The city of Lewisville is considering converting the Old Town Aquatic Facility into a splash pad.
Stacie Anaya, director of parks and recreation, told the City Council at a July 12 work session that this would help the city be more efficient with its water, and it would address a problem of staffing. The city had trouble hiring lifeguards to staff the aquatic park this summer.
“Imagine what difficulty it would have been if we had to open two aquatic facilities with what we’ve been struggling with there,” Anaya said. “So we think we can provide an aquatic experience that can run a longer season but will also be a better use of resources.”
Council members favored the idea, saying a splash pad should be a popular attraction.
“This is great. This has been a long time coming,” said Councilwoman Ronni Cade. “For the last five years this is the facility that I’ve used. And the vast majority, I’d say 90 percent of the time, at this park were pre-school (children) and infants.”
Anaya provided updates on several other parks projects:
Lake Park Master Plan
Anaya said the city is looking to expand the scope of the Lake Park Master Plan, which originally included the day use and RV camping area, to also include the nearby marina.
She said it’s important to redevelop the marina area to provide cohesiveness between the two amenities. The city plans to submit an RFQ in the next month or two for the designer of the marina project.
Master plan for parks, trails and tree canopy
Anaya said the city had applied for a grant to update its parks and trails master plans and to create a tree canopy plan. She said the city did not receive the grant but that it scrubbed the budget enough to find funds for the plans.
Anaya said the city is getting feedback from Castle Hills on the residents’ park needs since the election to annex Castle Hills is coming up in November.
Anaya said the city is partnering with the University of North Texas and Lewisville ISD on an air quality study to determine where to increase tree canopy for urban heat areas and diminished shade zones. UNT will also conduct health intercept surveys to gauge how people feel their health is impacted by access to parks.
Timber Creek Trail extension
The Timber Creek Trail extension east of Central Park to Corporate Drive is in the design phase.
“That’s really going to help the residents of the triangle be connected to the existing park system that exists now,” Anaya said.
She said the name of the extension will be coming before the Parks Board and the City Council at a future meeting.
The city is working on the design of a neighborhood park at the intersection of Kia Drive and Southwest Parkway.
Anaya said it will take $3 million to design and build. The city is preparing for a grant request and gathering resident input, which includes a meeting with residents Sept. 18 at the Movement on the Parkway event.
Valley Ridge Trail
Anaya said the city is at the beginning of the Valley Ridge Trail, which will complete the off-street trail portion of the DCTA A-Train Rail Trail. The 1.6-mile section in Lewisville will run along Valley Ridge Boulevard from Mill to College streets.
“For the entire 19 miles (of the Rail Trail) you don’t have to ride on the street,” Anaya said, adding that the project should be done in six months.
Thrive Nature Park
The city plans to celebrate the opening of the Thrive Nature Park, located at 1951 S. Valley Parkway, on Aug. 28 in conjunction with the Thrive+1 event.
Anaya said the Texas Parks and Wildlife project manager visited the park in June and praised the site, likening it to the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area.
Future phases include a canopy-level hammock, a nature-based playground.
Garden Ridge Trail
Anaya said the city is at the end of the Garden Ridge Trail project, which runs from the intersection of Interstate 35E and Garden Ridge to LL Woods Park. The shared lanes are available at Civic Circle via North Valley Parkway. Signage with trail information will be coming in the fall.
Herring Recreation Center
The city continues to update the Herring Recreation Center. The city has improved floors and sound materials in back gym.
“We’re about to pour the new sports court in front gym to make it viable for rental income and to help us balance some of the usage,” Anaya said. “Thrive is really inundated with gym use, so we’ll have this available.”
Green Ribbon project
Anaya said the a Green Ribbon project is in the works to provide large trees and native plantings in the medians at the intersections of Interstate 35E and Valley Ridge Parkway, and FM 3030 and Business 121.
Anaya said the project should begin in August and will be important in providing an identity focal point.
“People will know they’re coming into Lewisville,” Anaya said.
Other future projects
The city is seeking funds for the design of the southern section of the A-Train Rail Trail to Coppell and Carrollton.
“That will take us to our southern border,” Anaya said, adding that the city hopes Carrollton can extend its portion of the trail north to connect the two.
The city will also replace the wayfinding signs at Railroad Park and install interpretive signs at the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area.
Others projects include the removal of the playground at Highlands Park, the playground replacement at Raldon Park and the bridge board replacement at Fox Creek.