An area some describe as a "hidden gem" will now be more accessible to all.
The Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area, or LLELA, entered into a new chapter this month where the city of Lewisville plays a larger role.
They have now partnered with long-time operators the University of North Texas and the Lewisville Independent School District to manage the nature area as a team.
The city will now handle gate operations which means LLELA is now open to the public seven days a week. They will also take care of much of the general park maintenance.
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This will free up LLELA management to focus more on preservation of the lands inside and restoration of the wild species there.
In addition, the group hopes the agreement will allow for better outreach and marketing to the public and thus bring in more funding and allow for future expansions to the trails and recreation offerings there.
Previously, LLELA had served primarily as a research facility during the week and an educational area for school trips.
During a press tour of the 2,000-plus acre preserve Wednesday, leaders described LLELA as a look at what North Texas used to look like in its natural state. They also pointed out several species of plants and animals that had been rediscovered in the park, previously thought to be gone from the Metroplex.
LLELA offers hiking trails, picnic areas, natural gardens, river access and a heritage homestead featuring a relocated 1869 log cabin.
The public is welcome to enter at $5 per vehicle with annual passes available for $60.