Table of Contents Directorâ€™s Message
Mission & Vision Statements
Who We Are
Board & Committee Members
What We Do
2019 Bond Program
Planning Our Parks
The Year in Numbers
Golf on the Comal
Events in Our Parks
Caring for Our Parks
Volunteers & Sponsors
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Technology at work for you
Happy 2020 and welcome to the new decade. Your Parks and Recreation Department finished off the last decade with a bang. We celebrated the first year of Das Rec being opened, we worked towards completion of the 2013 Bond projects, and we hosted many of you at our events and programs throughout the year. Each year our staff works to fulfill our vision to enhance the well-being of our community through laughter, play, conservation and discovery. We strive to accomplish this each day through well-maintained and safe parks, engaging programs, family-oriented events, and opportunities to improve individual health and fitness. As we celebrate another incredible year, we are looking forward to a great 2020 with many goals and projects already on the calendar. We would love any feedback you have for us, giving us an opportunity to improve our service. Give us a shout and let us know your thoughts.
We hope to see you in the parks,
To afford diverse opportunities and access for all residents and visitors through innovative programs and facilities, open space preservation and economic enhancement.
Vision To enhance the well-being of our community through laughter, play, conservation, and discovery.
FY 18-19 ANNUAL REPORT
Who We Are The New Braunfels Parks & Recreation Department is comprised of nearly 350 staff members who work tirelessly to provide the Fun Things in Life to New Braunfels residents and visitors alike. We are your camp counselors, lifeguards, park rangers, maintenance staff, facility managers and so much more. Come out to the park and see us!
Part-time Regular Staff
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Parks and Recreation Advisory Board The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board exists to advise and make recommendations to the City Council concerning policy matters related to the establishment, maintenance and operation of the Cityâ€™s parks and recreation programs. Joe Turner, Chairman Kristen Carden Jerry Goode
Bryan Feltner, Vice Chairman Robert Belsjoe Thomas Blagg Emily Lane
Cemetery Committee The Committee's goal is to preserve the records of the community history, cultural history, landscape heritage and architecture through conservation, preservation and education. Ron Hamel, Chairman Tammy Albrecht Connie Krause
Betty Kyle, Vice Chair Raenel Schertz Allyson Zipp
Landa Park Golf Course at Comal Springs Advisory Board The Board acts in an advisory capacity to the City Council and the City Manager in matters pertaining to the golf course, including fees and fee structures. Patrick Hollis John Poss Chris Owen
Cleo McCall Rene Sasser
Rob Smith John Coker
New Braunfels Parks Foundation The New Braunfels Parks Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that works with the Parks and Recreation Department and the community to help our city create the best parks possible. Lauren Clawson David Hubbard Michael Meyer
Joyce Culbertson Patrick Lackey Jim Wissmiller
David Davenport Kolette Palacios Cindy Wissmiller
FY 18-19 ANNUAL REPORT
What We Do
baseball & softball fields
pavilions & picnic areas
recreation center 6| NEW BRAUNFELS PARKS & RECREATION
miles of hike and bike trails
acres of parkland
skate park FY 18-19 ANNUAL REPORT
2019 BOND PROGRAM Citizens of New Braunfels enjoy a higher than average quality of life, due in part to the Parks and Recreation opportunities. The department will receive 14% of the overall approved bond program totaling $117 million to add allâ€“ability park enhancements, begin phase one of a 150+ acre sports complex, and complete much-needed Guadalupe riverbank stabilization.
All-Ability Park Amenities The 2019 Bond election approved the purchase of a new play structure, swings, merrygo-all, inclusive zip line, and activated pathways to enhance the existing ADA route at Morningside Parks. New equipment at Landa Park will include a walking pathway with outdoor musical instruments, multi-generational swings, and a merry-go-all.
Morningside Park Gametime Grant
Sports Complex Construction Phase 1 In 2018, the City began the design process for Phase I of a new sports complex, located at the intersection of Klein Road and FM 1044. The complex will span over 150 acres. Phase 1 includes the development of four soccer fields, four baseball diamonds, and four softball diamonds. Phase 1 also includes concessions and ticketing buildings, restrooms, shaded seating, cross-country trail, hike and bike trail, disc golf opportunities, playgrounds, and gardens.
