Did you fill out your parks survey for Willow Park residents? That survey means the city is thoughtfully moving forward on long-term parks development in Willow Park. To develop recreational area, it takes money. And the best sources of money are grants and donations. Read on for details compiled by WP citizen Shivaun Palmer. (Sr. Editor Ginger Adams)
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Lea Young, our Willow Park city council member place 4 on May 21st, 2019, over a cup of coffee to get the latest updates on the city’s Parks and Trails Master Plan. By the way, did you know that this talented lady is a civil engineer, mother of three boys, golfer, wine enthusiast, a former ballet dancer, and exercise junkie, completing ten triathlons? Oh, yeah.
Below are the highlights of our conversation. For convenience and brevity, I have listed them in bullet points:
The Parks and Trails Master Plan will be the first of its kind in Willow Park history. Attempts have been made in past years to facilitate a plan, but were not successful. • The parks committee will oversee the approved master plan. Current members of the parks committee are Lea Young (City Council Place 4); Amy Fennell (City Council Place 2); Billy Weikert (planning and zoning commission), and Larry Johnston, (head of the parks board).
The citizens were given a survey to let the city leaders know what their ideas and preferences were for developing a parks and trails master plan.
The City has hired a consultant (Pacheco Koch Consulting – www.pkce.com). The purpose of hiring a consultant is for them to review the survey and create a final, approved master plan. In order for Willow Park to qualify for grants from Texas Parks and Wildlife, they require a professionally produced plan.
Timing for the June 4 meeting is critical. Once a final plan is approved, it will be placed into next year’s fiscal budget. Note: The City will begin their budgeting in August with the new fiscal year beginning in October.
The City is planning for a long term, well thought out approach. Once the budget is approved, they will begin developing some smaller projects to get things rolling.
The City will be able to draw from some of its reserve funds to get the smaller projects funded.
The idea of creating a 501c3 corporation for the parks and trails plan has been discussed. This would be an additional funding source where corporations and individuals could make a tax-deductible donation to create beautiful park and trail space for the city of Willow Park.
Lockheed Martin (owner of Squaw Creek Golf Course) has discussed donating 30 acres downstream between the golf course lake and Sam Bass Bend of green space as a gift to the city. This would make Willow Park eligible to receive matching funds from the state for up to half a million dollars.
We hope to see many of you at either the June 4th AM or June 4th 6:30 PM meeting to discuss the further beautification of our wonderful city.