2018-2028 Prepared by P, R & S Consulting
TABLE OF CONTENTS Executive Summary ..................................................................................................................... 1 1.1 McAllen Parks and Recreation-Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan .....1 1.2 Goals and Objectives ........................................................................................................... 1 1.3 Park Inventory ...................................................................................................................... 2 1.4 Implementation ................................................................................................................... 4 City of McAllen ............................................................................................................................. 5 2.1 History ................................................................................................................................... 7 2.2 Population ............................................................................................................................ 7 2.3 Age and Gender ................................................................................................................... 9 2.4 Hispanic/Latino Origin and Household Language ........................................................... 9 2.5 Income and the Economy ................................................................................................... 9 2.6 Education ............................................................................................................................ 11 2.7 Why is a Master Plan So Important? .............................................................................. 11 Need Assessment and Citizen Input........................................................................................ 13 Goals and Objectives ................................................................................................................. 19 Master Plan Recommendations .............................................................................................. 24 Implementation ......................................................................................................................... 26 Park Inventory ............................................................................................................................ 29 7.1 Parks .................................................................................................................................... 29 7.2 City/School Parks ............................................................................................................... 69 7.3 Athletic Facilities ................................................................................................................ 84 7.4 Undeveloped ...................................................................................................................... 94
Table of Tables Table 1 - Future Park Needs ............................................................................................................ 3 Table 2 - Historical Populations 1970 to 2016 ................................................................................ 8 Table 3- Income ............................................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined. Table 4 - Existing Park Needs ........................................................................................................ 14 Table 5 – Geographic Distribution ................................................................................................ 26
Table of Figures Figure 1 – Existing, Recommended and Additional Acreage Needs ............................................... 3 Figure 2 - McAllen Population and Percent Change ...................................................................... 8 Figure 3 – Income and Percent Change ........................................................................................ 10 Figure 4 – Existing, Recommended and Percent of Current Needs ............................................. 14 Figure 5 – Geographic Distribution for General Areas of Mc Allen .............................................. 26
Appendices Maps Parks Online Survey Parks Board Posted Meetings City Commission Posted Meetings
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1.1 MCALLEN PARKS AND RECREATION – PARKS, RECREATION AND OPEN
SPACE MASTER PLAN Parks and recreation facilities are essential for a healthy, quality community. These facilities provide the components for sustainable communities creating positive existence outside the realms of work, school, and social activities. Whether the activities are passive or active, park and recreation facilities are an important part of everyday life. The municipal infrastructure is comprised of police, fire, streets, water, wastewater, drainage, and other services including an integral part provided by parks, recreation and open spaces. The purpose of the McAllen Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan are: 1) 2) 3) 4) 5)
To determine the current and future needs for residents and visitors in the areas of parks, open space and facilities. To determine the short and long-term needs to guide improvement of the existing parks, and recreation system. To guide the planning efforts for developing “first class” parks and recreation system. To guide the development of active and passive public or open spaces to meet the needs of current and future residents. To identify future tourism potentials for the parks and recreation department.
1.2 Goals and Objectives Goals and objectives represent the values of the McAllen residents, these were expressed through the responses of the community survey and their vision for a first-class park system. It should be noted these are the same goals identified in the 2007-2017 Master Plan except for the last one relating to tourism activities. The goals relating to the park system have remained stable.
GOALS: • To bring all existing parks to an equivalent standard of quality and excellence. • Development of new amenities in all areas of the community. • Recreational programming and tourism development in McAllen and the Rio Grande Valley.
• Development of a complete network of trails and linear trail system connecting all parts of the community. • Protect and sustain valued nature areas, environmental features, and historic and cultural resources. • Efficient use of resources to develop and maintain a first-class park system. • Broadened the use of technology and social infrastructure into the park sites and recreational programming. 1.3
Park Inventory The City has an assortment of different size parks and in the past ten years has diversified to develop new parks. The park system includes: •
4.23 acres of Play Lots
123.39 acres of Neighborhood Parks
57.51 acres of City/School Parks
131.73 acres of Community Par
102 acres of Linear Parks
24.28 miles of Walking Trails
144.7 Special Use Facilities
4 Athletic Complexes (2 New)
3 Nature Preserve areas
The City also owns drainage areas that are maintained by the City. Several of these already are park facilities and the remainder could be used for park facilities. Based on the National Parks and Recreation Standards the City of McAllen will have a total park deficit by the year 2025 of 881.58 acres of parks. The largest deficit area being in community parks. Community parks are generally 5 to 8 acres in size and acreage that size in McAllen is not readily available except in the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ). Developers such as Rhodes Enterprises Inc. are building subdivisions including parks for their home owners to offset this deficit.
Table 1 - Future Park Needs FUTURE PARK NEEDS Existing Acreage
Recommended Standard (Acres per 1,000 persons)
Recommended Acreage 2025
Additional Acreage Needed
Neighborhood/ Linear Park Community Park Total
283 131.73 419.05
2.5 3.5 6.25
520.25 728.35 1300.63
237.25 593.62 881.58
FIGURE 1 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; EXISTING, RECOMMENDED AND ADDITIONAL ACREAGE NEEDS
Community Park 131.73 Neighborhood/ Linear Park 283
Community Park 470.75
Neighborhood/ Linear Park 336.25
Implementation Implementation is the most important step in the planning process. A Master Plan is a working document, that is one reason it is updated on a regular basis to insure decisions made for capital improvement plans and grant applications are applicable. Great care should be taken to ensure the recommendations are viable and consistent with other City Comprehensive Plans, as well as land development regulations, capital improvement programs, and city budgets.
City of McAllen
The community survey identified the top ten (10) park amenities the citizens would like to see developed for the community. These amenities are:
A natatorium pool has been a top priority for the community for several years. A natatorium pool suggests more amenities such as slides, lazy rivers, and water game areas. This type of pool will require a bond election to provide the type of facility being requested by the community. While McAllen has several of the amenities noted in the top ten listing, the largest number of respondents were from the northwest quadrant of the city, which does not currently have access to these amenities. A greater discussion of the survey is included in Chapter 6, Implementation.
TOP TEN PARK AMENITITES 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Natatorium Indoor Recreation Center Splash Park Trails Playgrounds Add Lights to Current Parks Picnic Areas Upgrade Maintenance at Parks Nature Center and Pavilions for Group Activities - Tied Dog Park
CITY OF MCALLEN McAllen is in the heart of Hidalgo County in South Texas, eight (8) miles from the Mexican border and 75 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. Hidalgo along with Starr, Brooks, Willacy and Cameron Counties make up the Rio Grande Valley along the Rio Grande River. McAllen, which had a population of 130,463 during the 2010 U.S. Census, has grown to 142,212, a 9% increase according the 2016 U.S. Census. Hidalgo County had 774,779 persons in 2010 and 849,843 in 2016 or a 9.7% increase. The City of McAllen is land locked by the cities of Mission, Pharr, and Edinburg.
City of McAllen
MAP 2 – Hildago County
McAllen is located along U.S. Highway 83 (Interstate 2), and West U.S. Highway 281. The passing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Legislation in 1994, and the City’s proximity and access to the Mexican border has contributed significantly to McAllen’s growth. McAllen has invested in the construction and management of two (2) international bridges to Mexico. One is with the City of Hidalgo and the other with Mission at Anzalduas. McAllen receives revenues from both bridges which are part of the General Fund of the city. The climate in McAllen is relatively stable with averaged temperatures of 74 degrees and 26 inches of rain per year. That does not mean there is not severe weather. In the summer months, the temperature can reach into the 100’s for several weeks at a time. It is important to design facilities and parks with protection from the heat and sun exposure with ample water amenities and sprayers. Native vegetation that can withstand the climate must also be taken into consideration.
