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Baytown Parks and Recreation

2011 - 2012 Annual Report

City of Baytown Parks and Recreation Department Annual Report 2011 – 2012 Mission Statement The City of Baytown Parks and Recreation Department genuinely cares about its customers and continually strives to not only meet, but also exceed their expectations. Our department is dedicated to improving the lives of our citizens and visitors, and enhancing the image of the City of Baytown through effective and efficient recreational, educational, cultural, fitness and environmental programs and services. We subscribe to the philosophy that parks and recreation positively impacts health, crime prevention, the environment, the economy and the overall quality of life of the Baytown community. The Baytown Parks and Recreation Advisory Board members and the Parks and Recreation Department staff are again pleased to present the Department’s Annual Report to the Mayor, Council Members and City Management. This report is presented in its traditional format and continues to serve as: 1. Our collective view of the past year’s activities 2. A progress / status report on most of our current programs and plans 3. A brief overview of our plans for the upcoming year This report is made pursuant to Ordinance No. 885, adopted in September 1967, which states that, annually, the Board shall make a study of the parks and recreation facilities and policies of the City, and make recommendations concerning any changes, modifications or improvements. The Parks and Recreation Department enjoyed another fantastic year that was highlighted with four ribbon cuttings within a 48 day period. The Department celebrated the grand opening of Eddie Huron Park, two new aquatic facilities at McElroy Park and Pelly Park and the Reopening of the Bayland Marina. The Department also claimed two statewide awards and several regional awards during the year and had another huge crowd at the annual July 3rd and 4th Celebration. The City’s aquatic programs continue to draw visitors from all over the Houston – Beaumont area and beyond.


The Pirates Bay Water Park continued its popularity from the past two seasons. During the 2011 season, 130,697 guests passed through the gates at Pirates Bay, and 201,273 people have visited the park during the past two seasons. If indications are correct, staff anticipates over 125,000 people through the gates during the 2012 season. Pirates Bay was also featured in two separate national and worldwide publications. Following the tremendous success of Pirates Bay, including overcrowding and capacity issues, the City has hired the firm of Kimley Horn and Associates and Counsilman Hunsaker and Associates to prepare an Expansion Master Plan that will pave the way for future expansion of the Water Park. The consultants began the project in June and plan to complete the project by mid August. Calypso Cove, located at N.C. Foote Park, also has exceeded expectations with 15,817 visitors in 2011. Attendance is expected to clear 16,000 during the 2012 summer season. The Aquatics Division has been set up as a self supporting enterprise fund with revenue paying for all expenses, except debt service, for both Pirates Bay and Calypso Cove. The operations cost of the two facilities continue to have no impact on the city’s operations budget. In addition, one dollar from every admission ticket sold at both parks is set aside for future capital maintenance cost. The Parks and Recreation Department opened two new aquatic facilities during the year with a new Spray Park at McElroy Park on March 15th. A week later, the Department opened a new Splash Deck at Pelly Park on March 23rd. Both new facilities have been a hit with the neighborhood and have taken some of the pressure off of the City’s first spray park located at Roseland Park. The Department continues to beautify the City with the landscaping of Alexander Drive from Ward Road north to Highway 146. In addition, park crews completed landscaping at the Graywood Triangle (Memorial Drive and Fleetwood Street). The Department also landscaped the new Hunt Road medians adjacent to Kohl’s and Academy. Park crews contracted the planting of over 85 trees, 178 crape myrtles, and constructed four beds during the project. The new landscaped areas also include drip irrigation systems to insure the success of the plant material. The Parks and Recreation Department also planted 22 thirty-gallon trees in various parks and gave away over 1,600 one-gallon size trees for the annual Arbor Day Celebration.


The extended drought brought new challenges for the Department. Staff struggled to keep existing landscaping alive during the year, through both hand watering and the repairing of irrigation systems across the city. The aftermath of the drought hit the department hard as hundreds if not thousands of trees died across the city’s park system. The department has cut down and removed hundreds of trees and contracted out the removal of very large dead trees that threatened homes and streets. The Department plans to begin reforesting heavily affected areas during the winter months of 2013. The drought also impacted other areas of our park system. Very large earth cracks, caused by the expansive clay soils caused cancellation of football and soccer league games due to of unsafe playing conditions. The intense weather also negatively impacted the attendance at the Baytown Nature Center as well. However; the unusual hot and dry conditions impacted the City’s aquatic facilities in a positive way. There were zero rain days in 2011, and the intense heat provided record crowds at Pirates Bay and Calypso Cove along with heavy usage of the spray parks. The Recreation Division conducted thirty special events this past year. The division also handles the rentals and daily operations of the Community Center, three park pavilions, and athletic fields. The division also continued its role of coordinating the Youth Advisory Commission (YAC). This division also oversees the operations and management of both Pirates Bay and Calypso Cove. The 6th Annual Grito Fest was held at Bicentennial Park on October 1st. Staff moved the date for the annual event three weeks later this past year due to the heat and the challenge of getting quality entertainment in the middle of September. This year’s event featured the popular Tejano band Poder Del Norte, along with local favorites Ciclo Norteno and Mariachis Los Gallitos. Festival goers enjoyed a Grito Competition, Salsa and Jalapeno Eating Contest, and an Accordion Competition. An estimated crowd of 3,000 attended the 6th Annual Grito Fest. The City’s Annual 3rd and 4th of July Celebration at Bicentennial Park was a tremendous success as tens of thousands attended the two-day event. The 3rd of July concert was highlighted by rock-nroll legends, the Marshall Tucker Band, followed on the 4th by Texas music artists Cory Morrow and Robert Earl Keen. The 3rd of July rock-n-roll night continues to grow in popularity as the event enjoyed its highest attendance in the event’s short history. 4

The Bayland Marina reopened on April 5th almost 3½ years after Hurricane Ike completely destroyed the marina. The Marina, paid for with FEMA funding, was reconstructed with a slightly different footprint and taller pilings to help protect the marina from future storms and storm surges. The marina basin and boat ramp channel was dredged to a depth of –6 feet. The project also replaced missing channel markers providing a safe channel to the Houston Ship Channel. The Eddie V. Gray Wetlands Education and Recreation Center and Baytown Nature Center had another outstanding year, adding the Back to the Bay Program to their ongoing Wetlands Ecology Program and Liquid Science Program. The Nurture Nature Series and Nurture Nature Festival draw visitors from across the state to the Baytown Nature Center, and the ongoing Gator Tales and Tyke Hike programs target our youngest citizens. Summer Science Camp continues to fill to capacity, as do the Winter Holiday Camp and Spring into Nature spring break camp. The Wetlands Wagon Outreach Program often finds Wetlands Center and Baytown Nature Center staff on the road throughout Texas, promoting both facilities and the city of Baytown as an environmentally friendly destination. Increased attendance at the Baytown Nature Center, and increased demand for field trips for non-GCCISD school groups attest to the success of having our staff on the road. Scout groups have also taken notice of the two facilities, and scout workshops and overnight campouts have become regular weekend activities. The new shelters and the new amenities in the Children’s Nature Discovery Center are also welcome additions to the Baytown Nature Center.


Park History The Roseland Park – Southern Pacific Locomotive 895 In late 1956, the Robert E. Lee Key Club successfully petitioned Southern Pacific Railroad to donate the retired Southern Pacific Locomotive Number 895 to the City of Baytown. In April of 1957, the locomotive was slowly moved from the railroad tracks at Main Street and Texas Avenue, down Texas Avenue to Roseland Park where the locomotive and its tender car has spent the past 55 years. The locomotive was moved using three sets of 90-foot sections of tracks and pulled with heavy equipment down the street. It took two full days to relocate the locomotive. Story is that every kid in Baytown followed the locomotive along the trip and that the kids constantly rang the bell all the way down Texas Avenue. The bell was stolen along with all the brass fittings on the first night in the park and has not been seen or heard of since‌ until late June, when a California train buff named Doug Debs spotted the bell for sale on eBay. Mr. Debs contacted the Baytown Police Department and Lieutenant Eric Freed about the bell and the investigation began. Lt. Freed contacted law enforcement officers in California who in turn, contacted the antique store that had just sold and shipped the bell. Seems the missing bell hung outside a residence in Rio Vista, California for over 50 years. The bell has since been sold twice and traded for a piece of equipment. The current possessor of the bell is uncooperative and refuses to return it to us. Our police department is unable to file criminal charges due to the statute of limitations expiring decades ago. Unfortunately, the bell remains with the current owner in California unless he has a change of heart.


Awards The Parks and Recreation Department won six awards in 2011 - 2012 including the Texas Recreation and Park Society's “Lone Star Programming Award” and the Texas Recreation and Park Society's “Outstanding Service Organization Award”. The Department was also recognized with three City of Baytown Team of the Month awards and one Employee of the Month award. Texas Recreation and Park Society Region IV 2011 Lone Star Programming Award On November 18, 2011, the City of Baytown received the Texas Recreation and Park Society, Region IV’s Lone Star Programming Award for the Department’s “Back to the Bay” program. The “Back to the Bay” Program, funded by ExxonMobil Corporation through the school district, educates 9th grade biology students in the Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District (GCCISD) on the scientific and cultural history of the Baytown area. The program rotates students through three stations designed to teach students about plants and animals that live in the waters of the Nature Center, water chemistry and the past cultural history of the Nature Center. Texas Recreation and Park Society Region IV 2011 Maintenance Award On November 18, 2011, the City of Baytown received the Texas Recreation and Park Society, Region IV’s Maintenance Award for the Department’s port-a-can enclosures. Park crews designed a small shelter similar to our picnic shelters in our parks, but enclosed on three sides with expanded metal to allow for airflow around the structure. A green metal roof and treated wood matched other park facilities and helps to reduce the temperature inside the port-a-can during the hot summer months. The expanded metal was painted black. To further enhance the idea, park crews welded different silhouettes on the expanded metal sides to highlight the uniqueness of each of the five parks that offer port-a-can service. Various shapes were cut out, painted and welded to the structures to enhance their appearance, such as Bayland Park, the shelter featured silhouettes of a sailboat and two different fish on each side representing the near by boat ramps and fishing piers. The new shelters not only improved the appearance around the port-a-can, but they have greatly improved the ease of maintenance of the port-a-cans as well.


