelerates trail erosion over time. So please avoid leaving skidmarks.
HURRICANE IKE RECOVERY
Hurricane Ike caused more than $35,000 in damages to East End Park trails and boardwalks. The park closed for almost two months for repairs. By Thanksgiving 2008, all trail and boardwalk repairs had been completed. It will take several years, however, for the forest canopy to recover. In the meantime, the openings in the canopy have attracted many raptors. Hawk and eagle spottings have been common throughout the fall with the majority of the spottings happening between the main boardwalk on the south trail and Otter Point.