City of McAllen
2.1 History McAllen’s history dates begin in 1492 when Columbus discovered America. In 1519 Alonzo de Pineda discovered the mouth of the Rio Grande River, making this the second place in the United States visited by Europeans. Other explores such as Cabeza de Vaca explored the area, but it was not until 1749 that Jose de Escandon established the San Joauquin Mission in present day Hidalgo. A flood swept away the mission in 1887. Hidalgo County was established in 1850 and named after Father Miguel Hidalgo, the “Father of Mexican Independence”. In the 1920’s and 1930’s trainloads of Mid-Western farmers were brought to the valley by developers. The Southern Pacific Railroad came to McAllen in the late 1920’s and a new train station was built. The building was renovated in the 1980’s and is now a law office. The Mid-Westerners brought farming skills and a love of the soil. They established farms and plantations. Many of their relatives still reside in the valley. They grew onions, melons, grapefruit, oranges, sugar cane, and every row crop imaginable. James McAllen came to the area in the early 1850’s from Edinburg, Scotland. He owned 65,000 acres of land. In 1904, he donated the land to found the City of McAllen which was incorporated on February 21, 1911. In the late 1920’s a suspension bridge was built across the Rio Grande River. Falcon Dam was built in the early 1950’s, and Expressway 83 was constructed in the 1960’s. In 2016, the Expressway was renamed Interstate 2. Neuhouse Tower was built in the mid-1960’s on land previously used for McAllen High School. A memorial now stands at the southwest corner of the property commemorating that site. The 1970’s brought increased industrial trade and manufacturing. Early in the decade the Free Trade Zone (FTZ) was activated. It was the first inland FTZ in the world. McAllen became partners with Mexico in two (2) International bridges and receives funds from the revenues of those bridges. 2.2
Population The population of persons living within the McAllen’s city limits is shown in Table 2 Historical Populations 1970 to 2016. The data points to significant growth, particularly from 1970 to 1990 when the community’s population grew by 76 percent. Similarly, Hidalgo County also grew between 1970 and 2000.
City of McAllen
TABLE 2 - HISTORICAL POPULATIONS 1970 TO 2016 Year
Percent Change McAllen Population
Hildago County Population
Percent Change Hildago County
Figure 3 - McAllen Population and Percent Change
City of McAllen
Based on the factors contributing to the growth, and what we know and understand about McAllen, it appears likely the growth will continue. From 2010 to 2016 the city grew by 9% when much of the rest of the country saw declines of population growth. However, the question must be asked if whether this level of growth can be sustained in the next two decades or whether there is the economic capacity to support such continued aggressive growth.
Age and Gender The 2000 U.S. Census shows the median age in McAllen to be 30.8 years. Boys and girls under the age of nine represent the largest segment of the population, followed by men and women in the age group of 25 to 35 years. This represents a young population with families that will use parks, open spaces and recreation facilities the most. This usage will create a strain on the existing facilities and require new facilities to be built to keep up with the population. Only 10 percent of the population is 65 years of age or older. These statistics remain relatively stagnant in the U.S. Census reports of 2010 and 2016. The population continues to be young families with children under the age of 18 (30.1 % in 2016) years who will use recreation and park facilities on a regular basis.
2.4 Hispanic/Latino Origin and Household Language The predominant household language is Spanish (85%), followed by English (13%). This follows as McAllen is considered a multi-racial community. The community population is considered white alone or in combination. The 2000 U.S. Census data revealed that 80 percent of McAllenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s population is Hispanic or Latino. Of the households where Spanish is the primary language, there is some difficulty in speaking English. The school system uses English as a second language for students who speak only Spanish at home.
2.5 Income and the Economy Error! Reference source not found. shows the median household income for McAllen, Mission, Hidalgo County and Texas statewide. This table shows McAllen exceeds Hidalgo County and the City of Mission, but is less than the median income for the State of Texas. As of the 2000 U.S. Census report, McAllen had 24 percent of its households living in poverty. This is a higher poverty level than the reported Texas number (15.9%), but lower than the Hidalgo County number (31.1%) and Mission (26.0%)). This is a very important statistic. Families on limited incomes tend to use parks as their entertainment. It is vital to have low cost programs, such as movies in the park, for family entertainment.
City of McAllen
TABLE 3- INCOME Area
Percent Change 1989-1999
Percent Change 1999-2015
The household income does contrast to the high level of spending at La Plaza Mall, one of the highest grossing malls in the United States. While the community may not have high paying jobs, the consumer base of over 10 million people in a 200-mile radius creates a high spending volume. The McAllen Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA â&#x20AC;&#x201C; McAllen, Mission, Edinburg) is home to nearly 100 Fortune 500 company operations. McAllen needs to provide quality education to the young population for the millions of new jobs in technology, manufacturing and medical fields in the area between the McAllen and Reynosa. Better educated residents will create a higher income base and the ability to afford the high-end products being produced in the area. FIGURE 4 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; INCOME AND PERCENT CHANGE
City of McAllen
2.6 Education Education has changed since McAllenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2007-2017 Master Plan. Both the University of Texas and Texas A&M have established campuses in the Valley. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Campus is in Edinburg and a Texas A&M University Campus is in McAllen (Tres Lagos). South Texas College has expanded campuses and is offering four (4) year degree programs. Area youth can now obtain college degrees without leaving the valley and are qualified for the technology, medical and manufacturing positions being developed for this area. A medical school at UTRGV has been approved and will soon bring critically needed doctors to this area.
2.7 Why is a Master Plan So Important? The changes in the Rio Grande Valley are creating new opportunities for growth. A Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan allows the Parks and Recreation Department to invest in the park system and quality of life, which in turn contributes to the economic development of the city. Improvement of the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s public or open spaces provides a positive and desirable image to residents, visitors and investors. A Master Plan shows both the community and businesses that the Parks and Recreation Department is being pro-active in planning for the future. Master Plans address issues for citizens of all ages, active and passive pursuits, social interactions, and safety and security concerns. In addition, the plans establish criteria for acquiring and developing new parks, including the type, design, location, spacing and
City of McAllen
methods of financing. A Master Plan can preserve valued and open space of environmentally sensitive lands for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations. The 2000 U.S. Census predicts that by the Year 2050 one person in every four will be 65 years of age or older, creating affluent groups of retirees. McAllen and the Lower Rio Grande Valley is home for “Winter Texans” which bring disposable income to the community. These individuals want trails, natural habitat areas, tennis courts, practice fields, non-athletic fields, and convenient senior centers. While the current population is young family, the influx of seniors changes that population for 6 months every year. Depending on weather, this cycle could become more year-round. Current trends have found many “Winter Texans” buying homes and living in the valley year-round. Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plans are meant to be a guide for public policy and private decision making for the Parks and Recreation Department and the city administration.
This is a long-range, comprehensive plan which is designed to accomplish the following: • • • • •
• • •
Identify needs and priorities for parks and recreation areas Update and expand the current park facility inventory Re-assess the needs for parks, recreational areas, facilities, and improvements Recommend strategies for acquiring, developing, operating, and maintaining public parks and recreation areas and facilities Assess the adequacy of the existing park system and identify improvements necessary to bring it to an acceptable level of standard Establish a priority park amenity listing for grant applications Realize opportunities for joint use arrangements Existing and future land use and the related distribution of population
The Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan is divided into sections that follows the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) guidelines for a Master Plan, the Texas Outdoor Recreation Plan (TORP), and the TPWD Guidelines for Grant Applications.
Need Assessment and Citizen Input
NEED ASSESSMENT AND CITIZEN INPUT The City of McAllen embarked on three (3) paths to gain as much support and information as possible for the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan. An online survey for the citizens was provided on the city’s website. The survey was available for a month. The survey received 1,340 responses. The second project was six (6) public meetings, one for each Commissioner’s district. The third was to conduct focus groups and surveys with two youth groups who participate at community centers. The survey results showed the respondents were satisfied with the programs and services offered by the department. However, there were many facilities desired by residents for the future. It is evident by the survey respondents’ location where the greatest lack of amenities currently is, thus creating the greatest future need. The city’s survey was conducted with the objective of determining if parks are in sufficient supply and location to appropriately meet the needs of the community. The number of deficiencies was determined by applying standards to the current population, the existing acreage, number of facilities, improvements and projected growth of the area. This same approach can determine the future needs of the community. Using the same approach of determining the current population needs, can assess what the future population will require. The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Recreation, Park and Open Space Standards and Guidelines recommends an average of 6.25 to 10.5 acres of mini, neighborhood and community parks per 1,000 persons. Given McAllen conditions, the minimum NRPA standards of 6 to 7 acres per 1,000 persons is a good standard. Since McAllen does not have the same classification of parks, the standard was modified to represent the current park types. An example would be combining the acreage of neighborhood and linear parks. The same standard process was used as the 2007 Master Plan to remain consistent between the two plans. Error! Reference source not found.Table 4 - Existing Park Needs shows the minimum standards for play lots are not currently being met. However, this table does not consider apartment complexes which have playgrounds for their residents, churches, private schools, and other locations. This category is generally met by the equipment at those sites. Therefore, a larger percent of the demand is being met than is being shown in the table.
