With red shirts and plungers in hand, dozens of residents filled The Woodlands Township meeting room on April 26 in protest of the planned Capstone Park bathroom construction.

“It’s been a battle; we have come so far in the last three months,” said Ann Perry, a resident of Cochran’s Crossing, which is located near Capstone Park. “It’s our tax dollars they are spending, and we don’t want it.”

The restrooms at Capstone Park were approved for construction at the Feb. 16 meeting of the board alongside bathrooms at Sundance Park, all of which are part of a master parks and recreation plan for facilities in The Woodlands. However, the approval sparked concern among some residents near the park who stated they believe the presence of freestanding bathrooms would only serve as a potential hub for criminal activity.

A petition was formed by Perry to organize efforts against the Capstone bathrooms, which had gained 596 signatures as of April 26, she said.

Bruce Reiser, a former member of the township board of directors, also spoke during the meeting’s public comment session, adding that during his time on the board it was his understanding that the parks master plan could be modified at any time depending on the will of the board.

“Because things change and situations change as circumstances change, ... what was right two years ago or what was right a year ago may not be right tonight or next week,” Reiser said.

Tricia Danto, president of the Cochran’s Crossing Village Association, spoke to the necessity of the bathrooms at Capstone Park despite efforts against the project.

“The vast majority of people want restrooms in our parks so they can use them, especially our residents with children. If a park doesn't have a restroom, families can't stay there very long,” Danto said. “For Capstone residents, I understand this is your neighborhood park, but it's also designated as an area park.”

Since the Capstone Park bathroom project was not on the agenda, the board could not take action or discuss the issue during the meeting.