Texas Recreation and Park Society Region IV 2011 Promotional Award On November 18, 2011, the City of Baytown received the Texas Recreation and Park Society, Region IV’s Promotional Award for efforts to promote the Pirates Bay Water Park The Baytown Parks and Recreation Department staff, lead by Assistant Director, Kylie Wilson, Recreation Services Manager Mike Flinn, and the City of Baytown's Public Affairs Coordinator, Patti Jett, teamed up to promote and market Pirates Bay Water Park. The water park, enjoyed tremendous success due to an multi faceted marketing approach. The goal was to not only tout this new attraction to the Baytown community, but also with the goal of putting Pirates Bay on the map in the arena of tourism. The marketing team initiated a major effort to showcase Pirates Bay as a destination spot for the summer and promote the Waterpark in various mediums to include the Waterpark website, Internet sites, social media, radio, print ads, movie theaters, television/cable, as well as promotional items. Harris/Galveston Area Council 2011 Parks and Natural Areas Award Planning Process Category On January 17, 2012, the City of Baytown Parks and Recreation Department and Halff Associates received the Harris/Galveston Area Council, 2011 Parks and Natural Areas Award, Planning Process Category award recognizing the “Playbook 2020” Master Plan. The Strategic Parks and Recreation Master Plan for Baytown is the 10-year roadmap for the future of Baytown’s parks and covers every aspect of the system from park facility needs, to trails, to enhancement of the waterfront and the unique Baytown Nature Center. The plan sections symbolically recall a playbook, including “Where We Play Today” (Inventory), “A Whole New Ballgame” (Needs Assessment) and “Keeping Your Eye on the Ball” (Recommendations). All plan elements are specifically targeted to Baytown’s needs and incorporated extensive public input, with feedback from almost 1,500 residents. Unlike many plans that just focus on smaller neighborhood parks and active sports fields, this plan emphasizes all aspects of the system, including open space, trails, waterfront and bay front access, and the creation of unique parks. It is a state-of-the-art model for advanced park system planning that recognizes the benefits of working with other infrastructure efforts, such as roads and drainage plans, to add to the overall quality of life in Baytown.


Texas Recreation and Park Society 2012 Lone Star Programming Award Class III On March 2, 2012, the City of Baytown received the Texas Recreation and Park Society’s, Lone Star Programming Award for the Department’s “Back to the Bay” program. The “Back to the Bay” Program, funded by ExxonMobil Corporation through the school district, educates 9th grade biology students in the Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District (GCCISD) on the scientific and cultural history of the Baytown area. The program rotates students through three stations at the Baytown Nature Center. The main objective of the “Back to the Bay” Program is to give students hands-on field experience in activities relating to aquatic ecosystem biology. Students participate in water sampling and analysis, aquatic organism collection using a variety of tools, aquatic organism identification, and a modeling activity demonstrating the effects of subsidence and erosion on bay ecosystems. Back to the Bay was implemented in the fall of 2011, after a curriculum was developed and approved by district administrators. The skills targeted are based on the state mandated science curriculum with particular emphasis on selected Chapter 112 Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) tested on the High School Science TAKS test. At the end of the school year, approximately 900 students participated in this program. Texas Recreation and Park Society 2012 Outstanding Service Organization Award On March 2, 2012, the Rotary Club of Baytown received the Texas Recreation and Park Society’s, Outstanding Service Organization Award. The Baytown Parks and Recreation Department nominated the Rotary Club of Baytown for the Outstanding Service in Conservation Award for the Club’s commitment of time and money during the past 4 plus years. The Rotary Club of Baytown has been and continues to be a major partner in the environmental education programs at the Eddie V. Gray Wetlands Education and Recreation Center in the City of Baytown. The club has contributed volunteer time and monetary support across a wide variety of programs at the Wetlands Center since the center’s construction in 1998.


During the last decade, the Rotary Club of Baytown has provided $25,000 for computerlab technology for staff and visitor use at the Wetlands Center, $3,000 for landscaping and $5,000 in summer camp scholarships for underprivileged students to attend the Wade Into Wetlands Summer Science Camp. Without the Rotary Club’s support, programs such as the award winning Liquid Science Program would not be possible. The club has been the sole sponsor of the Liquid Science Program since its inception in 2007 and has provided $20,000 for staff salaries and education equipment for this program. Because of the Rotary Club’s involvement, close to 7,500 students have gone through the Liquid Science Program. Club members have supplied countless volunteers who have planted landscaping, built landscape structures, manned countless education booths at local nature festivals, served as board members and acted as ambassadors for both the Baytown Nature Center and the Wetlands Center. City of Baytown Team of the Month of September 2011 A team of six Parks and Recreation Department employees demonstrated outstanding teamwork, creativity and determination in salvaging two pedestrian bridges that had been relocated from Bicentennial Park to the Baytown Nature Center. On the evening of August 24, 2011, Parks Division employees Dale Armistead, Tony Sorola, Mike Mueller, Leonard Graham, Minh Kotlarz, and Elena Tanner accepted the challenge of moving an 85 foot, 50,000 lb. pedestrian bridge. After receiving a $20,000 estimate to have a crane relocate the bridges, the Department was considering demolishing the old bridges. However; the team came up with a plan to move the bridges much the same way the Egyptian built the pyramids, by lifting one end of the bridge with a backhoe and then placing round post under the bridge to allow it to roll. The crew then slowly pushed the bridge into position by adding posts as the bridge moved until it was located in the desired location. Once in the area of the abutments, the team was able to slowly shimmy the bridge into place. The second bridge was placed in the same fashion creating an excellent trail addition to the Nature Center and saving the city around $20,000. The team demonstrated several key components of the City’s Core values including Leadership, Competence and Teamwork along with the city’s vision of creating and improving state of the art parks and recreational facilities in order to create a community which we can all be proud.


City of Baytown Team of the Month of October 2011 The terrible drought Baytown experienced during the summer and fall of 2011 yielded an unexpected discovery. Hundreds of discarded tires were sighted in a pond behind the Church of Christ at South Highway 146 and Missouri Street. The discarded tires became visible due to the record low water levels. In an impressive display of interdepartmental cooperation, the city’s Health, Parks & Recreation, and Public Works Departments came together to tackle the tire removal project. These employees met and strategize how best to reach and recover all the tires. Working with heavy equipment, boats, and good old –fashioned elbow grease, these eleven employees including Tony Sorola, Dale Armistead, Fred Mixon and Lorenzo Goodley from the Parks and Recreation Department, pulled 1,112 tires from the muck and mud. Many of the tires were covered in barnacles. Many more were less than sweetsmelling, and all were filthy dirty. Undaunted, our employees loaded all the tires into dump trucks and delivered them for recycling. City of Baytown Employee of the Month of February 2012 Veronica Arenas was tasked with planning this year’s Daddy and Me Dance on a flat budget. She began planning in February 2011 by looking out for sales in an attempt to obtain the best deals. This year’s 80’s theme was an excellent choice, which was obvious by the 600 attendees dressed in 80’s attire. Veronica encouraged excitement amongst the staff by persuading them to dress up. The entire department played important roles in this great event as well. Veronica encouraged the crowd to get up and dance. She was also observed speaking to several guests whom shared their thoughts and opinions; as we are constantly looking for ways to improve. Veronica can be credited for her thoughtful management in planning our most successful Daddy and Me Dance using only half of the original budget.


City of Baytown Team of the Month of January 2012 The team of Camille Borowiak, Eleazar Arellano, Dustin Burton, Minh Kotlarz, Lorenzo Goodley, Fred Mixon, Justyn Hospedales, Leonard Graham, Tony Sorola, Dale Armistead, Angel Sanchez, Kelly Hale, Mitch Dasant, Angel Comeaux and Mark Kahler were awarded the January 2012 team of the month for the work they accomplished during the winter median beautification project. The crew has assisted with installing over 5,500 feet of drip irrigation and assisted with the planting of 174 crape myrtles, 40 Cathedral Live Oaks and 48 Cedar Elms. But it didn’t stop here, the crew was also hard at work in February helping to complete three landscape beds along Alexander Drive. While planting and managing this large project, the crew also had to tend to their day-to-day duties of maintaining miles of medians, checking irrigation lines, and making sure all of the previous years trees are healthy and well maintained. This crew shows great pride in the work they do to help ensure Baytown is a beautiful place to live. This crew demonstrated the city's vision in helping create a community in which we are all proud of.

Publications The Parks and Recreation Department was honored to have the Pirates Bay Water Park recognized in two separate articles that appeared in both national and worldwide publications over the past year. The publications and articles are listed below. Plunging Into Aquatics. (October 2011). PRB, Parks & Rec Business, Volume 10, Issue 3, pages 30 - 33. Hey! That’s My Park! (March 15, 2012). The Park and Rec Trades, Volume 19, Number 3, Pages 12 13.


