Final Lakewood Park meeting set for March 12

Leander residents will have a final public meeting March 12 before organizers with the Leander Parks and Recreation Department start finalizing plans for Lakewood Community Park.

The master-planning meeting will start at 6 p.m. at the Leander Public Library.

The Leander Parks and Recreation Department has been publicizing the project on its blog, lakewoodcommunitypark.blogspot.com. Residents can still comment through the end of March, Leander Parks and Recreation Director Steve Bosak said.

Lakewood is south of the Ronald Reagan Boulevard and East Crystal Falls Parkway intersection.

On March 12, Bosak and Baker-Aicklen engineering firm staffers will go over two drafts of park plans. Based on input, they are blending the drafts into one plan, he said.

"It's going to have pretty much the same elements, just a refinement of locations," Bosak said. "We're going to keep the active recreation near the parking lot, up towards around what would be the northern area of the park."

Plans call for the park to have a picnic area, pavilions, playground, a fishing pier and boat dock.

Michael Cain, landscape architecture designer with Baker-Aicklen, has been updating the blog site based on audience response. He said he hopes for plenty of turnout for the final meeting.

In an online survey posted by the parks and recreation department, 85 percent of respondents said they hoped for restrooms in the park. 82 percent said they favored picnic areas. Trails, covered pavilions and a nature area comprised the rest of residents' top five requests.

Of the survey respondents, 37 percent said they lived in the Cold Springs area north of Lakewood.

"Hopefully we're going to resolve the majority of the issues and get a consensus about what it looks like," Bosak said. "This is going to be the last actual open meeting we're going to have until we go to our parks advisory board, and then the City Council after that."

Bosak said he hopes the parks advisory board can approve the proposal and send it to City Council by the end of May. Then consultants can anticipate a cost, and parks department staffers can begin finding sources of funding, he said.

The parks department plans to file a grant application with Texas Parks and Wildlife, the state agency that helped fund Robin Bledsoe Park and Benbrook Ranch Park, Bosak said.

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