Residents gathered in person and virtually for a June 5 Frisco town hall. Shannon Coates, the director of the Frisco Parks and Recreation Department, provided an update on Grand Park with a prerecorded video.
The big picture
Designs for the park will be revealed to the public June 16, Coates said in the video.
City Council members approved a $394,000 contract with the global design company Ideo on April 4 to begin a four-month design process for the 275-acre project broken up into four phases:
- Research and prototype
- Synthesize and design
- Refine and communicate
- Advise and implement
A long time coming
Aside from 2018, Grand Park has consistently been on the annual list of council’s top priorities for almost 10 years.
An early sneak peak at Grand Park came when Big Bluestem Trail opened to the public in November. The 2.2-mile trail offered residents a chance to look at the area and help spark ideas of what they would want from the entire park, Mayor Jeff Cheney said.
“The trail that's currently in Grand Park is what we would consider a beta stage of Grand Park,” Cheney said. “It was really just designed for people to be able to start experiencing and understanding the scale of the property and ... help them with the process that we're going through.”
Ideo-led workshops combined with a community survey with over 200 responses so far have been helping designers narrow down ideas on what Grand Park will become, Coates said.
Early ideas for the park include ways to best preserve the area’s natural ecosystem, such as identifying sections with invasive flora or fauna species that could be turned into parking or preserving a section of Blackland Prairie that has never been disturbed, Coates said.
“The preservation of ecology and having those strong nature-based art is one of the things that keeps coming up,” Coates said.
When designers return with a plan June 16, the public will also be able to see prototypes of park structures and features at a Frisco Public Library exhibit.
“Those items will be displayed in the library for approximately a week so that we can invite the community and to experience what they've been working on,” Coates said.
One key feature of the park will be its ability to connect residents to the city through an extensive trail network, Cheney said. Once completed, a resident will be able to bike from the park to Lake Lewisville, The Star or the Rail District, Cheney said.
“A big vision of Grand Park is making [the park] the heartbeat of Frisco,” Cheney said. “There's going to be a lot of arteries that go out to other parts of our cities through the trail network.”
A full recording of the June 5 town hall can be found on the city’s official Facebook page.