Seeking feedback and opinions from the community for its parks, recreation and trails master plan, Tomball held an open house April 25 at the Tomball Community Center.

The open house, which was a come-and-go event held from 6-8 p.m., featured posters with concept imagery and evaluations of the city’s existing parks. Attendees were encouraged to put green stickers by the concept imagery they liked and add comments to Post-It notes to stick on the posters. Attendees were also given a coin to put in a labeled box to indicate where they thought the city should spend its money.

“We’re trying to get the community involved,” Tomball City Council Member Dane Dunagin said. “That’s what we need is the involvement of the community so there’s no second-guessing after decisions are made.”

Dunagin said sidewalks and walking trails are things he is looking for in the master plan.

“We do not have enough safe places for people to walk,” Dunagin said. “And that’s something we really need to look into.”

Developed by Four and One LLC, the master plan is expected to be put together over the summer and be adopted by City Council in early fall, Assistant City Manager Jessica Rogers said.

“This is one of the most important, if not the most important, ways that we gather information for the parks master plan because these are the parks users,” Rogers said. “These are the people that are out there every day, telling us what they like, what they don’t like, what they need, what would make that parks experience more enjoyable. This is the feedback we really want so we know what we need to do in the future to continue to serve the community.”

Lifelong Tomball resident Courtney Henry said she came out to the open house because she has kids, and they love to do things at the local parks.

“My kids are huge fans of playgrounds, and we walk our dogs,” Henry said. “[I’m] just trying to contribute to the town and have it grow.”

Henry said some of Tomball’s parks are the same as when she was a kid and could use some updates.

“I think that is my biggest priority is to have our current parks, which are actually awesome, just updated,” Henry said.

City Manager David Esquivel said new parks could be part of the master plan.

“I would anticipate that that would be a need because development is going where there’s nothing there right now,” Esquivel said. “There’s going to be a need to bring parks there. One of our biggest things is that we want to keep the feel of Tomball being a small community connected together, and so one way to do that is if you have a local park you can walk to.”

Alongside the open house, there is also an online survey residents and community members can fill out to share their parks feedback with the city. Four and One LLC’s Tara Klein said she anticipates the survey will be open through the end of May.

“The feedback will be put together; it’ll be part of the master plan,” Klein said. “The other important part about feedback is grant funding. A lot of grant funding [wants] to see—did the public share their input? And if so, that becomes a valuable tool to get additional funds.”