McKinney is looking ahead to enhancing a park that it considers a gateway to the city.
Towne Lake Park, located at 1405 Wilson Creek Parkway, was the subject of renderings presented during Tuesday’s McKinney City Council work session that gave a snapshot of what the future could hold.
“We think Towne Lake is a front door of our community,” said Michael Kowski, parks and recreation director with the city. “It is synonymous with McKinney in many respects. It’s our central park, and it deserves an upgrade.”
A three-minute video showcased boardwalks, food trucks, fitness areas and more, creating a vision for the park that will fit into multiple lifestyle functions.
“What you saw there is the potential for Towne Lake Park,” Kowski said. “What you saw there, it’s an ultimate vision. It will not happen overnight, as you can expect. However, we are aspirational in my department. We are aiming for having the best park.”
Kowski highlighted plans to bring boardwalks to the park, which will allow for experiencing the park’s lake in a new way. Images of the boardwalks showed seating areas as well.
“We’re trying to get different experiences inside the forest, so certain portions of the woods would be lit up with LED lighting,” Kowski said, adding that the lighting would enhance night walks in the trails.
Plans also showed images of a new pavilion that appears to be on the water with surrounding boulders that would serve as seating during park programming. In addition, renderings show outdoor fitness areas dotted along the park.
“We have just over a one-mile loop around the park today, and we see more and more people doing exercising as you’re going along. So we’ll pepper along the trail these great little work out areas,” Kowski said.
A “treehouse” feature will allow people to experience the park from higher up, Kowski said, adding that long term, the feature could introduce zip lining in the future. He added that the feature could also be a second stage for a simultaneous musical act while the other pavilion hosts its own performance.
The new iteration of Towne Lake park is also slated to include a dog park.
“One of the biggest requests we get is for a second dog park in McKinney, in particular east of 75,” Kowski said. “So that would check that box.”
Kowski later added that there is an unmarked cemetery by the dog park area along Wilson Creek Parkway. He said there has been a surface investigation conducted to determine the limits of the site.
“The dog park does not encroach upon what we can see,” Kowski said. “We’re also going to do a more advanced, thorough study to make sure we stay out of that potential area for the unmarked cemetery. Another reason why we’re doing a dog park there, to keep it more natural in that area to respect what may be there today.”
Kowski said the McKinney Community Development Corporation has identified the upgrade as a signature project that it would like to support.
He projected that the project overall would likely take about six to eight years.
Audrey Henvey is the reporter for the Frisco Enterprise, McKinney Courier-Gazette and Celina Record. Email her with story suggestions at email@example.com.
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