San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

January 23rd, 2009
Kyle receives half-million grant for preserve, nature trail

SUBMITTED REPORT

Texas Parks & Wildlife Commissioners on Thursday unanimously approved the city of Kyle Parks and Recreation Department’s request for a $500,000 grant to be used for the purchase of parkland and development of the Plum Creek Preserve and Nature Trail.

Attending the meeting as representatives for the City of Kyle were City Manager Tom Mattis, Parks Director Kerry Urbanowicz, and Recreation Manager Krystal Loyd.

The Plum Creek Preserve & Nature Trail will be located east of IH35 and will run along the portion of the Plum Creek Watershed from Goforth Rd, east through Steeplechase Park, across Lehman Rd between the Four Season Farms development and eastward to the edge of the Kyle City Limit. All residential, commercial and school developments along the watershed will connect to the trail and have access points.

“I think congratulations are in order for everyone involved in our Parks programs,” Mattis said. “Kerry, along with his staff, the Parks Board members, and a host of others have worked diligently to make this great amenity a reality for the residents of Kyle and northern Hays County.”

Once the project is complete, the Plum Creek Preserve & Nature Trail will offer the community numerous outdoor recreational opportunities, including over 300 acres of parkland to roam and play in, over 6 miles of nature trails to hike or mountain-bike over, 2 large lakes to fish in, wildlife viewing points, natural areas, picnic sites, open spaces and even a wildflower meadow. The development of the project will begin within six months and should be available to the public within three years.

“This is huge milestone in the development of the Parks system for the City of Kyle,” Urbanowicz said. “The leisure opportunities that will be possible with this development will greatly enhance the quality of life for all of us here in Kyle.”

Grant applications for the Outdoor Recreation Local Park Grant Program are considered twice a year and applications must provide extensive documentation regarding the project along with providing an equal amount of matching funds. The TPW grant will match local funding dollar for dollar up to $500,000. The City of Kyle is using land value to meet that required match.

Outdoor Recreation Grants are made available from the Texas Recreation and Parks Account and the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to Texas local governments for the acquisition and/or development of outdoor recreation sites. TRPA revenue is generated from a portion of the state sales tax on sporting goods. As of the deadline for this round of grant funding, TPWD received 26 eligible applications requesting $10,981,571 in matching fund assistance. After visiting project sites, reviewing the application packets and verifying matching funds, the TPWD Staff scored the applications based on a criterion developed by the TPW Commission. Only 6 projects were recommended for funding, totaling $2,999,981.

With 100 being the highest possible score to receive, the City of Kyle received an 88 for the Plum Creek Preserve & Nature Trail project. This score placed Kyle right behind projects in Laredo and Cottonwood Shores (near Marble Falls). The other towns receiving outdoor recreation grant approval during this meeting was Abilene, Joshua and Dripping Springs.

Progress reports, master plans and more information concerning the Plum Creek Preserve and Nature Trail will be available soon on the Parks’ website – www.kylepard.com.

— FROM THE CITY OF KYLE

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