I have some great news to share this month; the contract has been approved for the construction of the Highland Village Road sidewalk! Parks and trails are a huge part of what makes Highland Village a great place in which to live. The construction of this sidewalk will provide a safe way for people to walk to the beautiful amenities we have along Highland Village Road. The sidewalk will also mean you can walk from the eastern section of Highland Village all the way to the west. The new sidewalk will connect to the existing sidewalk at the Municipal Complex and head east along the south side of Highland Village Road to The Robert & Lee DuVall Center, then connect on the north side of Highland Village Road to Lakeside Park then on the south side to connect to the Copperas Trail adjacent to Wichita Forest Park. This project is part of the 2021 Sidewalk Improvement Project and will also include the new walking path at Victoria Park and extending the sidewalk at Brazos Park to the sidewalk at Medina Drive. These projects were included in the 2017 Street and Park Bond program. The contractor is expected to begin work on this project late this summer and complete it in late summer 2022.
Also part of the 2017 Bond Program is the reconstruction of 23 streets in Highland Village. We are nearing completion of this project with the final phase of the project with Rockland Dr. Hickory Ridge Dr., S. Clearwater Dr., N. Clearwater Dr., Scenic Dr., Springway Dr., and Pecan St. to receive asphalt reconstruction later this summer.
Summer is finally here and the summer heat has come with it. We have a few options to help you cool down this summer. The splash pad at Doubletree Ranch Park is open from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. every day except Tuesdays. We have shade structures along the grassy area, tables and benches, a playground, and the treed area for hammocking or just hanging out on the newly placed rock benches. At Pilot Knoll Park BLUET SUP offers stand up paddle boarding and kayak rentals.
If you choose to have fun outside, don’t let the fun be hampered by too much sun. Be sure to use sunscreen of SPF 30, at a minimum and reapply every two hours. Sunburns can be painful and dangerous. The sun can zap the body of its critical nutrients and electrolytes, causing the person to become weak and sick. Be sure to hydrate frequently, even if not thirsty. If a person waits to drink until they are thirsty, they have already lost 10% of their body’s water! That is very dangerous. That can lead to life threatening conditions like heat exhaustion and heat stroke. It is also important to note that children and the elderly need more hydration; because their bodies are more susceptible to fluid loss and they have less to lose. When hydrating, drink water, or other commercial electrolyte replacement or sports drinks, but avoid those with high concentrations of sugar. Also, do not use alcohol or caffeinated drinks to hydrate, because these actually cause fluid depletion.
And of course, remember whenever the family goes out, whether at dusk, dawn or in-between, be sure to use an insect repellent that contains DEET. Protect yourself and your family from those painful bites and from potentially acquiring a mosquito-borne illness. On your own property, eliminate areas of standing water. This will prevent mosquitoes from breeding. The City is actively testing mosquitoes and treating the public areas.
If outside is not your thing, many of our local businesses offer fun indoor adventures like Escape Room 5280, Board and Brush, Be Legend Gaming, Color Me Mine, Buff City Soap, and of course the cool AMC IMAX Theater. Grab your family and friends to do something fun and support our local businesses. You can learn about our local businesses at thehvba.com.
We are currently accepting applications for appointment to our boards and commissions. In September Council appoints interested residents to the Planning & Zoning Commission, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, the Community Development Board (which oversees the planning and budget of the 4B sales tax which is designated for trails and the soccer complex), the Zoning Board of Adjustments, and the Ethics Board. In order to be considered for appointment, you need to fill out an application. All the details and application are available on the City website under Boards and Commissions. I hope you will consider serving our City; I can tell you it is a rewarding experience!
There are other opportunities to be involved in Highland Village. The Parks and Recreation Department has worked with volunteers and volunteer groups to help with the construction of Kids Kastle, plant flowers and plants at City facilities, and help with other projects around the City. If you’d like to volunteer your time and talent, contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 972-317-7430. The Police Department has a great Police Auxiliary program which is an opportunity for you to assist in special events, youth activities, bailiff assistance and other activities. The program provides orientation and training. Just complete the application at hvpd.com to get started.
When I think of the ultimate volunteer I think of the men and women who have served in our military to keep our country safe and free. Highland Village has a Veterans Monument on the south side of the Municipal Complex to honor Highland Village residents who have served in the military. Twice a year, around Veterans Day and Memorial Day, the city holds a ceremony to recognize these veterans and place their names on a plaque on the Monument. If you or someone you know is a veteran and has lived in Highland Village, check out the information on the city website at highlandvillage.org/veteran. The deadline to submit an application to be part of the November 9 event is September 7.
I hope you have a fun and safe summer. I look forward to seeing you around town!