Residents, city officials talk about future of saving ‘green space’

Posted Tuesday, Jun. 11, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Many changes are being made in Weatherford as new businesses arrive and developments are made.

Residents of the city and city officials discussed further developments at a meeting Thursday concerning developments that would preserve the green space remaining in Weatherford.

Danielle Felts, Director of Parks and Recreation, said the city’s goal is to preserve that green space and in a way that would still offer an opportunity to generate revenue.

Some of that space has already been developed with the 3.5 mile bike route through Heritage Park which has gained popularity.

Dunaway Associates representatives described further plans they have developed for the park that would be put in place on either side of Jack Borden Freeway between Santa Fe and Highway 180.

Much of the planning is based around the fields, trees and creek in that area.

“You’ve got a phenomenal resource here that you get to use,” Philip Neeley said of the creek especially.

Fellow Dunaway Associates representative Elizabeth Mcilrath said the historic waste water building in the area will also make a good stopping point along new trails.

Other plans include an outdoor amphitheater, dog park, playground, exercise stations and a group pavilion area.

The amphitheater could be used for concerts or other outdoor events such as plays using the grass or steps for seating.

Another addition would be a memorial or heritage area that would honor residents of Weatherford including actor Larry Hagman with statues or other monuments.

Mcilrath said the green space already in the park is a benefit they will take advantage of as they make plans for the park.

“That’s probably one of the best features of this site,” Mcilrath said.

To utilize that space they plan to add more paths, parking and other amenities.

“You already have beautiful grounds here and we certainly want to build on that,” Mcilrath said.

During a time of questions, residents brought up other issues such as park security, safety from the nearby train tracks, funding and others.

Felts and Mcilrath said some of the issues would be resolved with further planning.

When asked if the park would pull attention away from First Mondays, Felts said it would only help draw more people with the increase of focus on families.

“These amenities will be of great benefit to our First Mondays,” Felts said.

Felts said the funding so far has not been out of the taxpayers’ pockets and they will continue to work on other funding. Because of that, the park will likely not be ready for opening until at least next spring.

Some time and expenses will be saved because the electricity and other utilities have already been put in place, but any new parking space would take additional funding and time.

The planning phase will continue for about six more weeks as locations and more details are decided on. If residents have any questions or suggestions, they can call or visit the Parks and Recreation office.

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