McKinney Park plans

McKinney community members can weigh in on two concept designs that could pave the way for a new neighborhood park in the city. 

McKinney residents have until Sept. 24 to let the city know how they feel about the presence of a pond at a future park.

The city of McKinney has released a survey asking residents to share their feedback on two concept designs for a forthcoming 4.7-acre park located off Stewart Road in the McKinney Greens neighborhood.

Parks and Recreation Director Michael Kowski said efforts for the park have been about four years in the making.

“Working with a neighboring developer, we were able to acquire just over four acres of land in this neighborhood, and now that we have the land, we’re able to move the process along to deliver a brand new neighborhood park to this area of the city,” he said.

The concept plans presented today were inspired by input from neighborhood residents that were presented to the city in 2017. The resulting two concept designs both feature walking paths, a playground space and shade structures. The major difference between the two is that one keeps a current small pond on site while another proposes filling the pond in to provide more land.

Kowski said keeping the pond means the park would have a nice water feature and provides benefits when it comes to environmental management, such as collecting rainwater. That does come with the effort of maintaining the pond year-round, including during dry seasons, he said. In addition, he said, taking out the pond would provide more usable green space in the park. Kowski said the feedback provided in 2017 indicated the neighborhood residents were interested in keeping the pond.

The concept plan that includes filling in the pond also includes a dog park.

Kowski said both plans could cost about the same. The design team has a $1.5 million budget for the park.

McKinney parks are available to everybody in the city and beyond, Kowski said, but the primary customer for the forthcoming park will be the neighborhood surrounding it.

“This neighborhood is having more and more young families move into it, so the time is right to deliver this type of park,” he said.

Kowski added that the park will connect with the 72 acres nearby that were formerly the Greens of McKinney Golf Course. That land is slated to be developed and included in the updated master plan for Towne Lake Park, according to the city survey.

“That project will start master planning as well probably this year if not early next year, and so all these pieces in the end will tie together,” Kowski said.

Design and construction on the park is slated to start after public input comes in. Kowski said a final design will probably be released to the public in the first quarter of 2022.

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