Note: This item is more than two years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references.
June 23, 2011
New Lofty Heights for Sheldon Lake State Park
Thanks to Private Donations, Observation Tower Opens at Urban Park
HOUSTON – The welcome rains subsided just in time for a crowd of 100-plus to witness the unveiling of the new John Jacob Observation Tower at Sheldon Lake State Park Thursday morning, on the east side of Texas’ largest city.
The tower, named for native Houstonian, civic leader and executive at Anheuser-Busch, John Jacob, cost $1.5 million to construct—all of which was funded by private donations—and features an access ramp, stairs and an elevator that ultimately provide unprecedented views of the park, reservoir and beyond from atop the 82-foot-tall structure.
“This tower is going to become the signature item for this park. People are going to come here to climb to the top and take in the view, said Sheldon Lake State Park superintendent Robert Comstock. “The dream and vision to have this tower was on paper, but without the private donations, it never would have become a reality.”
Fundraising efforts for the project began in 2003 by then TPW Commissioner Al Henry, also a Houston native. Henry helped secure millions of dollars toward Sheldon’s future and thought the new tower would be a fitting tribute if named in honor of Jacob, his lifelong friend and professional colleague.
During the ceremony, former TPWD Executive Director and current Audubon Board of Directors member Andy Sansom also announced plans for Audubon to raise more than $6 million in additional funds for a new visitor and interpretive center to be built on site at the park.
Once an old fish hatchery facility and Wildlife Management Area, Sheldon Lake State Park today is a 2,800- acre preserve, lake and Environmental Learning Center located only 15 miles from the downtown Houston skyline, and serves a unique mission to nearby urban residents, attracting more than 60,000 people each year (including some 4,000 students from surrounding inner city and suburban schools) to its facilities, fishing ponds and restored wetlands and tallgrass prairies.
For more information, contact the park at (281) 456-2800.
Publication — Permission is granted to publish, in whole or in part, any news releases on this page.
Print — A print-friendly version of the news release shows only the release with font sizes set to the browser default.
Plain Text — Plain text versions of TPWD news releases are provided for copying and pasting into editing software.
To copy text into an editing software:
- Click a Plain Text link to display the plain text page in your browser.
- Select all.
- Paste in a document in your editing program.
Permalink — This is a direct link to the news release, omitting the navigation context from the URI.
English/Spanish — News releases posted in both English and Spanish have one of these links.
If you have any suggestions for improving these pages, send an e-mail to email@example.com and mention Plain Text Pages.