Special Recognition We express our sincere appreciation to the Mayor, City Council Members, and City Management for their support of the Department, as well as to our allied groups, including the Friends of the Baytown Nature Center, the Friends of the Eddie V. Gray Wetlands Education and Recreation Center, The Bay Area Historic Society, The Baytown Historical Preservation Association, Lee College, Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District, the Baytown YMCA, The Rotary Club of Baytown, The Kiwanis Club of Baytown, Historic Goose Creek Association, Baytown Chamber of Commerce, and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Baytown. Collectively, these groups, organizations and others, contribute a great deal to the success of many of the Department’s programs and events. We would also like to acknowledge the numerous contributions of volunteers, businesses and industries, noting that it is not possible to recognize them all individually, while conceding that we could not be successful without them. On a special note, we would like to thank Ken Jones, Harris County Constable Precinct 3, and his deputies for their help with the Christmas Parade, Grito Fest and the 3rd and 4th of July Celebration. A special thanks to Assistant Chief Bob Wooten, Captain Joe Eaglin and Lieutenant David Jones for their assistance in the coordination of the deputies’ efforts. The Parks and Recreation Department would like to thank several local industries for their contributions of money and labor during the past year. Most notable are ExxonMobil, Bayer Corporation, Chevron Phillips LP, Calpine Energy, and the TPC Group. Without their support of the Eddie V. Gray Wetlands Education and Recreation Center, the Baytown Nature Center, and several special events, many of the activities that are provided to the public would not be possible. We would also like to take this opportunity to express our utmost appreciation to several City Departments and employees who have provided noteworthy assistance to the Department this year. The staff of the Engineering Department, most notably Pete Lester, has been of great assistance to us again this year. The Traffic Control staff has helped with many events during the year, most notably the Christmas Parade, Grito Fest and the 3rd and 4th of July events. A huge thank you to the Police, Fire, Communications and Health Departments for their support and assistance with numerous events our department coordinates, including this year’s July 3rd and 4th Celebration and Grito Fest. Special thanks goes out to Chief Keith Dougherty and his staff, including Lieutenant Chris McDonald for coordinating the public safety at the 3rd and 4th of July Celebration. A special thank you to Fire Chief Shon Blake and Fire Marshall Bernard Olive for his assistance in planning and coordinating a variety of activities for the July 3rd and 4th Celebration, including the parade and providing meals to event staff, volunteers, and entertainers.


We would like to thank Lieutenant Eric Freed and the Baytown Police Department for their research and determination in working to return a part of Baytown’s history, the Roseland Park Locomotive 895 bell. We would also like to thank the staff at the Baytown Sun and the Sterling Municipal Library for assisting in the investigation by researching the Locomotive’s history. The Parks and Recreation Department sends out a special thank you to the Baytown Police Department for providing weekend security at the Pirates Bay Water Park. Thank you to the staff of the Sterling Municipal Library for editing and printing this report. In addition, we would like to recognize and thank Darryl Fourte and the Public Works Department for their assistance throughout the year with several park projects We also would like to thank all the volunteers who helped make this past year a success, specifically for the annual Daddy and Me Dance and the Summer Track program. We would like to especially recognize the volunteers that worked in preparation for the 6th Annual Grito Fest. A special thank you as well, to Enterprise Products and all our many sponsors and volunteers for the annual Special Olympics Track Meet. Thanks also go to the numerous volunteers that help staff the various programs at the Eddie V. Gray Wetlands Education and Recreation Center and at the Baytown Nature Center. A special thank you to the Parks and Recreation Department staff that continues to provide innovative and cost-effective quality activities, despite constant budget concerns and constraints, and for the long hours, many of which are after normal work schedules. The staff continues to strive to make Baytown a better place to live and work. The remainder of this report describes in more detail the status of our projects and programs. It also notes a number of completed improvements and concludes with a review of a few specific goals for the upcoming year.


Parks Completed Projects A. Bayland Marina Reconstruction – The reconstruction of the Marina at Bayland Island began in July 2011. The marina that was completely destroyed during Hurricane Ike in 2008 and was reopened this year on The FEMA funded April 5th. reconstruction project included the removal and disposal of the old pilings and debris that remained in the marina basin, dredging of the marina basin, the boat ramp channel and access to the ship channel to the original depths of -6 feet mean sea level (MSL), replacing channel markers and replacing the floating dock system. The new 101 boat slip configuration is slightly different than the original layout; however, the City will have the ability to expand if needed in the future. Solid Waste, Ltd. Inc., which held the contract for operation of the marina prior to Hurricane Ike, continued marina operations following the ribbon cutting. B. N. C. Foote Park Basketball Court Roof - Contractors installed a metal roof over the existing basketball court at N.C. Foote Park providing the City’s first covered outdoor all weather basketball court. The heavily used facility also included lighting improvements. C. Newcastle Park Lighting Improvements – For many years, the Newcastle Park neighborhood has asked for both park and parking lot lighting. Park staff has struggled with the issue because of connection issues for electrical service. Four years ago, staff installed a solar light to help with the problem; however, the light levels provided were too low to actually help with the problem. With the construction associated with a new subdivision, staff was able to tie into the new electrical service. Two new poles were added that provided lighting for the basketball court and the area surrounding the court and the parking lot.


D. Eddie Huron Park, Phase II Eddie Huron Park, located on Bush Road, was originally purchased in the 1970's as future parkland and was minimally developed as practice soccer fields in the 1990's. However, now that the park is surrounded by several subdivisions, the Parks and Recreation Department began active development of the park. The first phase of the project included the grading of the entire five acre site, reconfiguring the three soccer fields into one large 60 yard by 100 yard field that is parallel to the neighborhood houses, and the installation of two soccer goals. The project also included the construction of a nineteen space concrete parking lot by the Public Works Department. The project included the purchase and installation of a playground complete with a recycled rubber fall zone and 250 feet of connecting trail. A two table picnic shelter was also constructed. Thirty live oak trees were also purchased and planted along with a drip irrigation system in the park. The second phase, which began in October 2011, included a 1,765 foot long, six foot wide concrete loop trail, fitness equipment, fencing and a water fountain. The grand opening for the very popular park was held on February 16th with the family of Eddie Huron assisting with the ribbon cutting. Staff will complete the Eddie Huron Park project in 2013 that will include additional picnic shelters, a sand volleyball court and additional connecting trails. E. Jenkins Park – Cary Bayou Bridges – Contractors replaced the two four foot wide foot bridges with eight foot wide bridges. The new bridges are recycled railroad flat cars and are strong enough to drive vehicles over. The bridges were installed in December replacing the 35 year old narrow foot bridges that had served the park well. Park crews completed the project by connecting the crushed granite Cary Bayou trail to the bridges. The walking surface of the bridges is also crushed granite making a consistent surface for trail users.


F. Bergeron Park Playground Park crews replaced the vandalized playground unit with a new unit at Bergeron Park. The playground was destroyed by fire in late 2011. The two juveniles that caused the damage were apprehended. G. Duke Hill Park Quick Soccer – A new soccer game has emerged in recent years called “Quick Soccer”. The game uses ½ of a tennis court to play 5 on 5 soccer. The game is quick, easy to play and is growing rapidly. Park crews will renovate the existing tennis courts at Duke Hill Park into two courts, cut out soccer goals and improve the lighting. The project is expected to be completed in August. H. Jenkins Park Playground Improvements – Park crews removed an old playground unit and installed a new playground unit at Jenkins Park. Crews also replaced the playground wood mulch fall surface. I. Community Center/City Hall Plaza Improvements – Park crews installed a new gazebo along with connecting walkways in the open area between the Community Center and City Hall. The project also installed new lighted flagpoles and landscape. Crews have also replaced the “sun dial” that was removed prior to the City Hall expansion. The sun dial was donated in the 1970 by the Britton family and will become a center piece of the plaza once again.


Park and Facility Accomplishment A. Wayne Gray Sports Complex – Several projects were either completed or are in the planning stages at the park that will improve 60 acre park and to assist with the large crowds that are visiting the Pirates Bay Water Park. 1. Metal Storage Building Addition – Park crews will add another bay to the existing metal storage building located at the Wayne Gray Sports Complex. The two bay building is currently shared with the Girls Fastpitch Softball Association and the Parks and Recreation Department’s ballfield maintenance crews. The third bay will be used by the Pirates Bay Water Park for storage for seldom used items such as the movie screen and extra inner tubes. 2. Storage Facilities – Park crews added storage rooms to the concession/restroom buildings at both softball complexes this past year. The storage rooms have provide space to store janitorial supplies, field maintenance supplies and tools as well as concession stand items such as cups and other paper goods. 3. The Republic of Texas Plaza Replica Barn – The Baytown Historical Preservation Association (BHPA) received $35,000 for renovations and improvements to the interior of the barn. The barn shell was constructed in 2008 by the Parks and Recreation Department and has been used by the BHPA as part of their tours and programs at the Republic of Texas Plaza. Improvements include the construction of a small kitchen area, insulation and drywall the interior, painting the interior, and air conditioning the building. B. Beautification Projects 1. Medians - The fifth year of the City’s median beautification project included selected medians on Alexander Drive, Graywood median and Hunt Road.



Alexander Drive - Park crews landscaped 10 medians located on Alexander Drive from Ward Road north to Highway 146. Parks crews contracted the purchase and installation of 32 sixty-five gallon size cathedral oaks, 39 sixty-five gallon cedar elm trees, and 144 thirty gallon Tuscarora (pink) crape myrtles. Staff also constructed 2 landscape beds on Alexander Drive and contracted the installation of concrete curbing around the landscape beds. Parks crews planted the landscape beds that included Indian Hawthorn, Hamelin Grass, Tuscarora Crape Myrtle and Miss Victoria Daylilies. Crews also installed a battery powered drip irrigation system around all trees located in the medians including existing trees and the landscape beds.


Plumwood – Eva Maude Garden Club – A median located directly in front of the Quality Inn on South Alexander Drive at Gulf Street was sponsored by the Plumwood - Eva Maude Garden Club. The Garden Club donated $4,000 to complete their second landscaped project on Alexander. Park crews completed the installation of three – sixtyfive gallon trees, sixteen crape myrtles and a landscape bed this past spring. A sign was placed on the median to recognize the Club’s donation. The Garden Club donated over $4,000 last year to landscape a median on the north end of Alexander Drive.


Graywood Median – The Graywood median, located at the intersection of Memorial Drive and Fleetwood Drive, was transformed from an asphalt median to a colorful landscape during the past year. With the aid of the Public Works Department, all of the existing asphalt and base material was removed and replaced with quality bed mix in preparation of the project. Public Works crews also provided a water tap for the project.


Park crews also constructed the landscape bed and contracted the installation of pavers around the median. The new landscape bed included Tuscarora Crape Myrtle, Indian Hawthorn, Petite Pink Oleanders and Miss Victoria Daylilies. Crews also installed a battery powered drip irrigation system around the landscape beds. d.

