2007 Voter-Approved Parks Bond Fund Brought Multiple Recreational Areas to Hays County Residents – What’s Your Favorite?
Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – The $30 million in bonds that voters approved in 2007 for parks and open spaces not only provided more than 20 new or improved areas for fun and conservation, but generated an additional $46.7 million in matching funds which allowed for additional acquisitions and improvements, according to an update on the parks bond fund presented to Commissioners Court Tuesday.
Jeff Hauff, Grants Administrator for the County, said that because the County had the funds available for projects when timing was right, local funds, in-kind matches and outright donations more than doubled the amount available for projects throughout the county. “Ultimately, 23 areas were funded at a value of almost $76 million, providing a host of recreational activities from active land and water sports to nature trails and conservation land,” he said.
“If you or a family member played soccer at the Five Mile Dam soccer complex, swam at Blue Hole or Jacob’s Well or enjoyed walking the nature trails at Lake Kyle Park, Winter’s Mill or Buda Stagecoach Park, you’ve benefited from the foresight voters had in 2007 to accommodate a growing county and plan for these amenities,” Precinct 3 Commissioner Will Conley said. “From skateboard parks to rodeo and special events venues to tennis courts, playgrounds and swimming attractions, the parks bond projects not only bring joy to our citizens, but helped the local economy during a time of recession and today help bring in economic benefits such as tourism.”
Hauff noted that to encourage a broad range of projects, a parks advisory board with members from throughout the county vetted requests and made recommendations to the Commissioners Court. “We wanted to ensure that the parks and recreation projects were meaningful and met the needs of a particular area, while bringing value countywide,” Hauff said. Two habitat conservation properties – La Cima and Wildenthal – are not yet open for passive recreation but are also part of the mix, as is the Dahlstrom Ranch Preserve.
The projects paid for by the bond fund and contributions from cities, nonprofits and private entities include:
Five Mile Dam Park, Jacob’s Well Natural Area, Winter’s Mill/Blue Hole Loop Trail, Dahlstrom Ranch Conservation Easement & Gay Ruby Dahlstrom Nature Preserve, La Cima Conservation Easement, Wildenthal RHCP, Buda Stagecoach Park, Buda Tyler Norris Memorial Skateboard Park, Buda Bradfield Park & Trails, Dripping Springs Ranch Park, Kyle City Square Park, Kyle Gregg-Clarke Park, Kyle Plum Creek Preserve/Lake Kyle Park, San Marcos Combined Parks Improvements (five areas including Five Mile Dam Park), Wimberley Blue Hole Regional Park, Dripping Springs Youth Sports Association Sports Fields, Hays County Youth Sports Complex/FM 2770, Bear Creek Park & Trail (Belterra subdivision), North Hays Optimist Foundation Park (Goforth Road) and Village of San Marcos Youth Sports Fields.
For information about each project, see the presentation given to the Court, 2007 Park Bond Presentation to CommCrt, or read the detailed Parks Bond Status Report. The Court video with presentation and commentary is here.