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Crescent Bend Nature Park

Also referred to as CBNP

Crescent Bend Nature Park is owned by Bexar County and, through a partnership agreement, is maintained and improved by the City of Schertz.

This is a large park (190 acres) located on the east side of Bexar County along the Cibolo Creek.  CBNP is well along a trajectory of becoming a reasonable representation of this area's historic natural condition.

CBNP is available for enjoyment to all that arrive.  Occassionally, CBNP has attracted folks from far beyond the borders of Texas.  There are roads, walking paths, a rest-room as well as lot of nature.

Daytime activities include walking, running, bicycle riding, fishing, canoeing and kayaking.  On various schedules a visitor can enjoy instructional bird walks, astronomy opportunities and master naturalist training.  More appropriate activities are being added as interest is recognized.  Both Girl Scouts & Boy Scouts have participated in the park's welfare.

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The Friends of Crescent Bend Nature Park

Also referred to as FoCBNP

With an interest in assuring that the character of CBNP continues to be nature-centric ...

... the Friends of Crescent Bend Nature Park have been active in many ways.  One of the missions that the FoCBNP are pursuing is to understand the evolution of the park and its natural inhabitants.

CBNP was dedicated in 2009 after Bexar County performed an extensive assessment of the lands and its trees.  With this as a starting point, the Friends of Crescent Bend Nature Park hope to create a year-by-year assessment of the nature within these 190 acres.

Estimations will be made of the number of significant animals and plants within the borders of CBNP.  Each species has a season when their population is best estimated, and it is during these periods that the FoCBNP hope to gather data.  The group is currently trying to determine the particular species to watch and to learn the best time of the year to perform a census for those species.

Anyone with an appreciation for nature can freely join the FoCBNP.  The FoCBNP meet once per month in the Schertz Parks Department conference room [210-619-1850]. The group welcomes all in planning for and in performing these strategic inventories of the park's assets.


Topic Link Discussion
Crescent Bend Nature Park Pedestrian Survey
UTSA
In order to comply with one of the requirements of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, an archeaological survey was performed in 2008.  This 31 page document is the result of that survey, and contains information about the area's history, its environment and its soils.  The survey report includes the results of shovel tests on 41 acres of the park which were less affected by recent human activities.
Construction Plans for Lakewood Acres Park PLAN
These 190 acres were once identified as Lakewood Acres, which was the name of the subdivision that occupied most of the land.  The devastating floods of 1997 & 1998 began a Federal process whereby the land & home owners were bought-out, under the management of the San Antonio River Authority.  At the end of that process, control was passed onto Bexar County. While Bexar County was interacting with stake holder to prepare the land for use, the administrative name for the county's work was chosen as Lakewood Acres Park.  One of the recommendations made by stakeholders was to name the eventual park using the older, pre-development name for the region, Crescent Bend. To the pleasure of the stakeholders, Tommy Adkisson, then Bexar County Precinct 4 Commissioner, actively sought the name change voiced by the stakeholders.

This document provides a concept for the park that seemed acceptable in 2008.  A few of the perspectives have been modified in the years that followed.  Included in this drawing package is the inventory of the park's trees in a selected area of the park's acreage.
Tree List LIST
The list of significant trees found within the surveyed area of CBNP in the year 2008.
Tree Index INDEX
A description of the entries used on the tree list
Tree Key List KEY
A list of the abbreviations used on the tree list.
InterLocal Cooperation Agreement
between Bexar County and the City of Schertz
ILCA
Establishes the expectations, participation and obligations of both parties.  This document has, more or less, never been enforced, and several deviations have occurred.  Never-the-less, this nature park is receiving some of the desired attention.  With the help of volunteers, a new Schertz Parks & Recreation Manager, and a meager city budget, CBNP is slowly becoming that which it should be.
Crescent Bend Nature Park Standard Operating Procedure
Draft 12/11/2014
SOP
The FoCBNP spent many hours to create a document supporting the naturalists perspective on appropriate efforts to jump-start a relationship between the park's needs and responsibilities of the participants.  The City of Schertz has neither accepted the document, nor has it made recommendations for changes.  As it stands, this document is best used to envision some of the improvements that the FoCBNP would like to see.
Prescribed Burning Alternatives BURN1
Nonburning Alternatives to Prescribed Fire on Wildlands in the Western United States
Jones & Stokes, February 2004
Prescribed Burning Alternatives BURN2
A Review of Fire Ecology, Fire History and Prescribed Burning in Southern British Columbia
John Parminter, Fire Ecologist, May 1991
Ebird
https://ebird.org/home
EBIRD
eBird is a real-time, online checklist program launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society.  It provides rich data sources for basic information on bird abundance and distribution at a variety of spatial and temporal scales.
iNaturalist
https://www.inaturalist.org/
INAT
iNaturalist provides a place to record and organize nature findings, meet other nature enthusiasts, and learn about the natural world.  iNaturalist was originally the Master's Final Project of Nathan Agrin, Jessica Kline, and Ken-ichi Ueda at UC Berkeley's School of Information.

