Lake Waco Wetlands
Wetlands Prescribed Burn
The Texas Forest Service conducted a prescribed burn, Tuesday, January 10.
A prescribed burn in the Wetlands will remove thatch, control woody plants, and expose soil for native seeds. This will allow native plants and wildlife to thrive and restore a natural and diverse ecosystem.
Prescribed burns improve wildlife habitat by restoring areas that were historically maintained by natural fires. They are also conducted to reduce the amount of available fire fuel, that accumulate naturally and from storm events. This reduces the chance for potentially destructive wildfires.
TFS staff have prepared for the upcoming burn by clearing vegetation. Fuels and vegetation are also cleared away from sensitive resources to protect them during the prescribed burns.
Prescribed burns are conducted by trained TFS personnel who meet National Wildland Firefighting certification standards. The conditions under which a prescribed burn may be conducted consider wind, temperature, humidity, and moisture levels. The plan also manages burns to avoid any damage to adjacent properties and minimize smoke in nearby residential areas.
The TFS Burn Boss advises that there may be smoke on neighboring roads. Travelers should reduce their speed and use their headlights when smoke is present.
The vision of Waco's future is how the Lake Waco Wetlands came to be. In 2000, the Waco City Council voted to increase the level of Lake Waco by seven feet. This provided an additional 20,000 acre-feet of water.
The Lake Waco Wetlands mitigates the habitat loss due to the raised lake level. The Research and Education Center adds a valuable resource to the site. This living laboratory has opportunities for research, education and recreation.
If you need access to the Research and Education Center, call (254) 848-9654 to check availability.
Pedestrian gate access to the wetland grounds is available even when the Research and Education Center is not open.
For more information, field trips, programs and workshops, or to make suggestions, please contact:
Fax: (254) 848-9217
The Lake Waco Wetlands is a division of the City of Waco Water Utility Services Department.
City of Waco Water Utilities
P.O. Box 2570
Waco, Texas 76702-2570
From Interstate 35 take Highway 6 (Loop 340) West.
Continue for about ten miles to the intersection of Highway 6 & FM 185.
Turn right on FM 185 and continue for about one mile then turn left on Eichelberger Crossing Road.
The Lake Waco Wetlands Research and Education Center will be on your right.
Lake Waco Wetlands Area Map(PDF, 371KB)
Functions & Building of a Wetland
Functions of a Wetland
- To provide habitat for native animals and plants in the central Texas region.
- To show the environmental impact of how plants in a wetland help "clean" water.
- To provide educational programs and science based activities for wetland visitors.
Building the Wetlands
- Construction began in 2001 when the lake level was raised by seven feet
- Intended for habitat mitigation as a result of the Lake Waco Pool Rise
- Over 180 acres
- Home to a variety of aquatic and terrestrial species--including plants, mammals, insects, amphibians and reptiles
Partners in construction, programs and research:
- City of Waco
- the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- Baylor University
The Research and Education Center was completed in 2004. It provides a hub in educating visitors on aspects of a wetland environment. Baylor University is actively involved in research projects that enhance aquatic, geologic and forestry education.