Hunt Road Medians – The newly created medians constructed during the Hunt Road extension adjacent to Academy and Kohl’s created a new opportunity to improve the city’s appearance. Parks crews contracted the purchase and installation of 6 sixty-five gallon size cathedral oaks, 8 sixty-five gallon cedar elm trees, and 18 thirty gallon Tuscarora (pink) crape myrtles. Staff also contracted the installation of pavers along the Garth Road median noses. Crews also installed a battery powered drip irrigation system around all trees located in the medians to ensure the landscape’s survival.


2013 Median Beautification Plan –During the sixth year of the Median Beautification project, the Department plans to focus on Highway 146 between North Main and Garth Road. The City and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will partner to landscape the medians that run between the main lanes and the service road during the winter months of 2013. TxDOT will provide up to $100,000 worth of landscape plants, mostly trees, oleanders and crape myrtles, which will be planted and maintained by the Parks and Recreation Department. The Department will also install needed irrigation and provide all the bed preparation in advance of the planting project. Staff will begin planning the project this fall and request Public Works crews to begin installation of needed water taps during the fall. Future beautification projects include the completion of the Alexander Drive project and the new median planned at the intersection of Kentucky and Louisiana Street.




Arbor Day - Arbor Day was celebrated on Friday, April 27th, at the Eddie V. Gray Wetlands Center. Over 1,600 one gallon size trees were given away throughout the day including Live Oak, Bald Cypress, Elm, Eastern Redbuds, Red Maple, Chickasaw Plum, Bur Oak, Overcup Oak, Mexican Plum, Cherry Bark Oak, River Birch, Rose of Sharon, Water Oak, Swamp Chestnut Oak and Sycamore trees. The trees were either grown from seed at the Parks and Recreation Department's Tree Farm or donated seedlings from the Apache Corporation. Restoration of natural trees is a key component of efforts to enhance and beautify the appearance of a community. Staff also created tree descriptions for all the trees to assist residents in the proper care and maintenance of each tree type.


Bay Area Ministerial Alliance Serve Day – On March 3, 2012, the Bay Area Ministerial Alliance (BAMA) organized a citywide “Serve Day” that included most of the local churches in the Baytown area. Parks and Recreation staff along with key staff from the Health Department assisted with organization for cleanup of parks and major roadsides including Highway 146, Business 146, Spur 330, North Main, Jenkins Park and the Cary Bayou Trail among many other service opportunities. This is the second year of the BAMA annual serve day and has indicated that they plan to continue this annual event.


Texas Department of Transportation Right of Way Maintenance – The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Right of Way Mowing Program was developed to alleviate the number of complaints caused by the lack of TxDOT contractors’ mowing major highways. Started on January 2, 2009, the program continues to be a success and staff has added broadleaf weed control to continue to improve the appearance of Spur 330, Business 146 and Highway 146.


After three years of discussion, TxDOT staff and City staff negotiated an agreement that will allow TxDOT to pay the City for mowing and litter removal of TxDOT right of ways. City Council approved the agreement in June. The funding will cover most of the cost of the mowing program.

4. The Extended Drought of 2011 – The extended drought had a tremendous effect on the City’s trees. Hundreds if not thousands of large trees of all varieties died during the past year. Parks Crews and city contractors have removed over a thousand trees since October 2011. Trees that were located near homes or structures or near major roadways were cut down and removed by contractors and the Parks crews cut down trees in the Parks. Contractors also removed several large pines that were too big for park crews to safely cut down. In general, all the cut timber was removed from the park site; however, several large trees that are located in heavily wooded areas were cut and left to decay naturally. Park Crews also spent many hours grinding and removing stumps. The drought affected every park in the City, not only causing significant decline in trees and turf, but also caused dangerous cracks in the soil or earth cracks, due to expansive clay soil in areas that were extremely dry. This made a simple walk across the park dangerous. Earth cracks also caused the cancellation of soccer and flag football league play because of unsafe playing conditions. It will take several years, if not decades to fully recover from the devastation of the extended drought.


5. Park Trees - With the extended drought, the Parks and Recreation Department focused on keeping the trees and landscape we have alive with hand watering and irrigation systems. As with the Public Works Department, the dry expansive soils caused numerous water line breaks that threatened several of our landscaped areas. Our crews repaired several breaks during the several months long dry spell. The Department was able to plant only 22 of our 47 thirty gallon trees from our tree nursery during the year including Eddie Huron Park, McElroy Park and Pelly Park. The Department did not plant all of last Fall’s tree crop because of the extreme drought conditions and will focus on reforesting parks that were heavily damaged by the drought during the upcoming year. 6. ExxonMobil Tree Donation - Jenkins Park was devastated by the drought and thanks to a request from Baytown Bert, ExxonMobil donated $5,000 to assist the City in reforesting Jenkins Park. Park Crews planted 32 thirty gallon Eastern Redbud, Cedar Elm, Live Oaks and Loblolly Pine trees on April 27th. Park staff plans to add a drip irrigation system to ensure the trees success. C. Summer Welding Crew – For the forth year in a row, the department hired two students from local high schools and created a summer “welding crew”. The crew constructed welded pipe rail fences at a number of parks including Jenkins Park. The crew also constructed several new sign holders during the summer months. D. Bicentennial Park Improvements - Parks crews continued to make needed improvements to Bicentennial Park with the addition of a 200 foot long and a 280 foot long eight foot wide concrete trails. The two new connecting trails provide access to the booth areas on both sides of the park for both vendors and park guest. The welcomed improvements were made prior to the annual July 3rd and 4th Celebration.


Grants and Special Projects I.

Baytown Nature Center A. Natural Resource Trustee Program Grant (NRTP) – The City was successful with its application for an NRTP grant in the amount of $187,000 in 2003. This project will build approximately thirty-seven acres of enhanced wetland habitat in the Baytown Nature Center. The project, long delayed while waiting for the signed contract from the NRTP participants, was finally started in January of 2007. Because of weather issues, the project was halted three months after it was started. Due to the Department’s work load, Parks crews were not able to complete the project in a timely manor. With the aid of the Purchasing Department, and Crouch Environmental Services, the project finally resumed in the fall of 2011. The extended drought provided the Department with perfect working conditions. A contractor was able to grade and clean the area to the needed elevations in two short weeks. An extremely high tide breached the temporary dams causing the newly graded areas to flood just as the contractor completed the project. Contractors cleared the dams and the new marsh area was opened to the fish, birds and other marine life that thrives in such an environment. This portion of the project was completed in September. Throughout the project, Crouch Environmental Services and representatives from the TCEQ kept a close eye on the project and made several field changes to improve the project. The next phase of the project was the planting of Spartina alterniflora (smooth cordgrass) and Spartina patens (saltmeadow hay). Staff and the Galveston Bay Foundation held the annual Marsh Mania event at the site for a massive planting of the smooth cordgrass. Over 300 volunteers arrived at the site on the morning of May 5th and planted several acres of smooth cordgrass during the three hour event. Only five acres remain to be planted. Staff is negotiating with the TCEQ for additional dollars to complete the planting of Spartina alterniflora and Spartina patens along with a demonstration oyster bed. Staff expects an agreement in August. The project is expected to be completed during the fall.


B. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department – Recreational Trails Grant – Baytown Nature Center, Nature Trails, Phase II - Staff applied for an $84,615 grant to construct 5,340 feet of new decomposed granite trail at the Baytown Nature Center. The project is broken down into two sections. The first will provide access to the Myra C. Brown Wild Bird Sanctuary. The second section will improve a dirt path with a new decomposed granite trial that will connect the Butterfly Garden to the phase I trail on Bayshore Drive. The project also includes the construction of a 20 foot by 40 foot wildlife viewing platform that will be located at the end of the Myra C. Brown section of the trail. The project will be constructed by Parks and Recreation Department employees and will use milled asphalt and labor as the City’s match. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department approved the grant at a lower amount of $57,240 removing the City’s request for fencing from the project. The project is expected to begin in late fall 2012 and is planned to be completed early 2013. C. GB Biosciences - 11 Acre Mitigation Project – Staff is working with members of the GB Biosciences Team, Crouch Environmental Services, The Friends of the Baytown Nature Center and the Natural Resources Trustees Program headed up by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on an 11 acre mitigation project at the Baytown Nature Center. The GB Biosciences team includes representatives from GB Biosciences Corporation, Malcolm Pirnie and Arcadis. The City of Baytown authorized a license agreement with GB Biosciences in April 2009, allowing the Company to perform the mitigation project. The project will be similar to other wetlands projects at the Baytown Nature Center. GB Biosciences will provide funding for the project construction to the Friends of the Baytown Nature Center (BNC), who will administer the funds and assure the Trustees that the wetland construction will be completed as planned. The project will be located on the east side of the Baytown Nature Center adjacent to Bayshore Drive. D. Park Road Improvements – The City of Baytown plans to mill and overlay approximately 1.4 Miles of park roads located in the Baytown Nature Center. The project will be paid for by the Street Maintenance Sales Tax. Construction is expected to begin in mid August. The former main perimeter roads circling the old Brownwood neighborhood were constructed in the early 1970s.



E. Children’s Discovery Area – The Friends of the Baytown Nature Center, Wetlands Center staff and Park crews completed several projects at the Children’s Discovery Area at the Baytown Nature Center. Improvements include: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Installed a 6’ x 8’ crab climber Constructed three large picnic shelters with picnic tables and large family grills Constructed a wood pirate ship Installed the Bayer Music Garden Rock

Several other improvements to the Children’s Discovery Area are planned for the upcoming year including additional playground units and a sound garden. Several of the projects will be aided by future Day of Caring events. F. Day of Caring Projects - The Friends of the Baytown Nature Center, ExxonMobil staff and Park crews worked on several projects at the Baytown Nature Center for the United Way Day of Caring. The projects were started by ExxonMobil employees and completed by Parks and Recreation Department staff. Improvements include: 1. 2. 3.