Topic Discussion
Considerations for All Future Surveys Method(s) to identify regions of the park so sightings can be affiliated with a location.  Possibilities include GPS readings, an appropriately gridded map available as a handout, etc.
Some species, such as birds, may need only a few large regions within the park to be specified.  Other species, such as plants, and less mobile animals, may benefit from finer region identification.
Considerations for Future Tree Surveys Essentialls: uniquely identifying tags, standards of measurement, tree species identification aids, tape measures, location specifier, boots, long pants.
Considerations for Future Plant Surveys Essentials: standards of measurement, species identification aids, location specifier, boots, long pants.
Indicator species: green algae, bamboo, chinaberry, ligustrum, cane, giant reed, dry land willow, ashe juniper, huisache, johnson grass, poison ivy, etc.
Considerations for Future Animal Surveys Migrators vs. year-round inhabitants
Indicator species: deer, hogs, racoons, possums, armadillos, frogs, fish, venomous snakes, non-venomous snakes, feral dogs & cats, birds, butterflies, etc.
Efforts to Protect and Enhance the Riparian Zone The bare banks of the Cibolo Creek erode quickly in voilent flood events.  Yet a walking path adjacent to the creek enhances the experiences for those seeking waters-edge activities.

The logical need is for more flood-resistant plants, like vetiver, to populate the park's riparian zone.

  In addition, there are locations where man-made structures, like gabions baskets, may be needed, at least until natural representations have a chance to become well established.  Gabions are rectangular wire mesh baskets filled with rock that can be placed on slopes and channels for erosion protection.  The City of Schertz is currently working with other governmental entities to find a compatible structural aid to control erosion along the park's segment of the Cibolo Creek.

Measuring the Diameter of Trees

Issue Explanation
Overview The Practitioner Will:
1- wear appropriate clothing
2- carry a diameter measurement device
3- carry a means to record the diameter, location & type of each tree
4- have a means to know the unique location of each tree
5- have a means to correctly identify each tree type
6- know how to exclude trees that are too small, are dead or are very near death
7- have a means to tag each logged tree to avoid duplication
Basics To ensure uniformity, the diameter of a tree is always measured at a set height, 4.5 feet off the ground.
For this reason, the diameter of a tree is often referred to as its DBH, or diameter at breast height.
Steel diameter tapes are standard tools used in forestry that simplify the diameter-calculating process, but a cloth tape measure and a simple calculation suffice.
1 Measure 4.5 feet up the trunk of the tree to locate the point at which to measure the tree's diameter.
If the tree trunk splits below this height, the two separate trunks are considered, for most purposes, to be separate trees and are measured as such.
If a branch occurs at this height, take the diameter either a foot below the branch or above the branch where the swelling around the branch junction no longer exists.

Perfect Tree

2 Wrap the cloth measuring tape around the tree trunk.
Avoid accidentally wrapping it at an angle or getting it caught on any twigs.
A "hugging" method with both arms reaching around the tree and feeling for any obstacles often proves most efficient and provides the most accurate, level measurement.
3 Read the number, in inches, where the measuring tape reaches the starting point and end of the tape.
This is the tree's circumference at breast height.
4 Divide the circumference by 3.14, or Pi.
The resulting number is the tree's DBH.
For example, if a tree's circumference is 22 inches, its corresponding diameter is about 7 inches.
5 Classify the tree's diameter, if needed.
While a tree's diameter is usually calculated to the nearest 1/10 of an inch, diameters are usually grouped into 1-inch classes.
This is most commonly used in timber stands or woodlots where many trees are measured.
For example, trees with a diameter between 4.6 and 5.5 inches are classified within a 5-inch diameter class.
6 When trees are leaning, measure the circumference 4.5 feet up the side of the trunk in the direction of the lean.
(the image differs from the text - Ed.)

Tree Tilt

7 For trees growing on a slope, measure 4.5 feet from the upper side of the slope.
(the image differs from the text - Ed.)

Tree on Slope

8 For trees with swelling at 4.5 feet, measure above or below the swelling.
(the image differs from the text - Ed.)

Trunk Bump

9 For trees with multiple trunks at 4.5 feet, measure and record the diameter of all trunks.

Multi-Trunk

10 This is a link to a much better illustrated reference well worth studying     Open Oregon
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