Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Our Park and Recreation Story: The Story Behind the Southlake Parks Facebook Page

Every once in a while, a Facebook page pops up that captures the heart and soul of a community. A large part of our Park and Recreation Story is told through the lens of the Southlake Parks Facebook page.

The Southlake Parks Facebook page exemplifies the success that comes when innovative employees showcase the unique joys of their daily lives with our community. With over 4,000 followers, the Southlake Parks page is the brainchild of a few Parks employees, who wanted to document their experience and share their passion for the job with the Southlake community.

It’s no secret that we take our parks seriously in Southlake. With 36 public parks covering a total of 1,139 acres of public space, keeping our parks in tip-top shape is not for the light-hearted. Not only is it an immensely physical job, requiring copious amounts of endurance and muscle-power, but it is also a surprising job. You never know when you might run into a critter that calls a Southlake public park home.

Scrolling through the Southlake Parks Newsfeed, Southlake residents and fans from all over are treated with up-close shots of unconventional neighbors such as frogs, worms, and snakes. Our dedicated Parks employees love to show off the majestic creatures they meet on the job. The page also serves as a warm-hearted outlet to uplift and showcase fellow Parks employees. By sharing their story every day, Southlake Parks employees provide a behind-the-scenes look at the labor it takes to maintain our parks to world-class standards. The followers and likes the page has amassed demonstrates that the Southlake community appreciates this type of personalized storytelling.

We asked the face behind the Parks Facebook Page, Landscape Technician Jose Guzman, to tell us more about running the page.

My Park and Recreation Story: Jose Guzman

What’s your job, and how long have you been with the City?
I’m a Landscape Technician and a Playground Safety Inspector. I’ve been working with the City for seven years.

Why did you decide to start the Parks Facebook Page?
My work partner and I decided to share some of our daily work life on Facebook. I had just started working for the City, and I was amazed at how beautiful the parks were in Southlake.

What type of content do you try to share?
I like highlighting some of the daily work that we do. I also enjoy sharing the different parks and their amenities. My favorite is sharing our Southlake nature, “Neature.”

What do you hope to accomplish with this page?
I hope people see the great parks that we have, and it gets them out and about to enjoy them. There are so many hidden gems around town that many people don’t know about, and I hope they will take the time to explore them.

What’s it like interacting with the community and the large following you have amassed?
I like getting messages from people that see a certain playground, park, or trail, and are curious about their location. I love giving them suggestions and perhaps sending them to their new favorite park.

We love keeping up with the Parks Department’s adventures, and you can too by following the Southlake Parks Facebook Page. Thank you to our Parks team for helping us tell Our Park and Recreation Story every day!

Southlake Names Open-Space Park in Honor of a Carroll School Founder’s Family

Honoring a founder of the Carroll school and his family’s exceptional contributions to the community, the City has named the new open-space park in the Metairie subdivision the John R. (J.R.) and Ora Graham Shivers Park.

The Metairie development is set on 29 acres of land located at the southwest corner of the White Chapel Blvd/Dove Road intersection. The 2.75-acre parkland was dedicated to the City, offering a vast open space for park-goers to enjoy. The pet-friendly park will maintain natural vegetation with a granite path through the undergrowth and include amenities such as large stone benches, drinking fountains and pet waste-pickup stations.

J.R. Shivers was one of the first three Carroll School trustees and was instrumental in the building of the 1919 Carroll School.
“The developer proposed the name at the request of the Shivers’ family,” said Chris Tribble, City of Southlake’s director of community services. J.R. Shivers is the grandfather of Rebecca Utley, the previous landowner.

According to data collected by the Southlake Historical Society, J.R. Shivers married Ora Grace Graham in 1902. The couple lived in a log house and farmed 100 acres that straddled White Chapel Boulevard to Shady Oaks, north of Hwy. 114. In 1919, J.R. Shivers helped spearhead the building of the 1919 Carroll School, a three-room brick building on N. Carroll and Highland.

Plan Ahead for a Perfect Day of PLAY at the Park!

We love our Southlake parks for providing us with beautiful open spaces to get outside and get in tune with nature, but did you know that there are multiple benefits of playing outside for kids?

Indeed, playing outside leads to improved overall health, greater self-awareness, appreciation for the environment, and enhanced relationships with other children.

Outdoor play demands higher levels of creativity and imagination. As a result, children learn communication skills and learn how to build relationships with other kids. Moreover, no one can deny that being outside and catching some Vitamin D can turn any day from good to great!

If you’re ready to get in on the benefits of playing outside, mark your calendars because PLAY at the Park is coming up on February 27! Drop-off your child at Bicentennial Park for a day of exciting Pokémon-themed games and activities. Lunch will be provided and a fun time of catching them all is guaranteed!

PLAY at the Park will be offered on the fourth Saturday of the month during Spring, and structured activities will take place at various Southlake parks!

Check out our incredible schedule and terrific themes:

  • February 27 Bicentennial Park: Pokémon Day
  • March 27 Liberty Park: Superhero Day
  • April 24 Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve: Earth Day
  • May 22 Bicentennial Park: Star Wars Day

Don’t miss out on the chance for your child to explore the great outdoors and reap the benefits that our parks have to offer. Click here to register!