Constructed seven 12’x12’ picnic table shelters throughout San Jacinto Point Repaired the wood fence at the Children’s Discovery Area Constructed a paver walkway that leads to the fountain at the Information Center

General Land Office – Coastal Management Program A. Cycle 16 Grant – With the aid of the City’s Grant writer, staff applied for and was awarded a $135,000 grant that will fund the removal of piling and other junk that litters Tabbs Bay near Bayland Park. The removal of the pilings from Tabbs Bay will improve navigability, provide safer public access to and enjoyment of the project area, and aesthetically beautify


this publicly popular nighttime fishing spot and waterfront area as part of larger beautification and redevelopment plans for the Bay and adjacent Bayland Island Park and Marina. The project officially began in November 2011. Staff completed an extensive search with responsible agencies such as the US Corp of Engineers, the General Land Office and the Port of Houston to ensure that no special permits would be needed to complete the project. With the aid of the Purchasing Department, bid documents were completed and submitted in June to the Coastal Management Program office for approval. The project was bid in July and a construction contract will be awarded in August 2012. The project will begin removing abandoned piles in Goose Lake just south of the West Main Bridge and will move past Business 146 and into Tabbs Bay. The removal and disposal project is expected to be completed in early fall. B. Cycle 17 Grant - The City’s Grant writer and Parks and Recreation staff again teamed up, applied for, and was awarded with a second $135,000 grant that will continue funding the removal of piling and other junk from Tabbs Bay. The second grant will pick up where the Cycle 16 project ended. The project is expected to begin in October 2012 and staff plans to use the lessons learned from the Cycle 16 project. Staff plans to immediately bid the project once all the contracts are completed with the General Land Office. The project is expected to be completed in early 2013. III.

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Projects – The Parks and Recreation Department applied for and received funding for three projects for FY 2013 which includes: A.

Central Heights Splash Deck - Staff requested CDBG funding for a splash deck, picnic shelter and signage for Central Heights Park. The improvements were requested by the Central Heights neighborhood residents to provide a safe, close to home water activity. The proposed splash deck will include a large family size picnic shelter, a family size grill, picnic tables and appropriate signage. Parks and Recreation Department employees will design and oversee the project. The picnic shelter will also be constructed by Parks employees. The project is expected to open in March 2013.


Pelly Park Basketball Court Lighting Improvements – Staff requested CDBG funding for park lighting improvements at Pelly Park. The proposed improvements were requested by area residents. The upgraded lights for the basketball court will provide adequate lighting on the court to allow for extended play. Currently, the existing pole and light is over 100 feet away and doesn’t provide enough light for users to safely utilize the courts after


dark. Parks and Recreation Department employees will design and oversee the project. The project is expected to be completed before Christmas. C.


Lincoln Cedars Playground Improvements - Staff requested CDBG funding for playground improvements at Lincoln Cedars Park. The proposed improvements were requested by area residents. Parks and Recreation Department employees will install two large spring toys and a rock climber to the playground. The project is expected to be completed before Christmas. N. C. Foote Park - United Way Born Learning Trail - the United Way of Baytown sponsored the installation of the “Born Learning Trail” along the N. C. Foote Trail. The Born Learning Trail has several learning stations around the park that have signs posted in English and Spanish suggesting activities that parents or other caregivers can do with their children. The goal of the trail is to incorporate learning into everyday life. For example, one station invites the parent to tell the child a story from his or her childhood. Storytelling, the sign says, helps children develop language skills before they start reading. Another station asks the child to listen, and describe the sounds that can be heard. A Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was held on November 19, 2011 officially opening the new trail.

Proposed 2013 Projects Several major park improvement projects are proposed for the upcoming year including: I.

Municipal Development District (MDD) Funded Projects A. B. C. D. E. F. G.

Eddie Huron Park Improvements - Phase III – (Trails, Picnic Sites and Sand Volleyball) Community Center Courtyard Improvements – Phase II – (Trellis and Landscaping) Roseland Park Improvements – (Trails, Pavilion and Playground) Baytown Soccer Park Irrigation – (Irrigate Three Fields) McElroy Park Basketball Court Roof – (Roof and Lighting Improvements over the Existing Outdoor Basketball Court) Hutto Drive Parkway – (Trails, Benches and Landscaping of Hutto Drive) Jenkins Park Disc Golf – (The 1st Disc Golf Course in Baytown)



City of Baytown Budget Capital Projects A. B. C. D. E. F. G.

Replace Playground Unit at Unidad Park. Renovations to Jenkins Pavilion Asphalt Overlay of North Little League Park Central Little League Entry Road Replacement Asphalt Overlay of the Park Service Center Westwood Park Trail Renovation Sand Blast and Paint Oil Pump Jack at Bicentennial Park

Recreation 2011 – 2012 Program Accomplishments 2011 Fall Community Yard Sale featured 95 vendors. The yard sale drew a crowd of approximately 2,000 shoppers to Bicentennial Park. This year, the event was held separately from Grito Fest on September 10th. 2011 Baytown 6th Annual Grito Fest - was held at Bicentennial Park on October 1st. The event featured the popular Tejano band Poder Del Norte, along with local favorites Ciclo Norteno and Mariachis Los Gallitos. Festival goers enjoyed a Grito Competition, Salsa and Jalapeno Eating Contest, and an Accordion Competition. With the exception of heat, the weather cooperated and proved to be a beautiful day. An estimated crowd of 3,000 attended the Grito Fest. The Grito Fest volunteer committee worked many hours to make the event a rousing success.

2011 Baytown Veterans Day Ceremony was held on November 11th at the Baytown Community Center due to rain. Over 200 attended the annual event, which featured guest speaker State Representative Wayne Smith.


2011 Baytown Art Exhibition and Reception was held at the Baytown Community Center on Thursday, December 1st. The reception featured the awards ceremony for both student art and professional art. The event was well attended with an estimated crowd of 220 students, parents, professional artists and art enthusiasts. Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Chairman Wayne Gray, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Member Carmon Torres along with Mayor Stephen DonCarlos, assisted with the awards program. 2011 - 2012 Ballroom Dances were held the third Friday of each month. Participants enjoyed dancing the Fox Trot, Mambo, Tango, Swing, Cha Cha and more. Each month an average of thirty-five participants attended. 2011 Baytown Christmas Parade was held on Friday, December 2nd. The event drew several thousand to Texas Avenue for a great start to the holiday season. The parade featured bands, dance teams, fire trucks and vehicles decorated with “A Toyland Christmas” theme. 2012 Daddy & Me Dance was held on Friday, February 3rd. This year’s theme was “The 80’s” and the creative decorations were a hit with the dads and daughters. An estimated 550 dads and daughters attended the event. The entire event ran smoothly and all in attendance had a great time. 2011 Youth Sports Expo was held on Saturday, January 15th, at the Baytown Community Center. All of the Little League Associations participated in the “kick off” day for registrations. This event served as the opening day of little league baseball registration. An estimated crowd of 800 people attended the event. This event is a collaborative effort with all the Leagues and representatives on the Youth Sports Council. 2012 League Opening Day was held on Saturday, March 3rd, for the Girls Fastpitch Softball Association (GFSA), Little Leagues and Teenage Baseball. Staff worked with all the Leagues prior to opening day by providing paint and supplies to make the necessary improvements to the parks and concession stands.


2012 Baytown Special Olympics Track Meet was held on Saturday, April 21st, at the Goose Creek Memorial Stadium. With 16 teams and 450 volunteers this event was very successful. The Department has continued to receive glowing praise for the work that went into the event and the way the entire event was managed. 2012 Spring Yard Sale was held on May 19th. Staff was very pleased with the response for booth spaces, sales and attendees the morning of the event. Fifty booth spaces were sold for the event and over 1,000 people attended. 2012 Memorial Day Service was held on May 28th at the Veterans Memorial Plaza at Bicentennial Park with over 200 people in attendance. William Eckert, Executive Director of the Bay Area Homeless Shelter, served as the guest speaker. 2012 July 3rd & 4th Celebration was held at Bicentennial Park. The two-day celebration kicked off on July 3rd with scheduled performances by Ryan Guidry, Casey Weston and rock and roll legends the Marshall Tucker Band. However, just two hours before the start of the show, Casey Weston informed us that she had lost her voice. Staff sprung into action and quickly called local country singer David Glenn to take her place in the show. He and two other band members responded with an excellent show. Casey Weston was introduced to the crowd and promised to come back next year. This year was the best crowd ever for the 3rd of July event. The celebration continued on July 4th with performances by Bill Archer, Cory Morrow and Robert Earl Keen. Staff moved the start time of the event to 5:00 PM due to low attendance during the heat of the day in previous years. The annual parade led into the opening ceremonies. The crowd was large throughout the day and grew even larger when Robert Earl Keen took the stage. Staff did an excellent job selling booths, with all food booths sold a month in advance.


The fireworks were the perfect close for event, with just enough breeze to clear smoke, allowing for a nice view of fireworks during the show. Our thanks to Baytown Fire Department for making sure show went on without incident.

the the the the the

The entire Parks and Recreation Department, the Police Department, the Fire Department, the Traffic Control Division, Emergency Medical Service, the Health Department, the Information Technology Service, Public Affairs Office and the Public Works Department went above and beyond the call of duty to make this the smoothest celebration yet.


Remaining Programs for 2012 (August – December)     

2012 Baytown Community Garage Sale – Saturday, September 8th 2012 Grito Fest – Saturday, October 6th 2012 Veterans Day Ceremony – Sunday, November 11th 2012 Baytown Art Exhibition & Reception – Thursday, December 6th 2012 Baytown Christmas Parade – Friday, December 7th

2011 – 2012 Programs and Activities Leisure Programs - Staff was extremely busy this year organizing new programs for the public. Some are still getting off the ground, and others were very successful. Staff is continually adding new programs and enhancing our current ones. Some of the programs offered or expanded this year were:      

     

Country & Western Dance Yoga Kick Boxing Guns and Buns Kids Craft Class Children Summer Camps a. Lego Logo b. Lego Mania c. Camp Barbie d. Fashion Designer e. Art Camp Boot Camps Kid Fit Camps Zumba City of Baytown Employee Wellness Classes Tennis Extreme Coupon Classes

Some of the other programs and activities our staff offered this year include Ballroom Dance, West Coast Swing, Hip Hop Dance, and Messy Mitts.


