Weatherford Star-Telegram

Iconic Weatherford park earns place in history with Texas legacy award

Folks in Weatherford have special memories of Holland Lake Park. And now it has joined an elite list of parks in the state as a recipient of the coveted Lone Star Legacy Award from the Texas Recreation and Park Society.

The award, which only 44 parks in the state have earned, signifies that a park holds special prominence in the local community and the state. To qualify for consideration, the park must have endured the test of time and become iconic to those who have visited, played and rested on its grounds.

Six parks received the honor in the eighth year of the statewide program, including Trinity Park in Fort Worth. It is the fourth park in Fort Worth to be recognized, joining Tandy Hills, the Nature Center and Refuge, and the Botanic Garden. Trinity Park was the first property purchased by the City of Fort Worth for use as public park land in 1892.

While the majority of the honored parks are located in the state’s major cities of Fort Worth, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, Weatherford has now earned a place on the list as one of the smallest cities to be honored.

“I believe Holland Lake Park is special because of the relationship is has with the community, from being a public swimming hole in the early 1900s to the Girl Scout camp, to the more modern changes made to the park such as softball complex, walking trails and family picnic areas,” Weatherford Director of Parks and Recreation Shannon Goodman said. “The park has been able to change and stay relevant to the community’s needs.”

Holland Lake Park has been around since 1909. Among its historical significance are two log cabins built by the Works Progress Administration in the mid-1900s. They were part of Camp Holland, a camp for Girl Scouts that has been refurbished for use by all Scouts (boys and girls) in recent years.

“I know that Camp Holland holds a special place in a lot of ladies’ hearts who grow up going there as a Girl Scout. My best memories of the park to date are working with volunteer groups to bring Camp Holland back from years of neglect,” Goodman said.

“The city has worked hard to create a park that everyone could use, while keeping the historical and natural element to it. With the construction in 2008 with the softball complex, the Kid Fish, and Trout Fish, all ages are able to come out and enjoy the park.”

Weatherford Mayor Craig Swancy recalled some special memories growing up with Holland Lake Park.

“As kids we fished the lake summer after summer. Plus it provided a nice place to cool off while visiting the lake,” Swancy said.

In the old days prior to a Municipal Swimming Pool, Holland Lake was the local swimming hole. Stories include those of Mary Martin, Weatherford’s most famous citizen and star of the original Peter Pan, swimming there with friends many years ago.

“The facilities there have been the place many families went to for a family reunion, picnic, fishing, or just a great place to enjoy the day,” Swancy said.

“I believe this award is a honor to our community and shows the support for the park system that we have,” Goodman said. “This award will be another piece of the big picture of what will be a great lineage for Holland Lake Park.”

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