Need Assessment and Citizen Input
TABLE 4 - EXISTING PARK NEEDS
Classification Playlot Neighborhood/ Linear Park Community Park TOTAL
Recommended Acreage 33.63
Percent of Current Need 13%
2.5 3.5 6.25
336.25 470.75 840.63
84% 28% 50%
Existing Acreage 4.32
(Acres per 1,000 persons)
283 131.73. 419.05
FIGURE 5 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; EXISTING, RECOMMENDED AND PERCENT OF CURRENT NEEDS
The trail system offers residents a variety of trails that can be used along major streets and within neighborhood and community parks. The addition of the extension of the 2nd Street Trail and Bicentennial Trail have added to the ability of residents to train for marathons and half marathons. The trail system allows for jogging, walking, running and biking. A concern identified by the survey is the lack of connection between east and west or to other cities (corridor trails).
Need Assessment and Citizen Input
The population in McAllen is expected to reach 208,100 by 2025. With the population increase the demand for park and recreation services will increase. Displayed in Table 1: The Future Needs of Parks, 2025 have been identified. There will be a need for an additional 881.58 acres of parkland. The city has some land under development (baseball complex), and the ability for additional parks in the in regional detention ponds (RDF). See
Need Assessment and Citizen Input
Table 1 - Future Park Needs. The results of the online survey brought the following results: The question as to where people lived resulted in:
FIGURE 5: Resident Area Online Responses
Area of Residence Online 1. Northwest area – north of Nolana and west Responses of Bicentennial – 34.84% This area is one of the fastest growing Northwest Area areas and has the fewest recreational and 15% Northeast Area park amenities. Southwest Area 34% Southeast Area 2. Northeast area – north of Nolana and east 15% ETJ Area of Bicentennial – 19.25% This is the second fastest growing area of 17% 19% the city. However, there are parks, trails and city-school parks for families to use. 3. Southwest area – south of Nolana to city limits – 16.94% 4. Southeast area – south of Nolana to city limits – 15.60% 5. Extraterritorial Jurisdictional (ETJ) – outside city limits – 15.37% It is interesting that those outside the city limits had a response almost as high as those in the southeast quadrant. The second question related to how satisfied residents are with the park system. An overwhelming 55.65% and 30.10% were very satisfied or satisfied with the park system. This means 86% of the respondents were satisfied with the park system. Only 2.72% were very dissatisfied with the park system. This compares to the 2007 assessment when 80% of the respondents were very satisfied or satisfied with the park system. The individual questions created the following results for the next 5 to 10 years: • • • • • • •
Trails were 66.10% Nature Preserves were 62.98% Large Community Parks were 61.44% Small Community Parks were 53.93% Athletic Facilities were 59.87% Swimming Facilities were 53.63% Recreation Center were 51.38%
These responses closely resemble the top ten priorities listed by the respondents. Each of the evaluated amenities has a relatively small amount of responses stating they do not
Need Assessment and Citizen Input
want the amenity. These responses also correspond with the nature of McAllen being healthy and nature oriented. The nature preserves do not necessarily mean nature centers but open areas where bird watching, and nature trails could be combined. It is surprising that swimming facilities do not rank higher in this section of the survey, as it ranked higher in other sections. Families want larger parks to attend events. They also want a small, community parkk in their neighborhood where they can walk, watch their children on the playground, or sit and read a book. Small parks are not pocket parks. They are generally 2 to 3 acres in size
These are the amenities that would be used in grant preparation. While many of them exist in current parks, many of the respondents were from the northwest and northeast where these amenities currently do not exist. The northwest has relatively few parks
TOP TEN PARK AMENITITES 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Natatorium Indoor Recreation Center Splash Park Trails Playgrounds Add Lights to Current Parks Picnic Areas Upgrade Maintenance at Parks Nature Center and Pavilions for Group Activities - Tied Dog Park
especially in the areas of new development or the ETJ. The respondents noted that 62.50% had children under the age of 18 years. This means they were responding about facilities not only for themselves but for their childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s participation.
Need Assessment and Citizen Input
The last question related to where they received information about recreational programs and services. The highest response of 52.46% was through the internet or city web site. The second response of 49.13% was by word of mouth. This is interesting as it means people are discussing the programs offered by the Parks and Recreation Department and serving as advertisements for those programs. This is positive feedback for the department. The third response of 40.73% was through social media. Television and newspapers both ranked 15.69% and 14.50% suggesting they are not worth a financial investment based on the return they generate. In the focus group meetings held in the Commissioner’s districts, the following comments were made. 1. Why was this not put in English and Spanish on the website? 2. What is the next step after responses received? 3. Would like to see a facility like the National Butterfly Center. 4. Would like to see a group like Friends of the Park. 5. Connectivity is very important. 6. Bike Coordinator – implement and/or include in planning conversations. 7. Plant maintenance. 8. Driving to the nature center – sidewalk just ends so it makes it difficult to walk. 9. Can Nature Center grow native palms – use for educational purposes? 10. Dislikes – Palm trees that are not native, lighting in park on timers, lack of plant maintenance 11. No senior questions on the survey 12. Garza Elementary needs a walking trail behind the school 13. Need an inline hockey rink 14. Playground designs are all the same – need some variety 15. No disabled access on sidewalks, in parks or on equipment 16. Doors to facilities and restrooms are too heavy for disabled to open 17. Include a disabled person on the planning committee 18. Indoor Aquatic Facility is needed 19. Lighting on trails not adequate 20. Use Dura Flooring for basketball courts and all-purpose flooring for everyone’s use 21. Put in 8 ft. basketball goals at parks near elementary schools – they cannot use 10 ft. goals 22. How can we find out the priorities after master plan completed but before finalized? As a result of the questions generated, the surveys that were provided at the focus group meetings were translated into Spanish, but the online survey was not. Providing the survey in Spanish may have made a difference in the number of responses from the south side.
Need Assessment and Citizen Input
McAllen also had a focus group at two (2) of the community groups with youth from the community. These were 5th and 6th graders who use the park system now and will continue to use the park system as it expands. The two groups were given surveys to complete and their answers paralleled the adult surveys. The surprising factor was trails being used for walking and exercise was high on their list.
The education the school district is providing on health and wellness, addressing obesity, diabetes and heart disease is making a difference in the lives of the youth. The school district and the city have an annual marathon the youth can participate. The youth must walk or run, at school, with their parents or friends within a specific time frame, 25 miles and then complete the final mile at a special event and they receive a marathon medal. This event has created great awareness within the community and has increase to several thousand-youth participating annually. In addition, adults who participate with their children also get a marathon medal. For some adultâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s this may be the only time they will receive a marathon medal. The event provides an outlet for families to participate in exercise programs together. One of the biggest concerns from the citizens was how were they going to know what the top ten ranking were going to be prior to the City Commission voting. The top ten listing can be displayed on the city website prior to the City Park Board review and the City Commission voting on them. The top ten listed above will be presented to the Park Board for their review and recommendation to the City Commission prior to being presented to the City Commission for final approval. The final evaluation of park service areas does not include park equipment (basketball goals, swing sets, playgrounds, etc.). This area is hard to evaluate as in addition to the park equipment, schools, churches, apartment complexes, gyms have equipment that can be used. The important aspect of this criteria is to determine within a geographic area, what recreational equipment is available to the youth in the community. If there is no equipment available, then can a partnership between the city and a local organization be developed to provide that equipment. Providing recreational amenities does not always mean the city should provide a location if the city can enter into an agreement and provide equipment.