Senior Recreation Center - The seniors continue enjoying the weekly programs each month, including Bridge, Quilting, Bingo, Dominoes, and Cards. The “Thursday Dances” are always a big hit. Each quarter, the seniors also host a luncheon. Staff is working with additional senior groups in hopes of combining some of the programs to increase attendance in the Senior Center, and expand the offerings available to the group. Athletics Programs – The City of Baytown is always striving to offer the community many new and exciting recreational and competitive sporting activities regardless of skill level. Over the past year, we have started an adult rag ball, adult kickball, and youth tennis leagues in addition to our already in place, adult soccer, adult flag football, Men’s Recreational, Men’s Competitive, Women’s Competitive, and COED softball leagues. All leagues are sanctioned by the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) and the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation (TAAF), and play an eight to ten game schedule with double headers each night followed by a single elimination tournament at the end of each season. Along with our current leagues, staff also works with ExxonMobil, The Senior Softball Association, and various other tournament organizations to assist them in hosting their league or tournament games at the Wayne Gray Sports Complex. Games are offered through out the year with our fall, spring, spring II, summer, and winter leagues as well as many various year round softball tournaments. To date, more than 200 teams have registered and participated in our sport leagues this past year.


Youth Summer Track Program was held May through August, coached by Mark Crooms and managed by the entire recreation team. The program involved four day a week practices at Baytown Ross S. Sterling High School Track, as well as weekly circuit meets at various surrounding communities including Galena Park, La Porte, Deer Park, Texas City and Pasadena. All the participants competed in the Hershey Track program, and the competitive group of participants competed in the TAAF Regional Meet. Both programs are open to boys and girls ages 6 to 18. Staff also hosted a track meet at Baytown Robert E. Lee’s “Pete Sultis” Stadium on June 21st with teams from all over the region attending. The program has grown from eight members, ten years ago, to over 100 members this summer. This year the team has been very successful, qualifying sixty participants at the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation (TAAF) Regional Meet to go on to the TAAF State Games of Texas meet in Corpus Christi. 2012 TAAF Games of Texas were held July 26 – 29 in Corpus Christi, Texas. The Olympic-style competition for amateur athletes includes events in a number of sports including track, swimming, softball, bowling, tennis, gymnastics, boxing, golf, flag football, volleyball, baseball and soccer. A few members of our staff worked the Track & Field Meet while our Baytown Track Team participated in the meet. The summer track team took 42 athletes to the TAAF 2012 Summer Games of Texas and 24 qualified for finals. The track team won 1 gold medal, 2 silver medals, and 1 Bronze medal.


Aquatics The Aquatics Division continues to grow and expand. The City’s aquatic program added two new spray parks this past spring with three more planned for the future. Calypso Cove and Pirates Bay both are at or near capacity daily. With expansion looming at Pirates Bay in the near future, the City’s aquatic programs and facilities are quickly becoming one of the best municipal systems in the state of Texas. The Aquatics Division is set up as a self supporting enterprise fund with revenue paying for all operational expenses including personnel, utilities and routine maintenance for both Pirates Bay and Calypso Cove. The operations cost of the two facilities has no impact on the city’s operations budget. In addition, one dollar from every admission ticket sold at both parks is set aside for future capital maintenance cost. Following the 2011 season, $217,090 has been set aside in the Capital Replacement account. Beginning in January, the Aquatic staff hired and trained over 200 local employees for everything from lifeguards, concession operators, ticket takers and custodial duties. This year, approximately 40% of lifeguards, and 50% of guest services staff returned from the 2011 season providing some continuity to the staff. Over 20 employees returned for their third year at the park. The lifeguards are all certified through the Red Cross in Waterpark Lifeguarding, First Aid, CPR, Oxygen Administration, and AED usage. Staff were also trained on the large slides and rides including the Flowrider. The aquatics staff is cross trained to work at both Pirates Bay and Calypso Cove. During the 2011 summer season, the Aquatics Division provided over $500,000 in payroll to more than 200 high school and college students that worked at Pirates Bay and Calypso Cove. The City’s aquatic facilities have become an excellent opportunity for summer employment for our youth. Pirates Bay Water Park – The Pirates Bay Water Park continued its popularity from the first two seasons drawing visitors from all over southeast Texas and beyond. Park visitors exceeded all expectations when over 201,000 people entered the gate over the past two seasons. Gate attendance is projected to be near 120,000 for the 2012 season also. During the off season, several improvements were made to the park that helps ease the impact of the large number of people that visit the park each day. These improvements include:  

Improved air conditioning of the Crows Nest, Staff Office and Ticket Office. Constructed and opened “The Black Pearl” souvenir shop.


Calypso Cove July 7, 2011 successful

Staff also continued several programs including Swimming Lessons, FlowRider lessons, Dive–in Movies, and the Itty Bitty Beach Club. The Itty Bitty Beach Club is open to little pirates up to age 5 and their parents once a week between 8 and 10:30 a.m.

New this summer, staff introduced a Birthday Party Package which includes food, admission, decorations and a visit from Walt D. Plank. Staff continued to come up with new and innovative ways to advertise the water park. Former Parks and Recreation Department staff member Donovan O’Connor and several children appeared in another creative commercial that featured the Wooster School House. The commercial, as with the last two year’s versions, is aired across the greater Houston area on Comcast Cable. The City has also utilized Houston and Beaumont area radio stations, advertising at the Premiere Cinema theatre, along with traditional print ads in local and Houston area newspapers and magazines, as well as state-wide publications. The Department also utilizes Facebook and Twitter along with the City of Baytown’s website and Calypso Cove – Calypso Cove opened at the end of May 2011. The city’s newest aquatic facility is a smaller Caribbean themed water park and is located at N.C. Foote Park on West Main. Attendance for last summer also exceeded expectations with 15,817 visitors. The pool has a capacity of 125 people and averaged 214 visitors per day in 2011. Calypso Cove attendance in 2012 continues to exceed expectations with well over 10,000 visitors by July 31st.



Pirates Bay Expansion Master Plan – Due to the tremendous success of Pirates Bay and capacity issues, the City entered into a contract with the team from Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. and Counsilman-Hunsaker to provide professional services to develop a Pirates Bay Expansion Master Plan. The consulting team was responsible for the successful Aquatics Facilities Master Plan. The Consultants have been working with key staff members to prepare a strategic master plan that will include options, opinions of probable cost, and an opinion of financial performance to guide the expansion of Pirates Bay Water Park over the next 5 to 10 years. The team began the project in June 2012 and is expected to be completed in August. The first phase will be designed to expand capacity by 400 to 500 guests and to provide additional shade for the site. Preliminary discussions around the first phase include a wave pool, an interactive fountain, concessions and staff building and additional parking. Future phases include additional family style and thrill rides. Planning and engineering on the first phase is expected to begin in September with construction beginning next spring. Construction on the first phase is expected to take approximately 12 to 14 months to complete. The expansion is expected to open for the 2014 season. Spray Parks and Splash Decks - The Aquatics Facilities Master Plan not only recommended the construction of Calypso Cove and Pirates Bay, but also recommended the addition of several spray parks and splash decks to be scattered around the city. Bergeron Park Splash Deck was completed and opened in 2011; McElroy Park Spray Park and Pelly Park Splash Deck were both opened in the spring of 2012. An additional splash deck is planned as part of a future pocket park in the downtown area and a future spray park is planned for Jenkins Park. The Spray Parks and Splash Decks are open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 12:00 noon until 8:00 p.m. on Sundays. The facilities will be open daily until November 4th. Mc Elroy Park Spray Park –As recommended by the Aquatics Facilities Master Plan, McElroy Park received a new 4,511 square foot spray park with three large picnic shelters, sixteen picnic tables, large family size grills connecting trails, a 20 space parking lot, lighting improvements and a port-a-can enclosure. Park crews also planted several large trees including irrigation for the newly planted trees to insure their survival.


Because of the extended drought and the poor expansive soil conditions, not only did McElroy Park receive a brand new spray park, but the park also received a new basketball court. Park crews also painted all tables and shelters and added play equipment in the park in preparation for the grand opening. The project was funded by the Aquatic Bonds. On Thursday, March 15th, the Mayor, City Council members and Parks and Recreation Advisory Board members cut the ribbon on the brand new facility. Eight year old Fabian Torrez won the drawing to be the first person to turn on the McElroy Park Spray Park following the ribbon cutting ceremony. Pelly Park Splash Deck – As recommended by the Aquatics Facilities Master Plan, Pelly Park received a new 1,024 square foot splash deck park with a large picnic shelter, six picnic tables, large family size grills connecting trails and landscaping. Park crews also painted all tables and shelters in the park in preparation for the grand opening. The project was funded by the Aquatic Bonds. On Friday, March 23rd, the Mayor, City Council members and Parks and Recreation Advisory Board members cut the ribbon on the brand new facility. Three year old Aubree Lopez won the drawing to be the first person to turn on the Pelly Park Splash Deck following the ribbon cutting ceremony. Bergeron Park Splash Deck – The Bergeron Splash Deck opened for its second season on March 10th and will remain open until November 4th. The very popular splash deck served the West Baytown neighborhood during last summer’s extremely hot weather cooling off kids of all ages.


Roseland Spray Park – This popular water attraction opened for its 10th season this spring on March 10th. The facility will be open until November 4th. The Railroad themed Spray Park is open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 12:00 noon until 8:00 p.m. on Sundays. Future Spray Parks and Splash Decks – According to the Aquatics Facilities Master Plan, one more spray park and one more splash deck are planned in the near future. The splash deck will be located at an unspecified downtown location. The spray park will be constructed at Jenkins Park.

