Glen Rose residents received two chances to voice their opinions on the future of the city’s parks last week.
The city held the meeting as the first step to preparing a Parks and Recreation Open Space Master Plan, which will “guide the city in acquisition and development of park land and facilities.”
The meetings, held Wednesday and Thursday at city hall, were led by Dennis Sims of Duncan, Sims and Stoffels, a recreation advisory company that will assist Glen Rose in designing its master plan.
“All we do is work for municipalities across Texas designing parks,” Sims said.
He also told the audience that the city is planning on applying for a grant with Texas Parks and Wildlife once the plan is adopted, which should be by Dec. 1.
The meeting allowed residential input about the future of the parks, which brought Sims to the meeting with nothing more than a blank easel to take notes.
“We don’t like to show things so we don’t have preconceived ideas,” he said.
The residents who gathered listed items they felt were important to parks in Glen Rose. The large-ticket items, which came up several times, were hiking, biking and equestrian trails, softball fields, a recreational center and a pedestrian bridge that would link the Riverwalk with the downtown area.
One resident suggested equestrian trails as a way to further accommodate rodeo and riding visitors. He said that one of the major problems riders face is finding a place to warm up their horses before a competition.
There was also talk about an arena for recreational use of horses.
“If you have a good, well-lit outdoor arena that people maintain, it would probably be good,” resident B.J. Morris said.
Sims said the company implemented a similar program in Keller.
An item that was particularly close to Mayor Pam Miller’s heart was a recreational center.
“I really think a recreational center is (needed),” she said. “I think it would be important to have an indoor pool that would serve all ages.”
Sims said a good avenue to build a pool would be to specify it with the state.
The top priorities on the grant will be determined by the residents, Sims said. He said there are two programs for recreational centers - an indoor and an outdoor. The money for the grants is provided by the state sporting goods sales tax and deadlines come twice a year.
As well as aiding the city with grant writing, Duncan, Sims and Stoffels will help the city with construction documents and park planning. Any money allocated or granted to the parks system will go toward fulfilling as many residents’ wishes as possible.