Goals and Objectives
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES The Goals and Objectives are the result of the online survey, the focus group meetings and represents the vision for developing and sustaining a first class of accessible and conveniently located parks. This section directly relates to Chapter 6, Implementation. Without Goals, it is difficult for a community with diverse backgrounds, opinions, and interests to collectively agree on the direction that should be taken for a desired outcome. There is often a discrepancy between what the professional staff perception is needed for the community in the future and what the residents have for themselves. Through the goals and objectives, the combination of both perceptions can be combined to develop achievable and accountable goals and objectives. The objectives are the strategies to attain the desired outcome of the vision and corresponding goals. Objectives generally answer the questions of “how” the goals are to be achieved. Goals and objectives should be written so they are attainable for the community and staff. The 2000 Foresight McAllen Comprehensive Plan Update, and the 2007 Parks Master Plan policy statements were reviewed and used as guidelines for the 2017 Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan. Those policy statements looked at land acquisition, environmental conservation and preservation, and park maintenance standards. Issue: Revitalization Program for Parks As the City has grown there has been a concern about the disparity between the standards of the older parks compared to the new parks being developed. Naturally, the new parks had newer equipment, amenities and were not as worn as those especially in the southern area of McAllen. Many of the parks in the southern area of McAllen were some of the first parks developed, weathered, showed signs of heavy use and were not current amenities. One of the items in the 2017 survey and priority listing (no. 8) was to “Upgrade the maintenance of the park system”. Goal: Bring all existing and future parks to a standard of quality of excellence. (This is the same as the 2007 Goal). Objectives: •
Prepare a revitalization plan for each of the older parks including equipment repair and replacement, building structure repair or replacement, landscaping, parking lots, etc. This plan should include cost estimates where feasible. Where possible have community meetings to establish the revitalization plan.
Conduct an annual condition assessment with neighborhood representatives for each park site. This assessment should include all areas of the park and equipment. This
Goals and Objectives
should be done early in the year prior to the budget process. This should follow the revitalization plan. •
Establish an annual amount in the budget to use for the upgrading of older parks based on the annual assessment.
Conduct annual tours with the Park Board to evaluate revitalization plans for parks.
Use the National Program and Playground Safety guidelines and United States Consumer Products Safety Commission standards in the design and replacement of playground equipment, fall surface areas, and other recreational facilities and improvements.
Conduct regular risk management assessments of the playground equipment.
Add lighting in park and trail systems, where needed (This was a priority # 6 from the survey).
Make sure the Police Department knows the restricted hours at the parks to reduce loitering and non-permitted activity.
Issue: Convenience and Accessibility of Public Parks and Recreational Areas As noted in the survey document, the highest number of surveys were received from the area of town, with the lowest number of recreational amenities. There are references to some amenities not being available to all areas of the community or proximity to amenities for those with disabilities. There are comments that certain areas of the community lag behind others with new amenities. Goal: Development of new amenities in all areas of the community. Objectives: •
Work to meet the NRPA standards for acres per capita and the facility demands of the population.
Identify all organizations, city, county, state, and federal, that provide services for the community through a mapping system.
Determine if the current Parkland Dedication Ordinance needs to be modified on the lines of current districts due to growth.
Seek to acquire land to meet future park and sports facilities needs in the City’s future growth corridors.
Goals and Objectives
Work with developers who are building in Extra Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ’s) to develop city parks for the public.
Identify geographic deficiencies within neighborhoods where there maybe vacant land to acquire parkland for development.
Issue: Recreational Programs and Activities The Parks and Recreation Department offers a variety of programs to residents and nonresidents, as well as “Winter Texans”. There is a broad range of programs currently offered with the opportunity for expansion in outdoor, cultural, and sports. The survey and opinion polls by the community have noted swimming, had the highest response, followed by athletics, youth programs and health related programs. Youth athletic programs are expanding with great increases, with lack of facilities causing families to be playing late in the evenings creating problems with the education system. Goal: Recreational Programming and tourism development in McAllen and the Rio Grande Valley. Objectives: •
Identify the programs in the survey and work to expand those programs.
Expand programs for youth and teens.
With the opening of the Nature Center, expand the programming for birding and environmental education.
Expand the arts in the community through theater, motion pictures, drama, music, dance, opera, magic, and the marching arts. This could tie into the performing arts center.
Conduct annual surveys of other valley cities on programming and fees charged to evaluate current rates in McAllen.
Establish programs that will generate tourism activities for the City.
Identify tourism as a responsibility for the Parks and Recreation Department.
Develop programs with surrounding cities that will create destination events for individuals to attend in the Valley (Example: Birding Festivals)
Goals and Objectives
Issue: Trails, Greenways, and Linear Connections Trails and their use is one of the highest priorities of residents on the community survey. Trails are now available north to south and form a grid for use by walkers, joggers, bicyclist, schools, and dog walkers. There is still a need to develop trail systems along canals, east to west, and connectivity to other cities throughout the county. Goal: Develop a complete network of trails and linear trail system connecting all parts of the community. Objectives: •
Complete the major trail systems throughout the community.
Amend the zoning ordinance to include incentives via density bonuses for provision of added open space and linear connections.
Integrate cyclist and pedestrian planning guidelines into all public street improvements projects. The survey and focus group suggested having a bicyclist included in the planning committee.
Continue to coordinate with Irrigation Districts to utilize canals as off-road trail systems.
Coordinate with Texas Department of Transportation (TxDot) and Hidalgo County for “Share the Road” signs on Farm to Market Roads.
Coordinate with Electric and Gas companies to use their easements for off-road trail systems.
Develop a Hidalgo County Trail Plan including cities of Pharr, Mission, Edinburg, Hidalgo, and Palmview that will connect nature amenities for citizens and tourist alike. Cameron County currently has a plan that connects all the cities in Cameron County.
Insure all future sidewalk and trail development is at a minimum of 10ft. up to 15 ft. in width to meet TPWD and TxDot standards.
Issue: Environmental Conservation and Preservation McAllen currently has three nature facilities – Quinta Mazatlan, McAllen Nature Center, and Kappler Property. It is important for these properties to remain in pristine condition and where available open to the public. Funding for these properties will remain a priority as they are not only for residents but are tourist attraction. Environmental conservation is a large tourism market and these sites have proven to be environmental sensitive and should be protected.
Goals and Objectives
Goal: Protect and sustain valued nature areas, environmental features and historic and cultural resources. Objectives: • Incorporate education components into all the nature facilities. • Enforce floodway management practices to maintain the water carrying capacity of drainage ways, channels, and floodplain areas. • Incorporate signage in all parks and recreation facilities that designates unique natural, cultural, or historical characteristics. • Create a program that would preserve the citrus groves for education by working with developers through development and density bonuses. • Identify environmentally sensitive areas in the city such as wetlands, wildlife habitats, birding areas, cultural assets and encouraging preservation through development incentives, regulations and acquisition. Issue: Effective Management and Partnerships The McAllen Park system has been recognized as a leader in parks and recreation in the Rio Grande Valley from the maintenance of the parks to the varied and quality of the programs offered. However, as the Valley continues to grow and other cities are expanding, developing new and improved facilities, those in McAllen need upgrading. The newest recreation center is 20 years old. The swimming facilities for more than 30 years old. Age can be seen in all facilities through leaking ceilings, paint, lighting, and equipment. This in conjunction with the pressure to provide services for the new areas on the north side of town with fewer resources. Thus, the need for collaboration, coordination, and partnerships will become even more important in the future. Goal: Efficient use of resources to develop and maintain a first-class park system. Objectives: • Outside training for Parks and Recreation staff to keep current with certifications and new programming. • Continue and expand the program with McAllen Independent School District to provide programming without having to build new facilities. • Explore opportunities with private school, churches, and other organizations to use their facilities for programming on the north side of town. • Consider contracting service out where it is cost effective. • Establish agreements with utility and irrigation districts to use their properties, neighborhood associations for the development and maintenance of parks in their areas.
Master Plan Recommendations
Utilize the Texas Buy Board where possible to reduce cost of products. Enter into agreements with other school districts within the city limits of McAllen like McAllen ISD for use of their facilities.
Issue: Technology and Social Engagement As the community becomes more reliant on technology the department should insure all sites are WIFI accessible and that all transactions can be completed through the computer system or smart phones. One of the questions on the survey noted individuals learn about programs through the City website and word of mouth. Word of mouth can also be through devices. The department should make sure all information for programs and events is accessible on the web, facebook and other social media sites. Goal: Broaden the use of technology and social infrastructure into the park sites and recreational programming. Objectives: • Offer programs through the city website as “teasers” for full programs at sites. • Send out program information through all social media sites. • Assign a staff person to promote through social media. • In areas not used, provide gardens for passive recreation with reading stations with WIFI capabilities. • Establish logo for Parks and Recreation Department and use it on all information for branding.