Environmental Programs Eddie V. Gray Wetlands Education and Recreation Center A. The Wetlands Center conducted the “ExxonMobil Wetlands Ecology Program”

(13th year) and “Bayer Making Science Make Sense Program” (12th year) for over 1,600 Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District (GCCISD) 5th grade students. Students participated in educational activities at both the Wetlands Center and Baytown Nature Center. TEKS-aligned activities center around wetland ecosystem awareness, marine debris and biodegradation timelines, estuary modeling, animal adaptations, scientific method and use of microscopes, life cycles and metamorphosis, and live animal biology. B. The “The Rotary Club of Baytown Liquid Science Program” for GCCISD 8th graders was conducted for the 4th year. Approximately 1,550 GCCISD 8th graders participate in the program, which focuses on water sampling and analysis, watersheds and pollutant awareness, abiotic and biotic parameters affecting an ecosystem, and the dissection and biology of blue crabs. The Rotary Club of Baytown has pledged its continuing financial support for the program. C. Wetlands Center staff once again conducted ten weeks of Wade Into Wetlands Summer Science Camps, this year offering camps for 1st through 10th graders. Camp offerings this year included “Radical Reptiles,” “Wetlands Wonders”, “Flower Power,” “Naturally Mysterious”, “Trailblazers,” “Survive Alive!” and “Green Planet” along with 43

favorites “Fishing Fanatics,” “Nature’s Canvas,” and “Ocean Commotion”. Each camp was full, accommodating 22 students. The Friends of the Eddie V. Gray Wetlands Education and Recreation Center awarded $6,500 in low income and academic scholarships. A private donor sponsored eight campers from Harbour House for Boys. Chevron Phillips once again served as the major corporate sponsor. D. Wetlands Center staff conducted the 3rd Annual “Spring into Nature” Spring Break Camp. Thirty students enjoyed the week long camp, which included daily topics of Tracking Nature, Flower Power, Survive Alive, Fishing Frenzy and Crazy Critters. The success of the camp guarantees we will offer it again next year. E. Wetlands Center staff conducted the 2nd Annual “Winter Wonderland” Holiday Camp. Twenty-three 1st - 3rd graders enjoyed three days of fun filled activities, finishing the week with a foam “snow” program. We will offer this camp every year during the week that kids are out of school for the winter holidays. F. Wetlands Center staff conducted educational programs for pre-schools, churches, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, home-schoolers, public schools within and outside of GCCISD (elementary through high school), private schools, both within and outside GCCISD, Lee College, daycares and senior citizen groups. School districts attending Wetlands Center now include Humble ISD, Spring Branch ISD, Amarillo ISD, Crosby ISD, Dayton ISD, Liberty ISD, Katy ISD, Houston ISD, and Sheldon ISD. G. The Wetlands Center was once again named a beneficiary of TPC Group’s Annual Golf Tournament. We received funds for our “Wetlands Wagon Outreach Program”, our new program targeted at teaching nature education to schools, festivals, and other group events. Wetlands Wagon Outreach will now be promoted as being sponsored by TPC Group. We anticipate ongoing support for next year too.


H. Wetlands Center staff and volunteers participated in many outreach events, including:  Houston Zoo Educator Day at the Houston Zoo  NatureFest at Jesse Jones Park in Humble  Galveston Bay Foundation’s Bay Day at the Kemah Boardwalk  Crosby Independent School District’s Agventure Day  Sam Houston Council’s Scout Fair at Reliant Arena  U.S. Forest Service’s Woodland and Wildlife Festival  Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Take Me Outdoors Houston Festival at Discovery Green Park  Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Texas Toyota Bass Classic in Conroe  Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Better Living Outside at Houston Livestock Show  Challenger Seven Learning Center’s Earth Day Celebration  Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) - Texas Coastal Expo at Moody Gardens  Rotary Club of Baytown’s Catfish Festival at Royal Purple Raceway  Baytown’s Special Olympics  Texas Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) Festival at Eastside Honda  Texas Stream Team Conference in Clear Lake  City of Baytown’s Health and Safety Fair  Sterling Library’s Family Fall Event  Waterweek at WaterWorks Education Center in Humble  Creekside Hunting and Fishing Show in Needville, Texas  Gulf Coast Waterfowl Festival in Pasadena  Southeast Texas Gun, Knife and Coin Expo in Dayton  Stephen F. Austin’s Fall Festival  Crockett Elementary’s Family Science Night  Highlands Elementary Family Science Night  Ashbel Smith’s Spring Festival  Lamar Elementary Family Science Night  McWhirter Elementary Family Science Night  Royalwood Elementary Career Day Outreach activities also included onsite student classes at Lakeland Elementary in Humble, Oppe Elementary in Galveston, Crosby Library, ExxonMobil BOP Safety Meeting, Texas Master Naturalist class at Armand Bayou Nature Center, Crosby Methodist Church Weekday School, WW Diving Company’s Scuba Ranger class in Humble, several visits to GCCISD schools and preschools in Baytown. 45

I. Wetlands Center Staff presented a workshop on using live animals in the classroom to Lee College Education students during their “I Want to Be a Teacher” Conference. J. Wetlands Center continues to host numerous groups, such as City of Baytown’s Human Resources and Parks and Recreation Department, Baytown Police, TPWD Hunter Education Programs, Baytown Geocaching Group, TPWD Law Enforcement Workshops, World Wide Wetlands Board of Directors, Beta Sigma Phi Society, Friends of Wetlands Center, Friends of Baytown Nature Center, Hill of Rest Cemetery Board, Baytown Citizens Advisory Committee, Communities in Schools, Sportsman’s Pursuit, Houston Galveston Area Council, and United Way of Baytown’s planning luncheon. Hosted meeting and lunch of Texas Master Naturalists. Hosted meetings and lunch of United Way of Baytown Allocations Committees. Hosted ExxonMobil college interns, who used the Exhibit Hall as work space to build birdhouses for ExxonMobil Greenbelt. Hosted Bayer college interns, who built birdhouses, bird feeders, and a screech owl box for the Baytown Nature Center. Hosted Texas Environmental Extension Service’s Oil Spill Recovery Workshop on Goose Creek. K. Participated in City of Baytown’s 4th of July Celebration. Visitors enjoyed the touch tanks, microscope lab, live animal exhibits and catfish fishing pond. Attendance at the event was outstanding, and it seemed like most visitors came through the Wetlands Center and the Baytown Nature Center booth. L. Participated in City of Baytown’s Grito Fest. Visitors enjoyed the touch tank, live animal exhibits, and marine debris display. M. Gator Tales, the preschool program at the Wetlands Center, continues to meet in the summer and winter. Kids have story time, then meet live animals and participate in an activity or do a craft. Gator Tales serves as a good complementary program to Tyke Hike, which is held at the Baytown Nature Center during the spring and fall. N. Birthday parties have become a regular part of Saturdays at the Wetlands Center. Promotional flyers advertise “Wildest Birthday Party in Town,” which includes two hours of room use, tours of the Wetlands Center exhibits, an activity based on the party theme, and a chance to touch and handle wild critters.


O. The Friends of the Wetlands Center hosted their annual fund-raising gala at the home of Chris and DeeAnne Navarre. Approximately 200 people attended and the event raised close to $22,000. These proceeds help fund extra staff hours and summer science camp scholarships at the Wetlands Center. P. The Friends of the Wetlands Center and Lee College continued their partnership to provide educational interns for the Liquid Science Program. Selected students teach and/or assist with education stations during the Liquid Science Program and receive a scholarship funded by the ExxonMobil Lee College fund for their next semester. The Wetlands Center has employed seven interns through this program. Q. Four issues of the Wetlands Center’s newsletter, “Marsh Matters,” were written and published. Most subscribers are now receiving the newsletter by email. Current issues are also linked to the website for public enjoyment. Both the Wetlands Center and Baytown Nature Center are also now on Facebook, and receiving positive comments from the general public. R. The “Land of Milk and Honey” beehive continues to thrive, with new volunteer Clarence Shepherd, a local beekeeper, helping to maintain the hive’s health. S. Speaking engagements included The Rotary Club of Baytown, Lions Club of Baytown, ExxonMobil safety meetings, Faith Presbyterian Men’s Fellowship Group, Plumwood - Eva Maude Garden Club, Lakewood Garden Club, Goose Creek Ladies Association, and the Ladies Association of Goose Creek Country Club. Staff also presented discussion on non-point source pollution at a City of Baytown Lunch and Learn meeting. T. Wetlands Staff presented two workshops at the Baytown Early Educator’s Conference. Staff participated in Lee College’s STEM Conference where they led the “It’s All Downstream From Here” activity on watersheds and non-point source pollution. U. Staff attended the Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept. “Becoming an Outdoor Woman” Conference in Brownwood, Texas, where they taught workshops on Fish Biology, Art in Nature, and Wonderful Wetlands.


V. Rotary Club of Baytown was awarded the Volunteer Conservation Group Award from the Texas Recreation and Parks Society in recognition of their ongoing support of environmental programs at the Eddie Gray Wetlands Center. The Rotary Club has been the sole sponsor of the Liquid Science Program, as well as a sponsor for many other activities at the Wetlands Center. Rotary board members traveled to The Woodlands to receive the award at the TRAPS Annual Awards Banquet and Conference. W. Staff attended the Texas Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching (CAST) in Dallas. Over 6,000 science teachers attended. This conference is a great place to learn new ideas and gather new resources. Staff also attended a National Geographic Marine Education Workshop in Galveston, where we received teaching ideas and some additional marine education resources.

Baytown Nature Center A. Continued with “Tyke Hike,” part of ExxonMobil’s “Discovering Nature’s Secrets” program. Weekly sessions included hands-on nature activities to introduce reptiles, insects, spiders, fish, and many other nature-based topics. Parents/grandparents attend with their children. Average attendance is around fifteen kids per week. During one Tyke Hike session, kids planted trees at the Children’s Nature Discovery Area. The project was funded by Calpine Energy through the Friends of the Baytown Nature Center. B. The Naturalist and Assistant Naturalist continue to host educational field trips for scout groups, bird watching clubs, seniors groups, church groups, schools (both Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District (GCCISD) and other districts), Lee College classes, and tourists to promote the environmental wealth of the Nature Center. They also speak in the community, with numerous talks at ExxonMobil. C. “Nurture Nature Series” continues at BNC on the first Saturday of each month. Topics this year included Reptiles, Angler Education, Creepy Critters, Wild About Birds, Wildlife Rehabilitation, Spring Gardening, Green Animals, Butterflies of Baytown, Insects and Wetlands. Guest speakers and Baytown Nature Center (BNC)/Wetlands Center staff will be presenting the topics.


