Lake Como Park is a jewel –– originally set up around a beautiful little lake at the north end of a elongated, basin-like drainage that eventually opens into the Trinity River floodplain.  Lake Como Park map.  It now also includes a long, undeveloped, southern section of the drainage.  Overflow from the lake and local area runoff flow toward the river through the park in a long, wooded course that emerges along the back side of Ed Collett Park, which is nearly adjacent to Lake Como Park.  The lake itself apparently is fed mostly from a creek entering at the north end and through a wooded catchment area on the north. 


            In the smaller, developed, northern section of the park, Lake Como is formed by a dam with a spillway leading into the larger and undeveloped southern section.  On the west edge of the lake, there is a large, open pavilion, and a large deck goes out over the water.  There are picnic areas on the east and west sides of the lake.  A basketball court and tennis court are at the southwest corner of the park. 


            The north side of the Lake Como-Ed Collett complex begins near the intersection of Hwy I-30 and Camp Bowie Blvd. and runs southward to W. Vickery Blvd. just west of the Hulen Street bridge over the Trinity River and railroad yard. 


            From the top of the Lake Como dam, one can look across the southern section of the park, south toward Collett Park.  From the dam to the southern end of Lake Como park, it’s about 2400 feet –– and another 1500 feet from the southern boundary through Collett Park to Vickery Blvd. –– about 3/4 of a mile in all.  Add the distance from the upper part of Lake Como south to the dam, and the whole park complex stretches more than 1 mile.  At its widest point, just below the dam, Lake Como Park is almost 1/4 mile wide. 


            Photos here of the park were taken in early December 2009.  Another set of photos and additional descriptive details on the natural features will be added  here in spring 2010. 


Trees and shrubs

            Easily the most common tree in the park is cedar elm.  The paved trail from the pavilion northward passes through a beautiful grove of young cedar elms, mixed with a few individuals of bois d’arc and bumelia.  Look up and see mistletoe very common in these trees -- easiest to see in winter when the branches are otherwise bare. 


            Around the edge of the lake, the common trees are cedar elm, American elm, cottonwood, green ash, and hackberry.  Between the pavilion and the dam, three individuals of cypress have been planted and are thriving. 


            In the main entrance area (including the basketball and tennis courts and the playscape), Shumard oaks and Chinese pistacios have been planted, but intermixed among those are a number of mesquites, bumelias, and bois d’arcs from the natural upland vegetation.  The numerous mesquites suggest that the whole area probably was cleared at some point. 


            In the picnic area on the east side of the lake, large mesquites with bumelia, cedar elm, and hackberry provide the shade.  Close beside the long set of steps leading down from Merrick Street, a large colony of prickly pear cactus grows underneath one of the mesquites. 


            The dense evergreen thickets that are pervasive along the edge of the trees are mostly of two non-native species of privet –– glossy privet and quihoui privet.  Common vines in the thickets are non-native Japanese honeysuckle and sweet autumn clematis and the native species of catbrier. 




Acer negundo                             Ash-leaf maple, box elder                      Native here, naturally occurring 

Bumelia lanuginosa                     Chittamwood, gum bumelia                   Native here, naturally occurring 

Catalpa speciosa                         Northern catalpa                                 Native mostly to n USA, naturalized here

Celtis laevigata                           Hackberry                                         Native here, naturally occurring 

Fraxinus pennsylvanica                Green ash                                          Native here, naturally occurring 

Juniperus virginiana                     Red cedar, juniper                                         Native here, naturally occurring 

Maclura pomifera                       Bois d’arc                                          Native here, naturally occurring

Melia azederach                         Chinaberry                                        Non-native, naturalized

Morus alba                                 White mulberry                                  Non-native, naturalized

Pistacia chinensis                        Chinese pistacio                                 Non-native, planted here

Populus deltoides                        Cottonwood                                      Native here, naturally occurring 

Prosopis glandulosa                     Mesquite                                          Native here, naturally occurring 

Prunus caroliniana                       Cherry laurel                                      Native to south Texas, naturalized here

Quercus shumardii                      Shumard oak                                      Native here, planted in Lake Como Park 

Salix nigra                                  Black willow                                       Native here, naturally occurring 

Sapindus drummondii                   Soapberry                                                       Native here, naturally occurring 

Taxodium distichum                    Cypress                                            Native to east Texas, planted here

Ulmus americana                        American elm                                     Native here, naturally occurring 

Ulmus crassifolia                        Cedar elm                                          Native here, naturally occurring 

Ulmus rubra                               Slippery elm                                       Native here, naturally occurring 




Abelia floribunda                         Abelia                                              Non-native, planted here

Baccharis neglecta                      Roosevelt weed                                  Native here, naturally occurring 

Cornus drummondii                     Rough dogwood                                 Native here, naturally occurring 

Ligustrum lucidum                       Glossy privet                                     Non-native, naturalized

Ligustrum quihoui                        Quihoui privet                                    Non-native, naturalized

Lonicera maackii                        Amur honeysuckle                              Non-native, naturalized

Nandina domestica                      Nandina                                            Non-native, planted here

Opuntia sp.                                 Prickly pear cactus                              Native here, naturally occurring 

Parkinsonia aculeata                   Palo verde                                         Native to s Texas, naturalized here




Ampelopsis cordata                     Racoon grape                                                 Native here, naturally occurring 

Campsis radicans                        Trumpet creeper                                 Native here, naturally occurring 

Clematis ternifolia                       Sweet autumn clematis                         Non-native, naturalized

Lonicera japonica                        Japanese honeysuckle                                 Non-native, naturalized

Smilax bona-nox                         Catbrier                                                           Native here, naturally occurring 

Smilax rotundifolia                       Catbrier                                                           Native here, naturally occurring 

Toxicodendron radicans               Poison ivy                                         Native here, naturally occurring 



Updated 10 Dec 2009