MASTER PLAN RECOMMENDATIONS The recommendations for the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan have been developed through the series of focus group meetings with the community. These are recommendations and may not be the same as the implementation plan in Chapter 6. The improvements suggested in Chapter 6 are for actual amenities the community would like to see developed in future parks. The recommendations are concerns residents have with existing parks and future parks. These include the following. •
Security in parks. Many residents feel there is not enough security in the parks and/or trails for individuals to be able to walk or jog late in the evening or early in the morning. With the weather being so hot during the summer months this is the only time individuals feel they can get their exercise. The residents would like to see more security in parks on a regular basis. Maintenance levels seem to have dropped in many of the older parks. The grass is dying and plant material has been lost. Is there some way to get more of the
Master Plan Recommendations
• • • •
community involved in helping with the maintenance? Utilization of the Master Gardner program or begin the city’s own volunteer program. Why hasn’t Bicentennial Trail been completed? Need to have a status report. The City needs to acquire land in the far north and south sections of town before the land is gone; even if it is not developed now. If land is not purchased now it will not be available in the future. The City needs to acquire some large land tracts 20 to 50 acres for future park development north and south. City needs to set up a revitalization program for older inner-city parks. These parks are old and have not had any improvements in several years. The older sport complexes need to make sure the lights are all working. When the lights go out it is a hazard for the teams to be playing. No new facilities should be constructed unless a maintenance budget is approved at the same time. There is no need to build something if you cannot maintain it.
The citizens appreciate the parks and use the parks with their families but feel frustrated when their comments are not listened to. McAllen has old facilities and where those facilities were state of the art when built now the neighboring communities are building bigger and better facilities. McAllen needs to look at what is being built around and see where the city is lacking. The disabled community does not think the city has addressed their needs in the park system. The trails and facilities are not built for easy access by a person in a wheel chair. The suggestion has been made for a disabled person to be included on the planning committees to assist with designs in the future. The largest group of individuals who completed the survey were in the northwest quadrant of the city. This area has the largest number of new amenities such as soccer complex, splash park, baseball complex, and neighborhood parks. However, those are closer into town. In the farthest section of the city limits there are no parks in the northwest quadrant. This is one area that parkland should be acquired. In the survey documents the question receiving the highest response was the need to provide trail corridors (66.10%). Trail corridors are those on 2nd street, and Bicentennial that are destination driven. Individuals and families can use those trails to travel to work, shopping, school, and for alternate transportation. Trail corridors can reduce greenhouse emissions, and provide corridors between cities. There is the potential to develop a trail system connecting the entire Rio Grande Valley. Cameron County currently has a trail plan that connects all the cities in Cameron County. The City should use this as a directive from the community to develop working relationships with other cities in the County and the County itself for a county wide trail plan.
IMPLEMENTATION Implementation is the most important part of the Master Plan and the planning process. It determines the direction the City and the Parks and Recreation Department will follow initiating the plan the citizens have helped formulate. Implementation is not merely for grant applications but must consider the annual budget process, capital improvement program, TxDot funding, Community Block Grant Funding (CDBG) funding, other potential grant sources, and Texas Parks and Wildlife. The survey document noted the following information. The largest percentage of respondents were from the northwest and northeast segments of town. These are the areas of substantial growth. New housing developments can be seen with the city expanding the ETJ. This means there will be a deficit in parks on the north side of town and in the ETJ as it expands. There needs to be a plan in place to secure land now before it becomes too expensive, Right of Way (ROW) and easements for trails and connectivity. The City of Edinburg and the Edinburg School District should also be part of the discussions on the north side of town based on their proximity. TABLE 5 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION WHAT GENERAL AREA OF MC ALLEN DO YOU LIVE IN?
Answer Choices North West (North of Nolana & West of Bicentennial) North East (North of Nolana & East of Bicentennial) South West (South of Nolana & West of Bicentennial) South East (South of Nolana & East of Biccentennial) Outside the City but in the ETJ Total
Percent Responses Responses for Area of for Area of Mc Allen Mc Allen 440 258 227 209 206 1,340
33% 19% 17% 16% 15% 100%
FIGURE 6 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION FOR GENERAL AREAS OF MC ALLEN
The park inventory noted in the following chapter will highlight the areas of current parkland deficits. These deficits will become greater as the population grows. If the population continues to grow as project to 2025 to over 200,000 that is a 60% increase from today. There is projected to be an 881 deficit in parkland in 2015. One way to reduce the deficit is to look at the parkland dedication ordinance, compare it to other cities and change it to reflect todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s standards and increase the amount to 6 to 7 acres per 1,000 from the current 5 acres. This is the current National Parks and Recreation Association (NRPA) guideline for parkland dedication ordinances. Developing nature centers was the second highest noted facility (62.98%). The City currently has two (2) nature facilities which are used heavily. The Nature Center could be expanded to provide additional services and should be eligible for additional grant funds. Another site that is not open on a regular basis is the Kappler Park. It is a 20-acre park that is completely native with a pond, which is excellent for birding. The next priority was for athletic facilities (59.8%). In the individual listing athletic facilities were listed high but in the overall listing of amenities athletic facilities were not in the top ten listing. The city has just built a new soccer complex and is in the process of building a new baseball complex so respondents may have not thought no additional ones were necessary. However, with an increase in population additional athletic fields will be required. The same thing is true of a leisure pool which ranked lower in the individual listing of facilities but high in the amenity list. The city has discussed a leisure swimming complex. Several surrounding cities have built complexes and the city has tried to develop
arrangement with other local entities and school districts to build a facility but have been unsuccessful. Prior to implementing the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan the city should undertake the following: 1. Develop partnerships with the County, and neighboring cities for trail corridors and trail systems. 2. Develop partnerships with area school district within the city limits and ETJ to establish joint use of school grounds and where feasible school sites during summer hours for programming. 3. Develop interagency agreements with agency who have facilities in areas the city does not to provide programs for the community (i.e. Library). 4. Review the Parkland Dedication Ordinance to determine changes to meet today’s environment. 5. Investigate all granting organizations for park development, programming and facility improvements. 6. Investigate new and improved maintenance techniques for grounds, tree and plant maintenance in parks. 7. Improve training for staff at all levels. 8. Improved lighting and maintenance were listed on the priority listing as important items. Check all lights and maintenance schedules to provided updated equipment and materials. Implementation: • • • • • • • • • •
Establish a 5 Year Construction Plan for Parks – Secure Funding for Plan Establish a 5 Year Upgrade Plan – include in annual budget for outside contractor Establish a 5 Year Maintenance Plan – include in annual budget for staff to do work Establish a 10 Year Construction Plan for Parks – Investigate Funding for Plan Establish a 10 Year Upgrade Plan Establish a 10 Year Maintenance Plan Develop an Annual Facility Review Plan with Neighbors of Facility prior to budget – rotate facilities – at least 10 per year Develop and ADA plan for each park Develop a GIS plan for each park Implement City/School Parks with other school district
PARK INVENTORY 7.1 PARKS
2ND STREET HIKE AND BIKE TRAIL N BUSINESS 83 Classification: Park Size: 45.00 acres Location: Business N 83 to Trenton. Surrounding Land Uses: Single family residential. Observations: The Hike and Bike Trail has been expanded northward to the Edinburg city limits. Once the trail is completed it will link Edinburg and McAllen.
2nd Street Hike and Bike Trail S. Business 83 Classification: Park Size: 23.00 acres Location: Bus 83 to 10th to Uvalde. Surrounding Land Uses: Single family residential, some commercial along 2nd Street. Observations: County Commissioner Cantu has received a grant to fund the lower portion of the trail connecting Pharr and San Juan to McAllen. The trail is well designed. Recently emergency call boxes were installed.
Airport Park Classification: Park Size: 11.00 acres Location: 2201 S. 26th Street; is located on South 26th Street west of the Miller International Airport. Observations: Park is used continually by the community. New playground equipment should be installed. Lighting needs upgrading, parking lot stripping needs upgrading, Trees should be trimmed on a regular basis to maintain the quality turf and shade trees.
Archer Park Classification: Park Size: 2.60 acres Location: 101 N. Broadway; located on North Broadway Avenue between Beech Avenue and U.S. Business 83. Surrounding Land Uses: Archer Park is a city block in Downtown McAllen, surrounded by commercial and government offices. Observations: The oldest park in the City, the park was dedicated in 1918 and named after the first City Mayor. The park is used for major special events. Recently a â&#x20AC;&#x153;food truckâ&#x20AC;? site was located near the park to provide services for those visiting the park and downtown.