D. The 2nd Annual Nurture Nature Festival was held in November. The festival was a huge success, with over 1200 people attending. Stage presentations by Crocodile Encounter and Texas Snakes and more were a big hit. Optimist Club sold food, and Friends of BNC sponsored meals for the exhibitors. E. The new “Back to the Bay” high school biology program was kicked off at the Baytown Nature Center. This new program serves as a field lab to complement the Wetlands Ecology Program and the Liquid Science Program from the Wetlands Center. Select 9th and 10th grade biology students from GCCISD travel to the BNC to participate in water analysis, seining and cast netting for species identification, introduction to invasive and exotic species, and a historical perspective on human impact on the local environment. Nine hundred students will participate in this program, which is funded by ExxonMobil through the school district. This program was so successful that it was awarded the “Lone Star Programming” Award by Texas Recreation and Parks Society at their annual conference in The Woodlands. F. Scout interest in workshops and camping at BNC continues to increase. BNC Naturalist hosts workshops for Webelos, Brownies, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Royal Rangers, and Daisy Groups. Several troops have camped overnight at BNC. G. BNC hosted several community service groups, including Lee College classes who cleaned the shoreline, and 50 students from University of Minnesota’s “Students Today, Leaders Forever” group, who chose BNC as their coastal Texas site for community service.


H. Kiwanis Club of Baytown chose BNC as the site for the annual picnic, as did Baytown Area Girl Scouts. Both groups enjoyed the new picnic shelters constructed this year at BNC. I. Texas A & M University (TAMU) GeoX Program chose the Wetlands Center and BNC as their out-of-town field trip. 15 students from across Texas traveled to Baytown, where we led their group on activities including water sampling, water testing, seining, cast netting and animal species identification. J. Houston Audubon members visited BNC for a birding field trip, and has expressed interest in hosting monthly birding trips. Dwayne Litteer and David Hanson, two excellent birders/photographers, continue to promote BNC as a good photography venue. BNC was once again the site of the Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count, with 86 species of birds spotted this year. K. Sterling High School’s Outdoor Adventure class visited BNC for an afternoon of Angler Education. Over fifty students attended, and several went home with pictures of their first fish ever caught. L. The Raven Chapter of the “Order of the Arrow” district again chose the Baytown Nature Center as the site of their “Ordeal”. The Arrow candidates spent a Friday night at BNC, then worked in silence all day on Saturday cleaning trails, cleaning shorelines and helping an Eagle Scout with his project in the Children’s Nature Discovery Area. Raven Chapter also chose BNC as the site for their “TapOut” campout, which is the planning meeting for the Ordeal. M. The CoLoNeh chapter of the “Order of the Arrow” district also chose the Baytown Nature Center as the site of their annual “Ordeal”. They had over 100 candidates to participate in service projects, which included constructing boardwalk in the new NRTP marsh, helping to construct a pirate ship in the Children’s Nature Discovery Area, and cleaning and planting in the Crystal Bay Butterfly Garden. N. ExxonMobil employees once again chose the Baytown Nature Center as their project site during United Way’s Day of Caring. With the help of Parks crews, volunteers constructed roof frames for the shelters, completed the “Nature’s Path Walkway”, and repaired fencing in the Children’s Nature Discovery Area.


O. Reconstruction of Children’s Nature Discovery Area continues. Friends of Baytown Nature Center, ExxonMobil, scout groups, and Parks staff have all participated in the creation of several new play areas in the Children’s Area. ExxonMobil sponsored a new, custom designed crab climber in celebration of the Nature Center’s 10 year anniversary in 2012. Bayer sponsored the “Bayer Music Garden” as an addition to the Children’s Area. When complete the Children’s Nature Discovery Area will be a unique nature playscape that will serve as an excellent environmental education venue in the Houston/Galveston area. P. The Natural Resource Trustee Program salt marsh creation is complete. Galveston Bay Foundation chose the spot as the site for the Annual Marsh Mania event. Over 260 volunteers planted smooth cordgrass in the marsh. Plants were provided by NRG EcoCenter in Baytown. GBFR also celebrated their 25th anniversary at Marsh Mania, providing door prizes and entertainment for all volunteers. Q. Galveston Bay Foundation chose BNC as their “Hip to Habitat” location for this year. School groups from the Houston Galveston region planted smooth cordgrass in the newly constructed NRTP salt marsh as a school project. R. BNC continues to attract Eagle Scout candidates. Eagle projects completed this year include benches on San Jacinto Point built by Jonathon Rios and a composting demonstration area in the Butterfly Garden created by Kaleb Green. Several other projects are in the works and should be completed within the year. S. Attendance at the Baytown Nature Center continued to increase. However; attendance at the Nature Center has increased dramatically during the past few years and is projected to cover all expenses in the operations budget for the third year in a row. The extended drought of 2011 did have a negative impact on the BNC as attendance dropped in late summer because of the intense heat. Attendance did rebound once the weather conditions improved.


Four Year Comparison of Annual Attendance and Revenue April 1, 2008 – March 31, 2012 Day Permits Sold Revenue Annual Individual Passes Sold Revenue Annual Family Passes Sold Revenue Total Annual Revenue

* April 1, 2008 – March 31, 2009 14,375 $43,125 266 $5,320 82 $4,100 $52,545

April 1, 2009 – March 31, 2010 21,787 $65,361 317 $6,340 122 $6,100 $77,801

April 1, 2010 – March 31, 2011 24,307 $72,921 343 $6,860 127 $6,350 $86,131

April 1, 2011 – March 31, 2012 21,867 $65,628 309 $6,180 148 $7,400 $79,208

* The Baytown Nature Center was closed in 2008 due to Hurricane Ike from September 11 - November 1st.

2012 - 2013 Recommendations 1.

Work to implement the recommendations of the Playbook 2020, The Strategic Parks and Recreation Master Plan for the City of Baytown, Texas.


Support the accomplishment of the City Council’s Visioning priorities which include, but are not limited to: Development and Redevelopment, Infrastructure Maintenance and Improvement, and Creating a Community we can all be proud of.


Continue to demonstrate sensitivity to the community’s needs through the involvement of citizens in the planning and development of facilities, programs and policies.


Continue support for “Quality of Life” initiatives, community appearance and economic development projects.


Continue to program CDBG funds for acquisition and development/renovation of target area parks.


Continue to provide adequate annual funding for quality maintenance and operation of the Department.


Expand promotional and marketing efforts for all special events and programs, as well as Pirates Bay and Calypso Cove.


Expand athletic program offerings and “partner” with area facilities to broaden our participation base.


Continue to submit tournament bids for future ASA, TAAF and USSSA softball and flag football tournaments on the regional, state and national level.


Continue to implement the recommendations of the Aquatic Facilities Master Plan as well as the Pirates Bay Expansion Master Plan.


Work to secure future parkland that will correspond to the future growth of the City.


Expand the recreation and educational programs offered to attract all age groups.



Continue to improve and expand the environmental, recreational and educational programs of the Eddie V. Gray Wetlands Education and Recreation Center and the Baytown Nature Center.


Continue to improve the City’s image and tourism opportunities through the City’s environmental and recreational opportunities, by hosting and promoting special events and enhancing the exposure of our facilities in an effort to attract visitors to Baytown.


Enhance the Parks and Recreation Department’s section of the City’s web site, as well as improve the appearance and the interactive usability of the Pirates Bay, Calypso Cove and Baytown Nature Center sites.

Respectfully Submitted,

Scott Johnson, Director Parks and Recreation Department

Wayne Gray, Chairman Parks and Recreation Advisory Board

Attachments: Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Members Parks Division Staff Recreation and Administrative Staff Environmental Programs Staff Aquatics Staff Facility Rentals & Attendance Figures Activities Comparison - Budget Year 2007/2008 to 2011/2012 2011 – 2012 Final Aquatics Attendance Summary 2012 Pirates Bay Water Park & Calypso Cove Attendance Statistics


2011 – 2012 Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Members (Left to Right) Billy Barnett, Michelle Bitterly, Chairman Wayne Gray, Carmen Torres, Agustin Loredo, Howard Hunt and Kevin Jones

Parks Division Staff


Recreation and Administrative Staff

Environmental Programs Staff


Aquatics Staff

The Baytown Parks and Recreation Department Team 2012 Baytown City Employees Kickball Champions


City of Baytown Parks & Recreation Department Facility Rentals & Attendance Figures August 1, 2011 – July 31, 2012 Number of Rentals


Average Attendance Per Rental

Community Center




Jenkins Pavilion




Roseland Pavilion




Wayne Gray Sports Complex




Bicentennial Park Amphitheater








Total Figures

Activities Comparison Budget Year 2007/2008 to 2011/2012 Activities Offered / Hosted

Budget Year 2007/2008

Budget Year 2008/2009

Budget Year 2009/2010

Budget Year 2010/2011

Budget Year 2011/2012

Special Events






Leisure Programs






Athletic League Teams






Softball Tournaments







Final Aquatics Attendance Summary 2010 - 2011 Seasons

Daily Attendance Summary  Year  Days Open 

Pirates Bay Water Park

Calypso Cove

Daily Attendance  2010  2011  74  102 

Daily Attendance  2011  74 































Average  Per Day 




Goal Per Day 




Above Goal 





                                      2,452  Closed Tuesdays 

2012 Aquatics Attendance Summary April 27 – July 31, 2012

Pirates Bay Water Park

Calypso Cove

Daily Admission Summary  Monday  Tuesday  Wednesday  Thursday  Friday  Saturday  Sunday  Total  Average  Per Day – 79 / 60 Days  Goal Per Day  Average Above/Below Goal  Projected Attendance  ‐ 116 /89 Days 

Daily Attendance  8,941 7,720 7,400 8,092 11,919 21,761 15,627 81,460 1,031 794 237 119,596


Daily Admission  1,462 1,188 1,196 1,338 1,687 2,107 1,795 10,773 180 200 (20) 16,020

2011 - 2012 Parks & Recreation Annual Report  

This is the 2011 - 2012 Baytown Parks & Recreation Annual Report.