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Killeen Recreation Services asking for community's input with park development

Posted at 7:54 PM, Mar 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-18 20:54:52-04

KILLEEN, TX — The City of Killeen is prioritizing the long-term development of parks across the city. The Recreation Services Department has started the process of updating those park plans and is asking the community for their input.

There are 23 parks throughout the city of Killeen. Each will get a bit of a face lift over the next few years.

Maintaining parks like Long Branch Community Park means more than just mowing the grass and picking up trash to one Killeen mother.

Jennifer Koy has been coming to Long Branch Park since she was a child. Now she gets to make memories with her daughter.

“It’s pretty touching that it’s still here and we get to come here,” she said.

Overall, Koy says she is pleased with how well the park has been maintained throughout the years.

“They’ve kept up a lot the picnic areas and the grass is always mowed. The City is doing a good job of keeping areas for these little ones to come and play," she said.

However, Joe Brown, executive director for Recreation Services, says there is room for improvement.

“If you look at one of our community parks, Long Branch, every amenity in the park is not accessible,” he said.

Brown says Long Branch is a huge park that doesn’t have any sidewalks. It also has some outdated facilities. Stewart Neighborhood Park has some of those same problems.

“One of the things that we are really looking at and trying to address forward is what’s the level of activation like in the park. We don’t want to have parks that nobody goes to. We don’t want to have parks that are unsafe. We don’t want to have parks that are not accessible,” Brown said.

That’s where the people of Killeen come in. What do you want to see? Brown says you can give them a piece of your mind by filling out a quick survey.

“Our engagement in our desire to engage the community is very strong. It serves as a backbone to this plan. Feedback is everything. We can sit there and create and develop and try to implement our own plans in, but in the park system, in parks and recreation community, input is valuable. It’s the core of the plan,” said Brown.

Brown says they are looking for people to take a few minutes to fill out the community master plan survey as well as the survey surrounding community parks. All that can be found here.

Brown also wants to invite the community to come out to The Lions Club Park Senior Center on March 22 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. to further discuss improvements to neighborhood parks.