Balboa Park Classification: Park Size: 1.00 acre Location: 2611 Covina; located on Covina Avenue between South 26 th Street and South 29th Street. Surrounding Land Uses: The park is surrounded by the single-family homes to the south, west, and east, and a drainage basin to the north. Observations: Park is new and funded through a CDBG grant. There is a half basketball court, picnic areas, and excellent shade for the community.
Bicentennial Hike and Bike Trail Classification: Park Size: 45.00 acres Location: Business 83 North to Auburn. Surrounding Land Uses: Single family residential. Observations: The linear trail has been expanded to Auburn Ave. It serves as a link between several neighborhoods and area schools. The trail is landscaped and used by residents from early morning to evening.
Bill Schupp Park Classification: Park Size: 19.40 acres Location: 1300 Zinnia; located on Zinnia between North 10th Street and North Bicentennial Blvd. Surrounding Land Uses: Single family residences to the north and south of the park, vacant land is to the west, and office and commercial uses are along Bicentennial Blvd to the east. Observations: An amphitheater developed in the center of the park retains water during flooding and had killed much of the vegetation. The park is used on a consistent basis and it is hard to maintain the turf. The trail is used regularly and is good condition.
Cascade Park Classification: Park Size: 15.00 acres Location: 1000 Bales Road; located on South 10th Street, south of La Plaza Mall. Surrounding Land Uses: The McAllen Miller International Airport is adjacent on the west and south, light industrial to the north, and a mix of commercial and high-density residences are to the east. Observations: Park includes ballfields, swimming pool and rental pavilion. The ballfield needs to be upgraded. The swimming pool requires replacement due to age. The play equipment is old and should be replaced. There is potential for a trail connection to the 2 nd street/10th street trail.
Curtis Park Classification: Park Size: 3.60 acres Location: 301 E. Hackberry St. Surrounding Land Uses: Observations: Curtis Park is owned by both the City and County. The City upgrade the park with new playground equipment, trail and landscaping. The County has begun their upgrades.
Daffodil Park Classification: Park Size: 10.00 acres Location: 4200 Daffodil, located on Daffodil Road between north Ware Road and north Bentsen Road. Surrounding Land Uses: The park is bordered on the east by low-cost housing, on the north by agricultural land, on the west by a single residence, and on the south by Ware Road and a retirement community. Observations: The park is long and linear. A 9-hole disc golf course was installed and used regularly. The entrance was re-designed for safety and security of the park.
Doc Neuhaus Park Classification: Park Size: 2.23 acres Location: 700 Dallas, the park is located on South 8th Street and Dallas Avenue next to Victor Fields Elementary Surrounding Land Uses: The park is surrounded by single family residences to the north and south, Victor Fields to the east and a Head Start facility to the west. Observations: Park is near Victor Fields Elementary. A trail system and new playground equipment has been installed. The park is surrounded by neighborhoods who use it on a regular basis.
Firemanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Park Classification: Park Size: 15.00 acres Location: 201 N. 1st Street between North 2nd Street and Cynthia Avenue. Surrounding Land Uses: Heavy industrial to the north and east, a water plant on the south with commercial uses along Highway 83, and the Col. Rowe greenbelt/trail to the west. Observations: One of the newest parks in the system. The park has a lake for fishing, kayaking, rental pavilions, picnic areas, sand volleyball and a rental space for Boy or Girl Scouts to have overnights. Outdoor cooking classes have been offered and family overnight camping.
Frontage Park Classification: Park Size: 1.34 acres Location: 1901 Oakland, on the frontage road of U.S. Highway 83 and Bicentennial Overpass. Surrounding Land Uses: This park is situated on the access road to Highway 83; it is a small triangular shaped lot with single family residences to the north and the freeway to the south. Observations: The park is divided by a drainage canal. The park offers a small basketball court.
Garcia Park Classification: Park Size: 3.00 acres Location: 4300 Nolana Avenue; located on the corner of North Bentsen Road and Nolana Avenue. Surrounding Land Uses: There are single family residences to the east, undeveloped land to the north and west, and agriculture can be found to the south. Observations: A neighborhood park which experiences a great deal of use in the evenings and weekends. The park is used for soccer practice. The trail is used by the residents. The area has been upgraded to improve the landscaping.
Garza Park Classification: Park Size: 3.00 acres Location: 2601 Lark Avenue between North 23rd Street and North 29th Street. Surrounding Land Uses: To the north is agriculture; single family residences to the south and east; and a community center and library adjacent to the west. Observations: The park is next to the Lark Community Center. The park is used by both the community center and the school district. There is a trail system for the neighborhood.
Hackberry Park Classification: Park Size: 2.50 acres Location: 417 Hackberry, between North 2nd Street and North 10th Street. Surrounding Land Uses: Single family residences in all directions. Observations: A neighborhood park that is used extensively. The park offers one tennis court, a trail and picnic units. The picnic units should be upgraded. The park needs pedestrian crossing signs due to its location.
Idela Park Classification: Park Size: 3.40 acres Location: 3500 Idela, between South Ware Road and South 33rd Street. Surrounding Land Uses: Single family residences to the north, south, and east; public utility and commercial uses to the west. Observations: A neighborhood park that has been improved with new picnic pavilions and play equipment. The parking area has been upgraded.
Morris Sensory Park Classification: Park Size: 52.00 acres Location: 7801 N. Main St. Surrounding Land Uses: Peres Elementary to the north, residential to the west and south, Morris Middle School to the east. Observations: The Sensory Park provided in part by the Junior League was the first â&#x20AC;&#x153;accessible areaâ&#x20AC;? in the Valley. The park includes exercise equipment with wheel chair access and musical instruments with wheel chair access.
La Vista Park Classification: Park Size: 9.00 acres Location: 100 La Vista; the park and the pavilion are located on La Vista Avenue between North 2nd Street and North McColl Road. Surrounding Land Uses: Single family residences to he north, vacant and and single family residential to the east and single family residential to the south; the Col Rowe Boulevard trail is adjacent to the park on the east. Observations: A beautiful park in north central McAllen. The trail in the park is extensive but it does not connect to the 2nd street trail. Picnic pavilions, rental pavilion large trees and divided parking. Park is used by citizens from McAllen and outside areas.
Las Palmas Park and Community Center Classification: Park Size: 11.43 acres Location: 2500 Quince, on the corner of North 25th Street and Quince Avenue. Surrounding Land Uses: Las Palmas Community Center occupies the northern portion of the property; single family residences are located to the east, west, and south. Observations: The community center offers an excellent senior citizen program. The park provides soccer fields, sand volleyball, and tennis courts. There are several storage buildings on the property that are unusable and should be removed or repaired. The park is well used by the community.
Lionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Park Classification: Park Size: 2.00 acres Location: 1201 N. 12th Street, between North Main Street and North 10 th Street. Surrounding Land Uses: The park is surrounded by single family residences in all directions. Observations: The park is used by the Boy Scouts and has a facility on site for their use. The park has one of the two kitchen areas (Firemanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Park) that can be rented. Birthday parties are primary activities held in the park. The park needs better signage.
Los Encinos Community Park Classification: Park Size: 27.87 acres Location: 2900 Sarah Avenue between South 29th Street and Ware Road. Surrounding Land Uses: Single family residences to the north and east, Los Encinos Elementary School to the west, and agriculture to the south. There is a police substation (Los Encinos Community Network Center) on site. Observations: The Park includes softball fields, soccer fields, a swimming pool, picnic areas, lighted tennis courts, lighted basketball courts and play equipment. The park is next to Sam Houston Elementary and used regularly. A police sub-station is located on the property providing programming for area youth.
McAllen Disc Golf Park Classification: Park Size: 0 acres Location: 2701 South Ware Rd. Surrounding Land Uses: North and west is residential, south open land, and east the Palm View Golf Course. Observations: The course was designed for tournament play and is difficult. Beginners do not like the difficulty of the course. There is little use. The City has not provided directional signs from the Interstate to inform the public of the location.
McAllen Dog Park Classification: Park Size: 4.60 acres Location: 400 Tamarack St. Surrounding Land Uses: Residential, apartment complex and church. Observations: Park use to be the BMX area. The City re-developed the area and create a large and small dog park. The area is used continually and local associations conduct programs and activities on site. There is a problem with maintaining the turf.
