August 10, 2018, marked the official opening of Lake Kirby Nature Park. At a ceremony presided over by Leslie Andrews for the city, many folks were recognized for their work in making completion of the First Phase a reality. Most importantly was the credit given to Mitch Wright whose master planning and oversight of the construction made it happen. Now begins efforts to make the remainder of the Master Plan come to fruition. Thanks to Mitch and all others for helping to shape the future of Abilene. Please take the time to drive out to the east side of Lake Kirby and see the impressive improvements.
The mission of Lake Kirby Nature Park is to improve and expand the conservation efforts, educational programs, and family friendly recreation of this valuable resource for the enjoyment of all visitors. The WTSC is working in conjunction with the City of Abilene to improve Lake Kirby facilities which could make the lake one of the most attractive destinations in Abilene. Few cities have such large lakes within their city limits that have not been developed. A lakeside passive park could be developed on the eastern side of the lake between the existing ball fields and the lake. The active sports area should feature a central irrigated green lawn space for major events, picnic areas, several large rental pavilions, a restroom and support parking. The wooded area between the active sports area should be enhanced as an ecological habitat space in support of the Lake Kirby Nature Park proposal that includes trails connecting the active sports area to the lake edge. The Nature Park proposal seeks to support and enhance the fishing activities important to the lake patrons, but to also secure, restore, and enhance the habitat around the lake for nature lovers and educational programs. The entire lake perimeter would have ADA hiking trails for complete access to all citizens.
Abilene's First Nature Park would be: