What you can expect to see at Pflugerville's 1849 Park in the near future

The city of Pflugerville is working on a master plan for its new park and sports complex.

The city of Pflugerville is working on a master plan for its new park and sports complex.

Image description
Pflugerville’s 1849 Park will develop with the city
Image description
Pflugerville’s 1849 Park will develop with the city
Image description
Pflugerville’s 1849 Park will develop with the city
Soon to become the focal point of recreation opportunities in Pflugerville, the 1849 Park is full speed ahead with construction on the north side of Cameron Road two miles east of SH 130 and East Pecan Street. The first phase, funded by a 2014 parks and recreation bond, is under construction, with turf placed on football and multipurpose fields. Subsequent phases will be discussed and developed as the project moves forward.

“There will be so many folks out there enjoying this park when it’s open,” Pflugerville Parks Director James Hemenes said. “The excitement for this park continues to build.”

Phase IA addressed utility infrastructure, water, storm sewer, irrigation and electricity needs for the 320 acres of city-owned land. Part of that land on the nortwest side of the park was donated by the developers of the Carmel development, which will include more than 2,300 residential lots. Their donation of more than 80 acres satisfies the development’s code mandate for park land.

Phase I of the 1849 Park includes three football fields, three multipurpose fields, restrooms and parking, which have been under construction since November. The cost of the initial phase is $10 million, which is part of the $62 million overall plan for the park. Twenty-two acres of natural sports turf has been installed and is taking root on the fields. Eventually, to help build out the northern part of the park, Melber Lane will be extended, first as a two-lane road and eventually as a four-lane road as traffic and development increases.

Multipurpose fields will be used for soccer, rugby, lacrosse and other sports. The football fields will be home to Pop Warner and other city leagues for practice and games.

Something for Everyone


Hemenes, Assistant City Manager Tom Word and the city of Pflugerville’s consultant, Henry Parker of Schrickel Rollins and Associates, met residents at informational meetings in 2016 about the park.

Parker said while the first phase includes football and multipurpose fields, future development will include playgrounds, baseball and softball fields, tennis courts, an archery area, a learning area, a splash pad, pavilions, parking for food trucks, a 5-acre dog park and more than 10 miles of cement and natural trails, which can be connected to other trails as the east side of Pflugerville develops.

“We are developing it for the benefit of all of our citizens,” Word said at an informational meeting in 2016. “There will be many phases over many years.”

The south section of the park near Cameron Road contains the football and multipurpose fields. Hemenes said the city has only one public tennis court at this time. The schools have several others.

“The first phase addresses the needs of youth sports, but we have other needs, especially for other age groups, Hemenes said. Our senior population is the fastest growing, but having something for all ages is what we are doing with this park.”

Hemenes said plans for the park have altered only slightly from the original look and are still full speed ahead.

Recreation Grows


With a climbing population nearing 60,000 residents and a total anticipated to reach 250,000, Pflugerville officials said recreation continues to be a priority in the city.

Pflugerville Special Events Coordinator Maggie Holman, employed by the city for two months, said the city’s special events, including the Pfirecracker Pfestival, Music in the Park and Deutschen Pfest will be perfect events for the city’s newest park.

The park “is our brand and identity in Pflugerville,” Holman said. “It’s a visual representation of what we are and represents a beautiful part of the state we live in. I’m really impressed how supportive the community is when it comes to recreation.”

The number of participants is climbing quickly, Hemenes said.

The city’s recreation center offers 60 classes per week at the facility and 11 per week off-site, including basketball, children’s dance, gymnastics, archery, robotics, belly dancing, tap dancing, yoga, Zumba and line dancing.

More than 3,100 participated in city recreational programs during fiscal year 2016, and that number jumped past 4,000 as fiscal year 2017 wound down Sept. 30.

Hemenes said the city has 1,300 recreation-center members and more than 700 senior activity center members. Another 1,600 took part in swim lessons this year. In July, approximately 6,000 attended the city’s Pfirecracker Pfestival, the inaugural event at The Pfield, Pflugerville ISD’s new football stadium on East Pecan Street. Hemenes said future festivals will be held at 1849 Park.

Two new events in 2017, Pfloating Movie Nights and Pfurry Splash Party, had 400 and 190 attendees, respectively. The splash party had 65 canines and 125 people in attendance.

“We understand our residents want recreation opportunities,” Hemenes said. “From our youth leagues to our senior citizens—which is the fastest growing population here—our population is very diverse with a diverse demand for leisure activities. This park will have something for everyone.”

Park Helps Development


Pflugerville Community Development Corporation Executive Director Amy Madison  said she understands how important parks and recreational opportunities are to drawing businesses to Pflugerville.

“A city’s aesthetics and green space matter to companies hoping to draw or retain a strong, creative workforce,” Madison said. “Workforce is the first thing that most companies focus on in site selection. Having an open space like 1849 Park that is founded in history and home to community activities and sports is a strong foundation for economic development recruitment efforts and proves an opportunity for tourism that will definitely impact our local economy.”

Hemenes agrees and said the other departments within the city of Pflugerville are supportive of the parks and recreation goals.

“We work well as a team,” Hemenes said. “It will pay off as executives and company owners look at us. They care about quality of life and Pflugerville is a great place to live.

“Our parks are an investment in our community and will help economic development. They really go hand in hand. Great communities invest in police, schools, infrastructure, parks and a recreation system. We are doing that.”

Being a Good Neighbor


Hemenes has talked to the City Council about changes to the park to make it a better neighbor. While only a few houses surround the park, that part of Pflugerville is poised for the city’s greatest growth in housing and other development in the next decade.