Oval Park and War Memorial Classification: Park Size: 4.00 acres Location: 720 Convention Center BLVD. Surrounding Land Uses: Convention Center, Performing Arts Center, Veterans War Memorial Park and commercial Observations: Park surrounds a lake. The Convention Center grounds support special events, concerts, and sporting events. The park is used on a regular basis.
McAllen Nature Center Classification: Park Size: 15.00 acres Location: 4101 W. Business Highway 83, between South Ware Road and South Bentsen Road. Surrounding Land Uses: To the north is Business 83 and commercial and retail uses, to the south is Westside Park, to the east and west is undeveloped land. Observations: The park had been abandoned for several years. The City began improvements and program development. Currently, programs are being offered such as yoga, birding, plant identification and the trails for nature walks. The participation has increased in the past 4 years.
Palm City Park Classification: Park Size: 2.00 acres Location: 2601 S. 22nd Street, south of Miller International Airport, and South 23 rd Street. Surrounding Land Uses: This park has a triangular shape with the airport to the east and north; light industrial on the west, and single family residential to the south. There is a vacant police substation on the property. Observations: A small park used by the residential area. The park does not have easy access for use. Play equipment is old and should be replaced.
Palm View Park and Community Center Classification: Park Size: 6.00 acres Location: 3411 Jordan; located on the corner of Jordan Road and Ware Road. Surrounding Land Uses: The park is bordered on the north and east by single family residences, on the west by the existing branch library/community center, and on the south by Palm View Golf Course. The subdivisions to the east are Palm View Gardens and housing for the elderly. Observations: The park offers a community center with programming for senior, adult and youth. There is a new splash pad added that operates year-round. A library is located inside the community center. Palm View and Lark Community Centers are mirror images built in the 1990â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and are the newest indoor facilities for the City.
Municipal Park Classification: Park Size: 28.50 acres Location: 1921 N. Bicentennial Blvd, between North 23rd Street and North Main Street. Surrounding Land Uses: Police Department is to the south, multi-family residential is to the southwest, McAllen High School is to the north and undeveloped land is across Bicentennial Blvd to the east. Observations: Park provides the Stutzenbecker Baseball Complex, soccer practice area, and sand volleyball. The swimming pool is heated and the largest of the four pools operated by the City. The pool has a diving well and water slide with capacity of 400 people.
Quinta Mazatlan Nature Center Classification: Park Size: 26.00 acres Location: 600 Sunset Drive Surrounding Land Uses: The park is surrounded by single and multiple family residences. Observations: The park is part of a 1930â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s historic home site. The area supports numerous birding and special events. The facility built an educational annex to offer programming to the school districts throughout the year. The site recently received funding to build a new educational facility on site.
Rey Lopez Playground Classification: Park Size: 0.50 acres Location: This playground is located on the corner of South 16th Street and Lindbergh Avenue. Surrounding Land Uses: Single family residential to the south and the west, Sam Houston Elementary to the east, and a Head Start Facility to the north. Observations: A neighborhood playground located in an older residential area. Playground equipment is for younger children.
Robin Park Classification: Park Size: 2.82 acres Location: 1100 Robin Avenue between North 10th Street and North Bicentennial Boulevard. Surrounding Land Uses: Sam Rayburn Elementary School is adjacent to the west, single family residences to the north, commercial/retail to the east, and developed land to the south. Observations: The park provides picnic areas, excellent shade trees and is used by Sam Rayburn School. A facility for children with disabilities uses the park regularly also.
Southside Park and Nature Preserve Classification: Park Size: 20.00 acres Location: 5201 South 27th Street; located on Sarah Avenue between South 27th Street and South 28th Street. Surrounding Land Uses: There are single family residences to the north and west and multifamily housing to the south. To the east is vacant land. Observations: The park has a trail around the outside but has not been completely developed internally. There is a shade structure with a shade that needs to be replaced. Parking is available for those who want to utilize the trail. The park is next to a Fire Department substation
Suarez Park Classification: Park Size: 4.80 acres Location: 409 S. 27th, located on South 27th Street and Galveston Avenue adjacent the Boys & Girls Club and Zavala Elementary. Surrounding Land Uses: Single family residential to the north and a church (Iglesia Baptista); Boys and Girls Club, and Zavala Elementary are adjacent to the south; single family residences to the east and west. Observations: The park is next to the Boys and Girls Club which uses the fields for softball, baseball and soccer practices and games. The neighborhood is large utilizing the park when it is not being used for youth activities. The Boys and Girls Club is a site for another swimming pool.
Summer Breeze Park Classification: Park Size: 5.00 acres Location: 401 North Bentsen Road Surrounding Land Uses: There will be single family residences to the north, west, and south. North Bensten borders the park to the east and across Bentsen Road is more single-family residences. Observations: One of the newer parks it is located on a major roadway with limited parking. The park is used by local residents with a trail and pavilion.
The Crossings Park Classification: Park Size: 5.80 acres Location: 10401 North 25th Street Surrounding Land Uses: Area is single family residence. Observations: The park cannot be seen from a major roadway. It is used primarily by the neighbors of the area. The pavilion is used for birthday parties, and special holiday events. Site had the first Greenfield Outdoor Exercise equipment installed for the City.
Western Park Classification: Park Size: 0.25 acres Location: 110 N. 16th Street Surrounding Land Uses: Retail to the north, light industrial to the west, multi-family residential to the east, and commercial to the south. Observations: Park is tucked away among commercial and retail uses. There are climbing structures not located anywhere else in the City. There is a lack of lighting and off street parking. There is no signage noting the area is a City Park.
Westside Park Classification: Park Size: 63.00 acres Location: 1000 S. Ware Road Surrounding Land Uses: Drainage basin to the west, Ware Road to the east, McAllen Nature Center to the north, and McAllen Parks and Recreation offices to the south. Observations: One of the larger parks for the City there are softball fields, Ramiro Guerra Reunion Rental pavilion, picnic areas, soccer fields and potential future entrance to the Nature Center. Te City provides â&#x20AC;&#x153;Movies in the Parkâ&#x20AC;? during the summer months with over 1,000 in attendance.
Zinnia Park Classification: Park Size: 20.00 acres Location: 5201 North 29th Surrounding Land Uses: Single family residences to the north, south, and east; Doc Neuhaus Park to the west. Observations: Offering one of the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s two splash parks. This park was completed after the 2012 Master Plan. The park offers and inground skateboarding area, sand volleyball, softball practice fields, and a walking trail.
7.2 City/School Parks
Alvarez Elementary School/Park Classification: City School Park Size: 10.00 acres Location: 2602 Gumwood Surrounding Land Uses: Alvarez Park is surrounded by single family residences. Observations: An older school site, the park area needs to be upgraded with turf and play equipment. The basketball court is not lined, soccer or backstops for practice areas could be added.
Bonham Elementary School/Park Classification: City School Park Size: 8.30 acres Location: 2400 Jordan Surrounding Land Uses: Single family to the north and west; Bonham Elementary School to the east; and undeveloped drainage to the south. Observations: New play equipment and covered basketball court pavilion have been added to this site. This supports increased use by the community.
Crockett Elementary School Pavilion Classification: City School Park Size: 0.50 acre Location: 2112 N. Main Street Surrounding Land Uses: Single family residences to the north and west, Crockett Elementary School to the south, and an arts facility to the east. Observations: A new trail, playground and upgraded covered pavilion have been added to the site for use by the community.
Gonzales Elementary School/Park Classification: City School Park Size: 12.35 acres Location: 201 E. Martin between Cynthia and North 2nd Streets. Surrounding Land Uses: There are single family residences to the north, west, and south, and Gonzalez Elementary School to the east. Observations: The trail at Gonzales Elementary connects to the 2nd Street Trail. Additional lighting needs to be installed. Park has restricted use during school hours as the area is a â&#x20AC;&#x153;closed campusâ&#x20AC;?.
Jackson Elementary City School/Park Classification: City School Park Size: 10.00 acres Location: 500 Highland; adjacent Jackson Elementary School to the west. Surrounding Land Uses: The school and park have single family residences to the south, west, east, and a church to the north. Observations: One of the four (4) Regional Detention Facilities (RDF) the land is used for recreational activities except during major rain events, then the area holds water to prevent flooding. Soccer goals in the RDF and a walking trail are used by the community. Trail connects to the 2nd street trail.
