Sustainably supporting biodiversity and recreation
Accessing the area
To access the Wildlife Observation Area, park at the Lewis Nine Springs E-Way Trailhead. Boardwalk access is directly across Moorland Road. To access the lagoons trailhead, follow the paved path northwest about a quarter mile. Please beware of bicycles on the paved trail. Also, please refrain from bringing pets on the paths and boardwalk to protect this fragile habitat.
History of the area
Until the early 1980s, the area served as a storage lagoon for biosolids produced at the Nine Springs Wastewater Treatment Plant. The lagoons were decommissioned in 1994 and reconstructed between 1999 and 2001 to provide habitat and recreation while helping the District treat high volumes of water.
The lagoons were specifically designed to aid migratory shorebirds that need exposed mudflats to find food. During spring and fall, the District lowers water levels in the ponds to increase capacity in the event of heavy rainfall. The resulting exposed mudflats are particularly attractive to shoreline, marsh and water birds.
A habitat for biodiversity
Over 250 bird species have been identified in this area. It is also home to various wildlife, insects, amphibians, reptiles, turtles, frogs and bats. Some examples of what you might spy at the Wildlife Observation Area and greater Capital Springs area include:
Local partners in protecting wetlands
These organizations and agencies are valuable neighbors and partners in supporting the District’s Wildlife Observation Area.