Pearland examines park priorities

Southdown Dog Park is one of several parks in the city of Pearland. (Courtesy city of Pearland)
Southdown Dog Park is one of several parks in the city of Pearland. (Courtesy city of Pearland)

Southdown Dog Park is one of several parks in the city of Pearland. (Courtesy city of Pearland)

The Pearland Parks and Recreation Department is in the process of updating its parks master plan. The update is routine and done so the city can see what its priorities are for the next capital improvement plan. This year’s priorities include making sure all parks are close to residents and accessible for residents of all abilities, said Carry Capers, director of the parks and recreation department.

The city had a groundbreaking on Shadow Creek Sports Complex Phase 2 in January. The park is expected to be completed in late fall or early 2022 and open to the public in 2022, Capers said. Pearland has budgeted $10 million for phase 2 of the park, which will have playing fields for rugby and cricket, as well as a Miracle Field, which will allow people of all physical abilities to play baseball.

“The sports complex is going to be such an incredible addition to our park inventory,” Capers said.

While the Miracle Field will be convenient for those of different physical abilities who want to play sports and stay in Pearland to do it, it is not the only improvement the city will make to parks for those of different abilities, Capers said. The city is also doing an audit of its parks and amenities to see what is accessible in line with the Americans with Disabilities Act and replacing items that are not, Capers said.

Other park priorities include continuing making improvements funded by the 2019 bond. The $80 million bond allocated $2.5 million to parks. Improvements that have been accomplished include replacing the playgrounds at Zolinski and Corrigan parks and adding LED lighting. The city is in the process of replacing the Woody Street Park and making enhancements at Southgate, Capers said.

“We are looking at any enhancements that need to be made to the playground,” she said. “All of the amenities and assets will phase out the aging ones.”

The city is also looking at the National Recreation and Park Association standard that all parks must be no more than a 10-minute walking distance from residents. After an audit, the city found most of its parks, as well as homeowners association parks and regional parks, meet this need for their residents.

“We identified that most of the areas are within the luxury of being a 10-minute walk,” Capers said. “We are working with the Forever Parks Foundation and with developers to see how we can meet people’s needs.”
By Haley Morrison
Haley Morrison came to Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after graduating from Baylor University. She was promoted to editor in February 2019. Haley primarily covers city government.


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