McAuliffe Elementary City School/Park Classification: City School Park Size: 18 acres Location: 3000 Daffodil Avenue between North 29th Street and North Ware Road. Surrounding Land Uses: There is a large detention channel between the site and the residential properties on the north, west, and east, there are duplexes to the south. Observations: A second RDF this park offers a fishing pier, walking trail, soccer fields, and picnic pavilions.
Navarro Elementary City School/Park Classification: City School Park Size: 4.00 acres Location: 2100 Hackberry between South 23rd Street and South 29th Street. Surrounding Land Uses: Single family residences are located to the north, west, and east. Navarro Elementary School is adjacent to the south. Observations: There is no trail around this park. Sidewalks to immediate facilities. The playground equipment should be upgraded. The basketball pavilion is rusting.
Rayburn Elementary City School/Park Classification: City School Park Size: 0.50 acre Location: 7000 North Main Street. Surrounding Land Uses: There are single family residences to the north, south, and west, and Robin Park is adjacent to the east. Observations: Adjacent to Robin Park the school provides their own playground equipment with a shade structure, and basketball courts. The shade areas are in Robin Park not on the school property. The school has started a gardening program.
Retama Village Park Classification: Park Size: 0.50 acres Location: 2500 Laurel Avenue between North 23rd Street and North 29th Street. Surrounding Land Uses: There are single family residences to the north, south, west; there is a Boys & Girls Club building immediately to the east. Observations: The park is located next to Retama Village and serves the residents who live there. There is no off-street parking, a .25 mile walking trail, playground equipment and picnic units.
Roosevelt Elementary City School/Park Classification: City School Park Size: 5.83 acres Location: 4801 South 26th Street, between Idela and Olga Avenues. Surrounding Land Uses: Single family residences on the north, south, and west; high density residences on the east. Observations: The walking trail needs to be maintained. There is little shade and the turf needs to be re-seeded.
Seguin Elementary City School/Park Classification: City School Park Size: 9.69 acres Location: 2200 North 29th Street, on the corner of La Vista and North 29th Street. Surrounding Land Uses: There are single family residences to the north, west, and east. Juan Seguin Elementary School is adjacent to the south. Observations: Trails need to be maintained. Enclosure of playground needs to be maintained. Picnic areas are used on a regular basis. Lighting was upgraded a few years ago; additional lighting still needed.
Thigpen/Zavala City School/Park Classification: City School Park Size: .50 acre Location: 2500 Galveston Avenue Surrounding Land Uses: Single family residences to the north and south, Zavala Elementary School to the east, and the Boys & Girls Club to the west. Observations: The youth attend programs at the Boys and Girls Club. Playground equipment is new. The track at the school is used on nights and weekends by the community.
Victor Fields Elementary City School/Park Classification: City School Park Size: 5.70 acres Location: 500 Dallas Avenue Surrounding Land Uses: Single family residences to the north, south, and east; Doc Neuhaus Park to the west. Observations: The site has a new pavilion, playground and walking trail. The trail that connects to Doc Neuhaus Park requires maintenance.
Wilson Elementary School Playground Classification: City School Park Size: 1.00 acre Location: 1200 Hackberry. Surrounding Land Uses: Church to the east, offices to the west, single family residences to the north and south. Observations: The park has old mature trees that shade the area. Park is used by the church and community.
7.3 Athletic Facilities
Bicentennial Soccer Complex Classification: Athletic Facility Size: 8.00 acres Location: 2001 Fern Avenue, on the corner of Bicentennial Blvd and North 23 rd Street. Surrounding Land Uses: Single family residences to the north, south, and west; across Bicentennial to the east is a walking trail and single-family residences. Observations: An older soccer complex that is used by the adult soccer clubs. There is a concession area, shade structures are outdated and should be replaced. Shade structures for spectators could be an option for the City.
Boys and Girls Club Athletic Fields (Suarez) Classification: Athletic Facility Size: 3.00 acres Location: 617 S. 27th Street Surrounding Land Uses: Single family residential to the west and south, Zavala Elementary School to the west, and Suarez Park adjacent to the north. Observations: The fields are included in Suarez Park. The turf is over used and should be reseeded. The swimming pool, one of four public pools for the community and the second waterslide. The City should improve shade over bleachers and improve parking.
Deleon Sports Complex Classification: Athletic Facility Size: 17.00 acres Location: 4201 North 29th Street, between Tulip and Nolana Avenues. Surrounding Land Uses: To the south are single family residences, to the north is De Leon Middle School and undeveloped land; to the west is Castaneda Elementary School; and singlefamily residences are to the east. Observations: A youth soccer complex with 20 fields that can be converted depending on the age group. The site includes an inline hockey rink.
Escandon Park and Athletic Fields Classification: Athletic Facility Size: 7.25 acres (4.25 acres City/Park and 3.00 acres in athletic facilities) Location: 2012 S. 29th Street; the park is located on Uvalde Avenue and South 29 th Street. The Escandon Athletic Fields are located between the park and Escandon Elementary School. Surrounding Land Uses: This park is surrounded by single family residences. Observations: A neighborhood park offers a walking trail, sand volleyball courts, picnic units, 2 baseball fields and playground equipment. Adjacent to Escandon School in a high use neighborhood the park is used constantly.
McAllen High School Tennis Center Classification: Athletic Facility Size: 2.00 acres Location: 2021La Vista Avenue Surrounding Land Uses: McAllen Senior High School to the east and south, single family residences to the north, and commercial business to the west along La Vista. Observations: The City shares the 16 tennis courts at McAllen High School. The school district uses the courts during school hours with the City opening the courts to the public on nights and weekends. This is the largest tennis complex for tournament play in McAllen.
McAllen Sports Park Classification: Athletic Facility Size: 18.00 acres Location: 4201 North 29th Street, between Tulip and Nolana Avenues. Surrounding Land Uses: To the south are single family residences, to the north is De Leon Middle School and undeveloped land; to the west is Castaneda Elementary School; and single family residences are to the east. Observations: The newest Soccer Complex for the City. The site on the DeLeon Middle School campus provides 9 adult fields; with 2 that can be converted to football, a stadium field for tournament play, concession stand and a splash pad down the main concourse.
Spring Fest Park Polo & Open Field Classification: Athletic Facility Size: 38.04 acres Location: 3501 South 23rd Street, on South 23rd Street between Covina Avenue and Jordan Road. Surrounding Land Uses: Vacant/undeveloped land to the north, undeveloped drainage to the east, commercial land to the south, and vacant land to the west across South 23 rd Street. Observations: The area lacks turf and is used for polo matches and soccer. The area needs to be developed into an appealing site. The area is wide open with unlimited possibilities. There is easy access from 23rd street and ample parking.
Travis Middle School Tennis Courts Classification: Athletic Facility Size: 2.00 acres Location: 600 Houston Avenue. Surrounding Land Uses: High-density residential to the north, a combination of high-density residential and single family to the west, high0density residential and a natural gas company to the east, and Travis Middle School to the south. Observations: Four lighted courts that are open for free play. No reservations required. There are no restrooms, water fountains or seating areas. These courts are for neighborhood use.
Uvalde Park Classification: Athletic Facility Size: 10.00 acres Location: 2701 Uvalde. Surrounding Land Uses: This park is surrounded by single family residences. Observations: Park recently renovated with new playground from KABOOM, restroom facilities, and trail. Trail requires maintenance and turf could be reseeded. Area is used by adult soccer players on weekends.
La Floresta Park Classification: Park Size: 6.50 acres Location: 2000 Rice Boulevard (future road) Surrounding Land Uses: Single family residential to the south, unknown land uses at this time to the north.
McAllen Youth Baseball Complex Classification: Athletic Facility Size:35.00 acres Location: Surrounding Land Uses: Single family residential to the south, unknown land uses at this time to the north.
Mesquite Trail Park (Kappler) Classification: Linear Park Size: 23 acres Location: Located on North 23rd Street and between 5 Â˝ Mile Road and Frontera Road. Surrounding Land Uses: Unknown at this time.
Trinity Oaks Park Classification: Park Size: 15.00 acres Location: Sprague and La Lomita. Surrounding Land Uses: Undeveloped
Romali Playground Classification: Park Size: 4.00 acres Location: 1100 Robin Avenue between North 10th Street and North Bicentennial Boulevard Surrounding Land Uses: Single family residential.