Comal Cemetery Wall Stabilization Included in the 2019 Bond Package is the Comal Cemetery Wall Stabilization Project. The Comal Cemetery is located on the banks of the Guadalupe River and Peace Avenue. Established in 1868, today it encompasses 25 acres and has 12,550 burials to date. In 2000, the Texas Historic Commission designated it a Historic Texas Cemetery. Numerous high-water events have caused major riverbank erosion and put grave sites in jeopardy. The project will stabilize approximately 50 feet of river bank.
$5,262,500 2019 Bond
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PLANNING OUR PARKS Dry Comal Creek Greenway Master Plan In late 2017, the City of New Braunfels was awarded a technical assistance grant from the National Park Serviceâ€™s Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program develop a master plan for the Dry Comal Trail extension. Over the last two years, the City and the NPS have been conducting outreach and research to complete the Master Plan. This master plan is intended to set forth a clear vision for the future phased development of the Dry Comal Creek Greenway in New Braunfels. This non-motorized greenway is envisioned to serve a diverse range of users, providing safe and well-maintained linkages to important natural, cultural and civic destinations, neighborhoods and other points of interest within the City. The development of the Master Plan was overseen by the Dry Comal Creek Greenway Stakeholder Committee, New Braunfels Parks and Recreation Department, and the National Park Service. The Stakeholder Committee was made up of representatives of city and county government, state agencies, trail advocates, business community, and adjacent landowners. The Master Plan is scheduled for consideration of approved in 2020.
Market Plaza Renovations started in 2019 on Market Plaza, a 0.7-acre park located at 292 Tolle Street in Downtown New Braunfels. This park enhancement project added 590 linear feet of sidewalk with connections from Tolle and Comal streets, with 183 feet of permeable concrete to improve drainage and water quality, a central plaza with picnic tables and two pergolas, new landscaping beds and turf lawn. The new features now meet ADA compliance standards. Park Operations re-designed and installed a new irrigation system to address the new layout of the properties along with the new landscape beds. The project was generously funded by the New Braunfels Parks Foundation using the $125,000.00 proceeds from Wein and Saengerfest.
FY 18-19 ANNUAL REPORT
THE YEAR IN NUMBERS Administration Office Statistics Phone calls Walk-ins Resident River Passes Issued Resident River Parking Stickers Issued River Wristbands Issued
21,759 9,991 2,638 4,221 248,951
Park Rental Summary Fischer Park Pavilions Landa Park Pavilions Landa Park Picnic Areas Landa Haus Landa Lake Gazebo Volleyball Courts Tube Chute Cypress Bend Pavilion Faust St Bridge Solms Park Main Plaza Eikel Park Pavilion
748 552 522 255 64 273 124 86 27 20 9 2
Special Use Permits Full Special Use Permits Amplified Sound Permits Oversized Grill Permits Inflatable Device Permits Photography Permits
44 33 20 19 5
Outdoor Aquatics LPAC Admissions Tube Chute Admissions LPAC Saves Tube Chute Saves
65,809 10,341 45 928
Recreation Boat House Revenue Mini-Golf Revenue Recreation Program Participants Fischer NEC Field Trip Participants
$55,237.20 $45,856.75 6,946 1,003
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DAS REC SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM The Fee Assistance Program allows New Braunfels residents with financial hardship the opportunity to experience Das Rec programs and services at a reduced rate. So far, 165 members have been awarded scholarship funds totaling $72,594.00. These funds can be applied to memberships for individuals and families and programs for children under the age of 18. Discounts range from 20% to 75%, depending on the level of need as determined by the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) income guidelines. The program was funded from monies raised by the New Braunfels Parks Foundation.
SURGE AQUATICS The SURGE Swim Team officially became apart of Das Rec in Summer 2019. After an extensive interview process, Derek Howorth, of River City Athletics was selected as the coach. Tryouts and general interest meetings were held in July and August with just over 200 youth participating. In total, 180 swimmers met the qualifications and 139 swimmers ultimately joined the team. Practice officially started in early September and is held in the evening six days a week.
YOUTH LEAGUES The youth basketball and youth volleyball leagues started at Das Rec in 2018 are the first Parks & Recreation led youth leagues in New Braunfels. These leagues saw overwhelming success with 411 participants in the first year. Emphasis was placed on fair play and league organization to make kids want to play and to return year after year. Volunteer coaches from the community were provided a coaches clinics at Das Rec prior to the season to provide a consistent sports philosophy to all the teams.