Parks and Recreation Board Meeting, December 9

The Next Parks Master Plan Meeting will be held on December 9 at Town Hall, where Lonesome Dove Park, Royal and Annie Smith Park, and Chesapeake Park will be discussed.

Get involved in shaping the future of Southlake Parks! The City has kicked off the update to the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan. City staff is working closely with the Parks and Recreation Board on crafting policy recommendations for many of the community’s parks and wants your help too. There will be multiple opportunities to provide your comments throughout this process. Three parks will be discussed at the December 9 Parks Board meeting that will take place at 6 p.m. at Town Hall. These include:

Lonesome Dove Park

Royal and Annie Smith Park

Chesapeake Park

Make sure you are also following the City’s Twitter and Facebook for reminders about these meetings. You may also subscribe to the Southlake 2035 calendar on the City’s website (“Notify Me”) for updates.

If you are unable to attend a meeting, don’t let that stop you from sending your feedback to staff and the Parks and Recreation Board. A form has been created for residents to submit comments digitally. This can be found on the Parks Master Plan webpage or by clicking here.

In the meantime, you may find more information about the currently adopted Parks plan here.

Register Now for Men’s Spring Flag Football

The NFL season may be over, but flag football is just heating up! It’s time to start building your team for the City of Southlake’s spring adult flag football league.

Adults benefit just as much as kids do from playing sports. Not only does playing a sport provide a challenging full-body workout, but it’s also been proven to boost mood, decrease stress and strengthen teamwork and problem-solving skills. Most importantly, playing with friends and family is a great way to fit some fun into your weekly routine!

The City of Southlake’s spring flag football league is open to players ages 18 and up. Rosters can include up to 20 players. The cost is $330 per team, and teams must provide their own jerseys.

Important Dates

Registration Closes: March 25, 2018
Coaches Meeting: March 27, 2018
Season Dates: April 7 – May 12, 2018
League Tournament: May 19 and May 26, 2018

You can register online or in person at 1400 Main Street, Suite 210. Please call Southlake Parks and Recreation at 817-748-8019 if you would like more information.

Essential Oils in Daily Living Seminar with Judy Griffin, Ph.D.

Southlake Library is hosting Dr. Judy Griffin, an internationally known aroma therapist, author, lecturer and herbalist to discuss the use of essential oils in daily living. Dr. Griffin organically grows and produces over 500 products that are used in clinics and hospitals to reduce pain, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, and stress. She also developed an herbal curriculum for the University of Texas at Arlington and Texas Christian University. She is the author of Mother Nature’s Herbal, a definitive book on herbal medicine, based on her extensive research on indigenous cultures.  Dr. Griffin will provide an informative lecture on the common uses of essential oils.

Event Information: Wednesday | February 15 | 6 – 7:30 PM | Southlake Town Hall 3rd Floor

Please register online for this event.

Southlake Christmas Tree Recycling Program Returns for Another Year

If you’re not sure what to do with your Christmas tree after Christmas, recycle it! Recycling your tree saves valuable landfill space. Real Christmas trees are biodegradable, meaning they can be easily reused or recycled for mulch and other purposes.

Through the City of Southlake’s Christmas Tree recycling Program, residents can drop off their bare trees at Bicentennial Park and the City will turn the trees into wood chips. The environmentally friendly wood chips are made available to residents and can be used as mulch that can be placed in and around flower beds and gardens. During the 2015 program, approximately 652 trees were recycled through the Christmas Tree Recycling Program! So bring your bare trees (without decorations or a base) to the Bicentennial Park entrance off 1709 and the city with turn the tree into wood chips. Program dates are listed below.

Drop-off: December 17 – January 13
Mulch Pickup: January 14 – January 21

If you have questions, call (817) 748-8019 or visit the Keep Southlake Beautiful page. For more information about how real Christmas trees benefit the environment, visit the National Christmas Tree Association website.

Story Time – Super Hero Edition

This year Fire and Police departments are combining forces with the Library and Parks and Recreation to bring you Story Time at the Station Super Hero Edition!

Join us on Friday, July 15th at 10:00 a.m. the Super Heroes will take over Fire Station 1 (600 State Street) for our annual story time event.  Story time at the station, has grown every year and is a super fun event! Parents and kids pack the fire bays so you will want to arrive in plenty of time to get a good spot.

We want to encourage the kids and their parents to wear their favorite super hero costume.  There will be a puppet show, a sing-a-long, a story read by one of our firefighter heroes, plus stay for the station tour including a display of your favorite police and fire vehicles.

You won’t want to miss the excitement!

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Restoring Southlake’s Natural Beauty

The City of Southlake is partnering with TxDot and participating in the Green Ribbon Project to beautify the highways and restore some of Southlake’s natural beauty.

Approximately 400 trees are being added along Highway 114 between Dove Road and Carroll Avenue in addition to drip irrigation which will be installed at each tree to help establish the plant material. The Green Ribbon Project which started around April 11th should be completed by the end of July (depending on rain delays).

The program was created by a special committee and group of consultants, with input from the public in order to provide a plan representing all members of the Southlake community. The primary goal is to establish a higher level of visual appeal along the roads through landscape and architectural improvements but also to promote and enhance highway safety and maintain traffic flow.

For more information about the Green Ribbon Project please contact The Southlake Parks Department at (817) 748-8019 or www.cityofsouthlake.com.