The Flower Mound Town Council recently jump-started work on three of the town’s parks— Twin Coves, Rheudasil and Heritage Park-East.
“It’s been at least 20 years since there’ve been any improvements to Rheudasil Park,” said Flower Mound Mayor Tom Hayden. “We started talks about adding a restroom and a pier for the pond, which led to residents in the surrounding neighborhoods concerns about outdated playground equipment, repairs on the sidewalks and pavilion, among others.”
The Rheudasil Park restroom plan—similar to the unit in Heritage Park– has been on the town’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) since 2008. Funding for the installation of the restroom was approved at the April 25, 2013, meeting by the Community Development Corporation (CDC).
The council approved the funding for the restrooms for an amount not to exceed $200,000; however, the location remains to be determined. In addition, no work is to commence on the restroom until a Master Plan for the park has been approved.
Rheudasil Park on Forest Vista Drive is the second most heavily-used park in the town. The Parks Master Plan shows it to be part of a 945-acre integrated park system. It is part of the nine-mile long Purple Coneflower Trail system, which is heavily used by bicyclists, joggers, walkers, people who use wheelchairs, mothers pushing strollers, dog walkers, skaters, skateboarders and people coming to fish in the pond who are both neighborhood residents and non-neighborhood visitors.
Rheudasil Park pond is listed as a small lake by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and receives regular fish stocking.
The council directed the town staff to hire a consultant to do a Master Plan for Rheudasil Park, which would include letting the consultant know that a restroom is one of the amenities. In addition, other amenities and repairs as discussed by council would be incorporated.
“First it was the restroom building and the pier, then the playground, then the pavilion … it was going to be a two or three year, piece-by-piece operation and it just seemed it should just be done all together,” said Hayden. “That’s why council directed the staff to have a consultant return a
complete park re-design.”
The first stage of the $1.5 million project will begin this coming fall with the dredging of the pond and bank restoration, at an estimated $1 million. Next will be new sidewalks, picnic tables, a pavilion, benches and the re-surfacing of the basketball court.
“It should be all completed in about a year,” said Hayden.
The answer to the long-standing question of creating a dog park in Flower Mound was also addressed at the June 2 council meeting.
The Parks and Trails Master Plan’s (PTMP) 2009 survey identified an Off-Leash Dog Park was the fourth most-requested specific outdoor priority by Flower Mound citizens.
The PALS Board unanimously approved the dog park to be located at Heritage Park East on March 6 and the Community Development Corporation (CDC) unanimously approved funding for the dog park on March 27.
Heritage Park East is the second phase of Heritage Park and will be located on the east side of Garden Ridge Boulevard north of Spinks Road.
Town staff recommended that the council consider Heritage Park East as the most viable location for the dog park because it was recommended by the PTMP, the PALS Board and the Dog Park Subcommittee; funding is available for the location; and, there are no adjacent neighborhoods at this time.
In addition, the Heritage Park East location has more than adequate land to meet the town’s needs for a dog park. It can accommodate a facility that offers three-acres for large-breed dogs and two-acres for smaller dogs. Additionally, the site has existing natural shade that can be incorporated into the design; it’s connected to the town’s trails system; and, utilities are conveniently located by the site.
“The location has been chosen, but some council members were concerned about the cost,” said Hayden.
The council approved a Professional Services Agreement with Schrickel, Rollins and Associates, Inc., to provide master planning, design options based on cost and construction documents associated with the project.
“The design plans are expected to be presented in the near future and the dog park is expected to open in the late spring or summer of 2015,” said Hayden.
The largest undertaking for Flower Mound parks is the Twin Coves project. Located at Grapevine Lake, a boat dock, overnight cabins for campers and upgraded amenities are projected to total about $3 million.
“In addition to paying for itself, the Twin Coves Park will generate income for the town,” said Hayden. “The town can use that to invest in more open space for future parks. It’s important that we make sure the town is doing a balanced growth with parks, not just commercial growth.”