The Mansfield Parks and Recreation Department has been awarded a $750,000 non-urban outdoor recreation grant for James McKnight Park West from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (TPWC). During their meeting on January 26, TPWC approved $9.9 million in competitive grants for city and county park projects from across the state, funding 20 of 52 eligible requests.
“We are absolutely thrilled with this announcement and so grateful to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission for sharing our vision for this well-established but under-developed park,” said Matt Young, Executive Director of Community Services. “Not only does this project serve a huge range of ages and interests, it truly checks all the boxes for our mission as an organization: providing welcoming spaces for residents to gather together, fitness opportunities to grow healthy families, preservation of precious natural, green spaces and lots of exciting new ways for residents of all ages to play.”
This is the second Texas Parks and Wildlife grant for McKnight Park West, located at 302 N. Wisteria St., whose initial development was funded by the state organization nearly 35 years ago. While heavily used as a major trailhead for the Walnut Creek Linear Trail, the park has remained largely untouched since its opening and has no recreational opportunities for residents. In the 2020 Mansfield Parks and Recreation Master Plan, improvements to McKnight West were identified as the fourth highest priority for the southwest quadrant of the city based on community feedback and needs assessments. This project was the highest unfunded item on that list until today’s announcement.
Project highlights include:
- Accessible, multi-age playground and swings and shade
- Mansfield’s first disc golf course
- Pavilions, picnic tables and other park amenities
- Looped walking trail with exercise equipment
- Walnut Creek Linear Trail expansion to Julian Feild Park
The exact amenities and layout will be determined during the planning process and after a series of public engagement opportunities starting this spring to get current feedback from residents and stakeholders. No date has been set for the start of construction as the city and Texas Parks and Wildlife work to finalize the agreement.
The Parks and Wildlife Commission grant will be federally funded through the Land & Water Conservation Fund, which requires a 50% matching contribution from the city. The total cost for the improvements at James McKnight Park West are estimated at $2.1 million. The required matching funds for the grant will come from the city’s half-cent sales tax fund.
The City of Mansfield is a dynamic community of approximately 77,000 in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex that has frequently been named one of the country’s best places to live. Mansfield residents demand and appreciate a high quality of life, as proven in 1992 when citizens approved a half-cent sales tax dedicated to parks and recreation, which is managed by the Mansfield Park Facilities Development Corporation. As a three-time winner of the Gold Medal from the Texas Recreation & Park Society for parks and recreation excellence, Mansfield Parks and Recreation has a history of maintaining high-quality facilities and programs and is excited to add these much-needed expansions to the system.
For more information about any of these projects, contact Marketing and Communications Ann Beck at (817) 728-3385 or email@example.com.