City Council adopts Parks & Recreation’s master plan

Here is a look into what the plan has to offer Victoria residents

 

 

 

 

VICTORIA, Texas – During the development of the Parks & Recreation master plan, the City of Victoria and Halff Associates used public surveys and open house meetings to ask residents: What do you want from your parks?

Residents’ responses are contained in the Parks & Recreation master plan, which was adopted on Nov. 16 by the City Council. The plan also includes potential solutions to help meet residents’ needs. You can view the full plan at www.victoriatx.gov/parks-master-plan.

Walking trails

Based on community input, Victoria’s walking trails are overwhelmingly popular among residents. The master plan identified trails as one of the most important and frequently used recreational facilities in Victoria.

The City has 6.6 miles of multi-use trails, making up the Lone Tree Creek Hike and Bike Trail and the Riverside Park trails, including the Athey Nature Trail. Parks & Recreation’s plan recommends creating an expanded trail network. It also suggests bringing more residential areas within walking distance of a trail.

Maintenance and upgrades

In addition to the potential expansion of facilities, the plan includes recommendations for enhancing existing parks. For example, the plan proposes improvements to Parks & Recreation’s maintenance program. It notes that a more formalized maintenance schedule would help improve the department’s upkeep of landscaping, restrooms and more.

Residents also noted security as another main concern. The plan recommends working with VPD to identify locations that would benefit from upgraded lighting. Changes in park access policies and staff resources may also help residents feel safer.

Another popular request was dog parks. The plan proposes building one or more dog parks, either on new land or within an existing park. Parks & Recreation’s master plan suggested Riverside Park and Lone Tree Creek Park as possible candidates.

Parks & Recreation’s master plan theme: “A space for all of us”

“A space for all of us” is the theme for the master plan. It includes steps to make sure all residents will enjoy Parks & Recreations’ facilities. Parks and Recreation continue to seek ways to improve its playgrounds. The department plans to consider how to make parks accessible to children of all abilities. The plan’s short-term goals include:

  • recommendations for accessible playground equipment,
  • ramps
  • and other features.

The plan also identifies that many Victoria residents are not within walking distance of any park. The City continues to develop new parks. It also is looking for locations that could improve access for residents in the park service gaps.

The southside Martin Luther King Jr. Park was one of the parks to get a full conceptual rendering. It could receive an expanded playground area, a walking trail and other improvements. Other parks that also received conceptual renderings were Riverside Park and Ethel Lee Tracy Park.

Parks and Recreation’s master plan funding

The plan identifies the following grant sources that could help fund the implementation of the plan:

  • the Community Development Block Grant program;
  • the National Park Service;
  • and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department has already provided a $621,509 grant toward the duck pond reconstruction project that is scheduled to begin early next year.

The City’s budgets for fiscal years 2021 and 2022 include funding for a splash pad in Riverside Park and a dog park. Victoria has also received a $300,000 grant from the Marsha Shanklin Foundation to use towards the creation of the splash pad. The City will provide more information as it continues to move forward with these and other projects included in the master plan.

You can learn more about the City’s master plans by visiting www.victoriatx.gov/masterplans. You can also find more information about Parks & Recreation by calling 361-485-3200 or following Victoria Parks and Recreation on Facebook.

All photos are contributed by the City of Victoria.