Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Time to read
3 minutes
Read so far

Offer feedback on county parks through Feb. 22

Posted in:
  • Article Image Alt Text

If you have any thoughts or ideas about parks in Bastrop County, you have until Monday, February 22 to submit your feedback on the county's parks master plan.

The county's previous, and first, Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan was adopted in 2001 and expired in 2011, but has not been updated since. In the meantime, Bastrop County has acquired two new parks—Stony Point Park and the Bastrop County Nature Park in 2017—in addition to the Cedar Creek park, which was acquired in 2008.

As a result, Bastrop County has been working on creating a new Parks and Open Space Master Plan, in partnership with National Park Service, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office and Keep Bastrop County Beautiful. The original method for gathering feedback from the community on the new plan was to host a number of public meetings in 2020; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the county instead gathered feedback through a survey and a number of online public meetings.

The draft of the new master plan focuses on a list of eight goals, each with specific objectives:

 

  • Parks and recreational facilities should be accessible to all county residents.
  • Open spaces and natural habitats should be preserved for future generations.
  • Public recreation should be integrated with all public services.
  • Public recreation should be coordinated with other community recreation providers to avoid unnecessary duplication and promote innovation.
  • Park planning should be coordinated with new development.
  • Parks and recreational planning should be incorporated into tourism and economic development efforts.
    P
  • arks and recreational programs must find ways to celebrate the variety of cultures within the community.
  • Bastrop County needs to put appropriate organizational mechanisms in place to ensure the long term sustainability of the County Parks system.

The draft plan listed some popular suggestions for amenities or improvements to Bastrop County's parks, as well as the parks system overall. These suggestions were gathered from the survey released in spring 2020 and the online public meetings in fall and winter 2020.

 

Top 10 amenities requested by local residents

Stony Point Park

Bastrop County Nature Park

Cedar Creek Park

Bastrop County Overall

Splash pad

Water fountains

Bathrooms

Programming/county-sponsored events

Basketball court

Sidewalks within the park

Picnic tables

Community garden

Recreation center

Shade

Bathrooms

Water fountains

Sidewalks within the park

Shade

Benches

Sidewalks to access the park

Programming/county-sponsored events

Picnic tables

Community garden

Climbing wall

Bathrooms

Splash pad

Water fountains

Programming/county-sponsored events

Shade

Picnic tables

Recreation center

Benches

Sidewalks within the park

Community garden

Bathrooms

Water fountains

Shade

Sidewalks within the park

Benches

Sidewalks to access the park

Programming/county-sponsored events

Picnic tables

Splash pad

Community garden

 

 

Additional comments and suggestions included:

  • Improved trash pick-up and sidewalk/trail improvements.
  • Retaining Bastrop County Nature Park as a natural area
  • Volunteering at county parks
  • Programming and dedicated park staff
  • Working with local health providers to promote fitness opportunities
  • Park security and law enforcement
  • Other improvements, such as lighting, swimming pools, parking lot improvements, stocked fishing ponds, pickle ball and tennis courts, and improved creek access

A prioritized list of projects was developed for each of the three county parks, ranked from high to low. Inclusion on the list does not mean the county has committed to the project, but acts as a guide for future funding decisions.

 

 

Prioritized project list for each county park

Stony Point Park

Bastrop County Nature Park

Cedar Creek Park

Basketball court

Shade structure over playground

Tree sculpture/art project

Circular trail around park

Running track around soccer field

Bio swale in drainage channel

Pavilion

Bike racks

Bathrooms

Expand community garden

Fencing around perimeter

Additional seating and tables

Public wifi

Four square court

Upgrade picnic area

Splash pad

New covered picnic area and food truck spot

Tetherball

Outdoor exercise equipment

Upgrades to soccer field

Entrance signage

Information kiosk

Bathrooms

Trail upgrades and way-finding signage

Automatic gate

Pavilion and upgrade outdoor classroom

Additional benches

Upgrade boat ramp

Water fountains

Trash cans

Community garden

Event pavilion

Bike racks

Trail improvements and way-finding signage

Additional picnic tables

Additional benches

Upgrades to entrance

Public wifi

Upgrade sports courts

Splash pad

Swimming pool

Dog park

Additional soccer field

Upgrade play equipment

Upgrade baseball fields

 

The plan also identifies needs for future parks and points out the large unincorporated areas of the county that do not have close access to parks of various sizes.

Additionally, the draft plan discusses the need for green infrastructure, which is defined as a practice that integrates natural and manmade features in order to let rainwater safely runoff land.

Suggested green infrastructure improvements include a bio swale to enhance the drainage channel at Stony Point Park, a retention pond at Cedar Creek Park that could be used for recreational fishing, and permeable parking at the Bastrop County Nature Park.

Finally, the draft plan outlines a implementation strategy and timeline over the next ten years.

In the short term over the first three years, the plan includes identifying volunteering opportunities, identify grant opportunities and seek funding for high-priority projects. In the mid-term, over years four through six, the plan includes identifying and acquiring land for parks in the Camp Swift/LBA area and along the Colorado River between Bastrop and Smithville, and seek funding for medium-priority projects. In the long term, over the last few years of the ten-year term, the plan includes seeking funding for low-priority projects and acquiring land for parks in underserved parts of the county.

To read the full draft plan, visit www.co.bastrop.tx.us/page/par.openspace. Also available at this website are the previous master plan, the presentation shown at the online public meetings in December, and other background information. In order to submit feedback on the plan, email or call Shawn Harris, county director of general services, at bastropcountyparks@co.bastrop.tx.us or 512-581-7188.