FY 18-19 ANNUAL REPORT
New and Notable Events 2019 was the inaugural year of the Hill Country ComicCon, a three-day event full of cosplay, celebrity appearances, artist signings and unique merchandise. With an attendance count of nearly 5,000, Weihnachtsmarkt, a German-style Christmas Market with a Texas twist, is the largest attended event at the Civic/ Convention Center. Driven by volunteers and a fundraising goal of $150,000, Weihnachtsmarkt is also the largest fundraising event for its host, the Sophienburg Museum & Archives. The longest running event is the Texas Legislative Conference which moved into the Civic Center in 1972. As the Civic Center was renovated and expanded to become the Civic/Convention Center, the conference also grew to now include multiple days with the highly coveted Texan of the Year award. The most frequently hosted event was also the first trade show in the newly expanded Civic/Convention Center. The Jewelry and Gift Show began in July 2008 and has continued through today with three shows per year.
DIGITAL EFFORTS REALIZED A digital focus over the past year resulted in reaching and booking a significant number of new events and increased sales.
In one year alone, inquiries generated from online resources such as Google, partner websites, social media and the Cityâ€™s website grew by more than 25%.
60% Increase in New
DIGITAL COMMUNICATION With a 30% increase in inquiries received either through the website or email, the importance of communicating digitally continues to grow.
23% Increase in Sales
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Golf on the Comal
The Landa Park Golf Course was host to 124 tournaments including the City Golf Championship, Junior City Golf
Championship, Firecracker Open, Rotary Tournament, Greater New Braunfels Economic Development Foundation, Relay for Life and multiple private organization tournament fundraisers.
The course is proud to be the home of the New Braunfels and Canyon High School boys and girls golf teams and in the spring time the Oak Run and New Braunfels Middle School boys and girls teams. Two high school tournaments and 5 Southern Texas PGA tournaments including the Lilâ€™Linksters, the Junior Tour and the Prestige Tour are hosted annually.
Tournaments Up 11% from FY17-18
Up 9% from FY17-18
LEAGUE PLAY The course is also home to five leagues that play the course daily and three leagues that play regularly.
New Braunfels Golf Association
Golden Age Golf Society/Elks
FY 18-19 FINANCIALS
Landa Ladies Golf Association
Pan American Golf Association
No Le Hace
FY 18-19 ANNUAL REPORT
RECREATION Host to the TAAF Regional Track Meet The Athletics division, with help from across the department, hosted the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation Regional Track Meet on July 12th at New Braunfels High School. The meet featured over 500 participants including our very own team, the New Braunfels Rapids. Over 40 New Braunfels athletes qualified for the state meet and several of those athletes went on to place in the top eight at state.
New Leadership at Fischer Park New Recreation Programs Supervisor, Sonja Mlenar, provided a fresh outlook on the Nature Education Center seen by a 78% increase in gift shop sales and 27% increase in program participation compared to last year. The hard work that the Fischer staff has put towards maintaining the Butterfly Garden, hosting the Fall Monarch Festival, partnering with the Native Plant Society, and providing community educational programs all led up to New Braunfels joining the Leadership Circle of the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge of the National Wildlife Federation. In April 2019, Mayor Casteel signed a proclamation declaring April ‘Save the Monarchs’ month for the City.
Fresh Face for Landa Park Aquatic Complex The Olympic pool was given a much needed face lift at the end of the 2019 season. The entire pool was sandblasted, repainted and new pumps were installed and made operational after a long, arduous summer. The training room was transformed into a new indoor birthday party room. The room was given a fresh coat of paint and the floors were resurfaced allowing for an escape from the heat for all the party guests and the cake!
Partnership with 2Tarts Bakery Recreation joined forces with the owners of 2tarts Bakery, and the Food Network’s cookie decorating competition winner, for a hands-on experience to teach participants the art of cookie and cupcake decorating. A new line of high quality, expertise programs were designed and classes quickly sold out with 32 participants during the summer. These classes generated some of the highest participant survey ratings. We look forward to many more wonderful classes from these creative ladies!
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Camp Minnehaha campers took part in the Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) #CityHallSelfie Day on August 15th.