“It’s important to be a good neighbor and do things the right way,” Hemenes said. “We have to be conscious of our neighbors.”

Hemenes recently asked the council for different lighting, approved and soon to be installed, that will be more efficient and not allow the light to spill onto neighboring properties.

“We also have a buffer between property lines,” he said. “We want this to be something all residents enjoy, along with the neighbors.”

While the park fields will be used for practices, games and tournaments, Hemenes said it is important for grass on sports fields to get rest.

“We won’t be playing on the fields all day and all night,” Hemenes said. “Grass grows by the inch and dies by the foot, so we have to rest the turf. The standard is using them about 25 hours per week.

“Anything more is too much. We want something that will last and be the highest quality. It’s what a thriving community like Pflugerville expects.

Part of the old Pfluger House on the northern part of property will repurposed.

“We want to preserve the history, but the house will not be used in its current state,” Hemenes said. “We may use part of it, maybe replicate a room, but we will honor the family and our history of being a farming community in the 1800s. With this park and with recreation in Pflugerville, I think it’s best to say ‘stay tuned.’ There is a lot to come.”
By Joe Warner
Joe Warner is executive editor of Community Impact Newspaper. He previously served as managing editor for Central Texas and senior editor of the flagship Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto newspaper. He came to Central Texas from Metro Detroit, where he was editor and general manager of several daily and weekly publications. He is the former president of the Michigan Press Association and was on the MPA board of directors for nine years.


MOST RECENT

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations. (Courtesy Amazon)
Amazon begins rollout of statewide vaccination clinics for employees

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations.

Federal funding is set aside for public schools to address effects of the pandemic. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Why Texas has not yet distributed $18 billion in federal funds intended for public schools

As budget decisions loom for school districts across Texas, state leaders are holding on to federal funds intended for public schools to use in addressing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The temporary waiver covering initial vehicle registration, vehicle registration renewal, vehicle titling, renewal of permanent disabled parking placards and 30-day temporary permits will end April 14. (Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper)
Officials: No grace period to follow end of statewide waiver for vehicle title, registration requirements

Officials with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles announced April 5 there will be no grace period following the end of the temporary waiver of certain vehicle title and registration requirements this month.

The new tool will give Texans one place to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine through multiple health departments, including the eight DSHS public health regions—which provides public health services to nearly 200 Texas counties—as well as more than a dozen local health entities statewide. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Department of State Health Services launches Texas Public Health Vaccine Scheduler

The new tool will give Texans one place to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine through multiple health departments, including the eight DSHS public health regions—which provides public health services to nearly 200 Texas counties—as well as more than a dozen local health entities statewide.

Residents wait to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at the Delco Activity Center in Northeast Austin on March 13. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
More than 74,000 vaccine first doses coming to Austin-area providers in next week

The total allocation is fewer than the area received last week from the state.

The Centers for Disease Control released new guidance on in-person instruction for K-12 grade schools on March 19. (Courtesy Pexels)
CDC loosens guidelines on social distancing in schools

The updated guidance recommends students maintain 3 feet of social distancing in classrooms while wearing masks.

Rice Stadium Vaccine Site
Texas vaccine rollout: After 90 days, over 2.9 million fully inoculated

That figure represents about 13% of Texans over age 16—roughly one of every seven.

Three weeks after the the state's power grid failed leaving millions of Texans without power amid freezing temperatures, the Public Utility Commission of Texas named Adrianne Brandt as the agency's new director of ERCOT accountability in a news release March 11. (Courtesy Public Utility Commission of Texas)
Public Utility Commission of Texas names new director of ERCOT accountability

Three weeks after the the state's power grid failed leaving millions of Texans without power amid freezing temperatures, the Public Utility Commission of Texas named Adrianne Brandt as the agency's new director of ERCOT accountability in a news release March 11.

Lawmakers have returned to the Capitol for the 87th Texas Legislature. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Proposed curriculum, funding changes: 14 public education bills filed in the 87th Texas Legislature

Hundreds of bills related to public education have been filed in the 87th Texas Legislature, from curriculum requirement additions to funding formula changes.

According to a March 4 news release, the updated guidance includes a face covering requirement for employees and encourages guests to wear a face covering when they are not seated at their table. The updated guidance also maintains key safety protocols like regular cleaning and disinfecting, hand-sanitizing stations, and employee and customer health screenings. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
SURVEY: More than 70% of Texas restaurants still requiring employees to wear masks despite statewide mandate lift

The majority of Texas restaurant owners will choose to continue requiring staff to wear face masks after March 10 when Gov. Greg Abbott's statewide mask mandate lifts, according to the results of an informal survey conducted by the Texas Restaurant Association in early March.

With the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's emergency use authorization of a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Cos. of Johnson & Johnson in late February, U.S. residents who want to get inoculated against the coronavirus now have three vaccines to choose from—each with varying degrees of efficacy. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
EXPLAINED: See how the 3 COVID-19 vaccines available in the US stack up

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna—both two-shot vaccines—have higher efficacy rates for preventing illness than the single-shot Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine; the vaccine efficacy rates stand at 95%, 94.1% and 66.3%, respectively.

Dr. Benjamin Neuman, a virologist with the Texas A&M University System, spoke about the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in Texas ahead of the March 10 rollback of mask and capacity rules. (Community Impact staff)
Q&A: Virologist discusses COVID-19 response and rollback of state restrictions

Dr. Benjamin Neuman, a virologist with the Texas A&M University System, spoke about the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in Texas ahead of the March 10 rollback of mask and capacity rules.