On the Water

August 5, 2013
by Laura Prus
We first wrote about cooling off at Discovery Green back in June, when the weather was (somewhat) cooler. Now that temperatures are nearing triple digits and climbing, we thought we’d visit another one of our cool features – Kinder Lake!

This area of the park can easily be called its own ecosystem. The plant life is lush, and there are numerous critters living in the water. We are committed to keeping these creatures safe and healthy, and we even consider the largemouth bass our pets. There’s even one very large goldfish named “Poppa” swimming around! Occasionally, a turtle finds its way to Discovery Green, but because they like to snack on our water lilies, we catch them and relocate them to Buffalo Bayou. You may have also heard frogs croaking from the lake at night. They respond to different sounds in the park and sometimes like to croak along to our concerts (can you blame them?).

Plant life is also abundant along the shore lines. On the eastern side of the lake, you will find water gardens featuring Louisiana Iris, Yellow Flag Iris, Pickerel Rush, Variegated Water Celery, Lizard’s Tail and Arrow Arum. We often see you sharing lots of Instagram photos of the water lilies in this area of the lake as well. Did you know that there are several different colors like blue, pink, white and yellow?

The one-acre lake provides some of the most fun at the park! Model remote controlled sail boats are available for rentals on weekends, and if you’re feeling adventurous, kayaking is offered weekly. Every Wednesday, you can learn kayaking basics, from safety protocol to paddling, from the Buffalo Bayou Shuttle Service. You can also take a ride on the water with a professional guide every Saturday and Sunday or participate in Kayak camp the first Sunday of the month! Earlier this summer, our friend Natalie Bomke with Fox 26 stopped by to kayak with us. If you missed it, watch it here.

Of course, Kinder Lake is coolest when it becomes The ICE at Discovery Green! Each winter, we drain the model boat basin, and turn it into a 7,200 square-foot outdoor ice rink. In keeping with all of our green efforts, recycled water from the lake is used to keep the ice frozen and all of the equipment for the rink runs on renewable energy. Even the ice rink border is made from recycled plastic material! This year, the ice rink bigger than ever before, making it the largest outdoor rink in the southwest! Check it out when the ICE at Discovery Green opens on November 23.

Kinder Lake wouldn’t be the beautiful gem it is without our hardworking crew who keeps the lake healthy and safe. In the warmer months, this means keeping algae to a minimum.  Once a month in the spring and summer, our park manager and horticulturist Brian Wilmer and his team take our boat, Al G. Eader, out on the lake to distribute aluminum sulfate. This is the only chemical we use, and it doesn’t harm the fish and chemicals. Instead, it keeps the water clear!

What do you love about Kinder Lake? Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Yelp and tell us!