PARKS & RECREATION PROGRAMS Adult Futsal Fridays • Adults Only Archery • All Around Basketball Training • All Star Sports Camp ARC Recertification Lifeguard Training • Archery 101 • Babysitting Certification • Brain Games Brazilian Ju Jitsu • Camp Minnehaha • Chair Yoga • Cheernastics • Chef Showdown
Cooks with Books • CPR Training • Craft n Flick with St. Nick • Cribbage Social • Critter Curiosity Dr. Seuss is on the Loose • Family Fit Time • Family Fun Day • Fischer Park Garden Club • Fishing 101 For the Love of Food and Yoga • Friday Night Lights • Friday Night Sock Hop • Futsal Fridays Futsal Fundamentals • Game Day BINGO • Glow and Flow • Group Swim Lessons • Gut Health and Kombucha Making Workshop • Historic Cemetery Tour • Holiday Adventure Camps • Holiday Potluck • Homeschool PE • Jitterbug Swing Lessons • Jr. Karate • Junior Boys Youth Basketball • Junior Youth Volleyball League Kids Day Out • Kids Futsal Fridays • Kids Yoga • Landa Park Tour and Hike • Learning how to Dink LGI/T Review Course • Lifeguard Instructor • Lifeguard Training • Like Oh My Gosh, Murder Mystery Lil Dribblers • Line Dancing • Lunch and Learn • Masters Swim Club • Monster Mania • Moonlit Date Mother & Me Pajama Party • Mother/Son Par-Tee • Murder at the Grand Gatsby Speakeasy New Lifeguard Training with Waterfront • Nutrition: PreDiabetes/Diabetes • Outdoor Adventure Series Pickleball Rookie Rally • Pilates with Pups • Polar Express in the Park • Princess Picnic & Paddle Private Swim Lessons • Real Solutions Weight Loss Program • Saturday Slime School • Smart Snacking • Soccer Sunday Spring Break Nature Camp • Spring Break Volleyball Camp • Spring Ventures Day Camp • Sr. Karate • Tai Chi Teen Takeover • Thru the Chute • Toddler Time • Tri Das-Indoor Triathatlon • Two Step Western Swing Water Safety Instructor • Wee Discovery
FY 18-19 ANNUAL REPORT
1,300 15th Annual Daddy Daughter Sweetheart Dance
Aqua Egg Hunt
Thru The Chute Attendants
Live @ Landa
213 Nerf Gun Wars
92 Das Pumpkin Patch
183 Breakfast With The Grinch
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370 Rec Nâ€™ Roll
191 Soul Searching
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT PUBLIC INPUT MEETINGS Six public input meetings were held during the year to inform and educate New Braunfels residents on the development of the Dry Comal Greenway Trail Master Plan. Public input and education is essential when changes are made to existing park areas so to reach as many residents as possible, an online survey was also provided as a supplement to residents who were unable to attend the in-person meetings. A public meeting was held for the All-Abilities Park after the approval of the 2019 Bond program to discuss the upcoming the park enhancements.
ONLINE REGISTRATION With the popularity of online program registration higher than ever, the department assisted the community by making much needed improvements to the online registration site and dedicated marketing efforts to reach a larger audience. The community received the message. Camp Minnehaha sold all 1640 available spots in less than half an hour. Customers were delighted to be able to get their child a coveted spot in summer camp without leaving their homes. Not all programs had the sell out that Camp did but online sales contributed $3 million in revenue in FY18-19.
PARK RESERVATION SATISFACTION SURVEY A simple eight question survey was sent out to park reservation holders following their rental. Through August and September, 111 responses were received. The goal of the survey was to find out what we can do to improve the customer experience in our parks and what we are already doing that is being well received. •
95% Satisfied with overall experience
91% Satisfied with availability of rental areas
94% Satisfied with overall experience with CONB PARD Staff
FY 18-19 ANNUAL REPORT
CARING FOR OUR PARKS A lot goes in to keeping our parks, facilities, and rivers beautiful. Park Operations staff work tirelessly on 41 park properties comprising over 700 acres in the city.
