Victorians weigh in on new parks equipment

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

Dec. 11, 2013 at 6:11 a.m.

Victoria residents are invited to have their say in the city's two newest revamped parks.

By way of a Facebook poll, the Parks and Recreation Department is tallying votes for new playground equipment in Hopkins Park, 505 S. Laurent St., and Boulevard Park, 2204 Rose Drive.

MicKayla Mosmeyer, a recreation specialist with the city, said voting has been underway since November. Polls close at 8 a.m. Friday.

"It's a great way to get the community involved," she said. "If they feel they have a part in choosing what playscapes go in their parks, they might feel a stronger connection to those parks."

Jessica Franz, a 29-year-old Victoria mom, voted for the playground with the most play space - a train with multiple slides and climbing space.

She went off what she knows her four children enjoy.

They are regulars at Ethel Lee Tracy Park and the Children's Park at Riverside Park. Occasionally, they'll play on the merry-go-round at Saxet Lakes.

"It's awesome that the city wants our input," Franz said. "In the end, it's going to be us taking our children there, so it really matters to us."

The final designs feature trains and castles but mostly slides, climbing areas and crawling space.

Franz said it's important that parents' opinions are taken into account. She said using Facebook helps.

"Not everyone can make it to the meetings," she said.

Mosmeyer hopes the public input creates more attention in drawing visitors to the city's parks.

Hopkins is a joint effort between the city and the Victoria school district, according to information from the city. It's one of the largest parks in the city and includes a pavilion, a full basketball court, picnic tables and play equipment. The last major improvements made to the park were in 1996.

Boulevard Park is about 1 and a half acres and was acquired in 1941, according to information from the city.

Mosmeyer is looking forward to unveiling the winning design for the parks' updates.

"We've just had the mindset that the public is our customers, and we want to be customer-service oriented," Mosmeyer said. "They're the ones who will be using those playgrounds."



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