The Lawn at the Lakefront

The Lawn at The Lakefront is expected to include a playground, water features, an open lawn and a performance pavilion, and the theme of the Tin Man water tower is expected to be prominent in the park.

Little Elm leaders are getting their first look at what The Lawn at The Lakefront may look like.

Earlier this month the Town Council decided on a name for the 2-acre park, which will be located in the Lakefront area near the Tinman Social House entertainment venue and the “Tin Man” water tower.

Tuesday, representatives from design firm Dunaway Associates presented a concept plan of the $2.7 million park to the council.

Anita Beard, associate and landscape architect with Dunaway Associates, said the south end of the park would have more high-use amenities, such as the playground, water play elements and outdoor games.

“That ties well with the TinMan entertainment district,” Beard said. “We do know there’s going to be pedestrian movement coming from that site to this park. We want to engage with folks right away, draw them into the space and eventually into the open lawn and performance pavilion.”

Beard said the games area would likely have artificial turf for games such as ping-pong, cornhole, etc.

To the north would be a half-acre open lawn, the key programmable space. Anchoring that would be a performance pavilion.

Beard said there would also be an events plaza an area on the east side of the lawn and pavilion, approximately 10,000 square feet, for events such as festivals, Christmas markets, farmers markets, etc.

Beard said plantings would provide a buffer to the adjacent neighborhood.

With the park’s proximity to the Tin Man there may be several connections to the iconic tower.

Beard said there would be lighting elements at various parts of the park that would tie into the existing lighting of the water tower.

“This is the centerpiece for the entire area,” said Mayor David Hillock. “It ought to be tied into the overall lighting plan.”

Beard said other ideas include having an industrial style for the playground equipment to resemble the water tower. She said some of the water features could have an educational element.

While there was interest in making the pavilion structurally similar to the water tower, Councilman Neil Blais cautioned against not having enough solid backing for noise mitigation.

“My concern is if it’s too open in the back the sound is going to leak out and go into the neighborhoods,” Blais said. “We have to make sure the sound doesn’t creep back out.”

Council members said it’s also important to keep the park from being visible from the residential area to prevent non-residents from parking in the neighborhood to access the park.

“We know this will be used during the day by many people,” Beard said, “but at night you guys have a great opportunity to program it as well. This place comes to life in a different way.”

Beard said lighting, the pavement and creating a signature gateway would be important for that atmosphere.

LED lights would be used for any lighting in the project, so they can be dimmed or turned off when needed.

Construction on the park is expected to begin in the next year.

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