MAINTENANCE HOURS WORKED
Christmas Light Equipment Installation and Removal Maintenance
Ball Field Maintenance
Landscaping and Mowing
TRAPS Rodeo On November 8th 2018, the City of New Braunfels hosted the Texas Parks and Recreation Society’s (TRAPS) regional Rodeo. The event was held at the Comal Fairgrounds and welcomed Parks and Recreation professionals from the Central Texas Region. The Rodeo consisted of seven events with over 200 participants. These events included: • • • • • • •
Truck and Trailer Obstacle Course Zero Turn Mower Obstacle Course Race Backhoe Competition Backpack Blower Competition Irrigation Assembly Race Nail Driving Competition Plant Identification
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Repairs and General Maintenance
116 inches of dead wood and branches were pruned from Founders Oak in Landa Park
Trees on Parkland Inventoried and Maintained
Young Trees Maintained
Yards of Mulch Spread in Landa Park
Earth Day & Arbor Day Celebrations PARD was host to the annual Arbor Day event on October 20, 2018. The event kicked off with a ceremony and tree planting demonstration and was followed by activities for the kids and a tree give away. A total of 678 free one-gallon trees were given to attendees.
Urban Forestry teamed up with NBU for their Earth Day event on April 20, 2019 at NBU Headwaters and gave away 150 trees.
FY 18-19 ANNUAL REPORT
Protecting Our Parks and Waterways Park Rangers are our front line of customer service in the parks and at the rivers, and the biggest defenders of our natural spaces and environmentally-sensitive areas. Park Rangers are tasked with enforcing many city ordinances including two aimed at protecting our waterways, the Ordinance Prohibiting the Feeding of Wildlife and the Ordinance on Disposable Containers. Park Rangers also monitor and provide education to patrons on the parking apps, kiosk, and rules for four paid river parking lots. Patrol of all 38 parks is conducted daily by foot, bicycle, golf cart and truck. Walking the parks on foot provides ample opportunities for Rangers to be ambassadors for the parks.
Parking Citations Issued
Paid Parking Lots
Park Patrol Hours
Picnic Permits Issued
Parking Revenue Collected
New Training Program A new training program was implemented during summer 2019 to better prepare Rangers to work in the unique environment of the New Braunfels Parks System. Rangers are in contact with hundreds of people each day ranging from fellow employees to residents to tourists from around the world. This diverse group of customers has its challenges leading management to create a more extensive training program with topics including verbal judo, the Wildlife Feeding Ordinance, the Disposable Container/Cooler Size Ordinance, sexual harassment, cash handling, citation writing, CPR/First Aid, and traffic control. Hands on training scenarios using real life situations are used to help familiarize new Rangers with what they may encounter while on patrol leading to a better experience for not only the customers but also the Rangers, making them want to return next season.
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VOLUNTEERS 2019 Award Winners Bill Schwegmann - Frank Chapa Golf Service Award Kinetic Kids - PARD’ner Award Comal County Birders - Seele Education Award John and Cindy Coers - Golden Hammer Award New Braunfels Cycling - Trail Blazer Award David Schoenvogel -Solid as a Rock Award Madyson Williams - Sweetheart Award “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.” – Elizabeth Andrew
Soul Searching Script Writers - Park Heritage Award
Kyle Law Firm- Emmie Faust Award Kunkle Family - Hall of Fame Award In FY 18-19 volunteers contributed 1,693.25 hours to efforts benefitting the Parks and Recreation Department equating to $41,806.34.
Comal County Conservation Alliance -Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Award
Wurstfest - E.P. Nowotny Civic Organization of the Year 2019 Bond Committee - Skinner Legacy Award John Mathis - City of a Prince Award
THANK YOU TO ALL OUR SPONSORS AT&T • Camping World • Chicken Express • Coca-Cola • Coleman • Comal County Democratic Party • Comaltex Insurance Agency • Commercial Swim • County Line Veterinary Clinic Dillard’s • Edwards Aquifer Authority • Fun Abounds• HEB • HMT Engineering Homefield • KFW Engineering & Surveying • Kyle Law Firm • LJA Engineering • McKenna Foundation • Native Plant Society of Texas • New Braunfels ER • Pawelek Moy Engineering • Security Services Federal Credit Union • Smurfit Kappa • Strawberry Creek Services • The Institute for Public Health and Education Research • Tomlinson’s Feed • Westwood • Wurstfest
FY 18-19 ANNUAL REPORT
New Braunfels Parks and Recreation Annual Report