Sunday, April 14, 2024

Where Community Grows: The Unsung Heroes of Southlake Parks

You couldn’t have a beautiful City like Southlake without the breathtaking parks within our green and vibrant city.

Our Parks Crews rise early in the morning to take on the task of keeping our parks in pristine condition. As the sun rises, our park crews are already on site, ready to beat the summer heat. Collectively our teams are responsible for city-wide beautification, contract management, field maintenance, facility utilization agreements, event support, and working with our Athletic Associations.

These oases of greenery provide us with a much-needed respite from our daily lives and contribute to our physical and mental well-being. Behind the scenes, an often-overlooked group of individuals works tirelessly to ensure our parks are meticulously maintained, safe, and inviting for everyone to enjoy.

Our parks crew, through their unwavering dedication and tireless efforts, enhance the quality of life in our communities. They transform ordinary green spaces into extraordinary sanctuaries, creating a haven for all to enjoy. It is time we recognize and celebrate these unsung heroes, expressing our heartfelt gratitude for their hard work, commitment, and invaluable contributions.

In Celebration of Parks and Recreation Month, we want to highlight these hard workers in many ways. On Instagram and Facebook @experiencesouthlake, you can see a beautiful collage of all the Southlake parks. You can also find an exclusive interview with Terry Lee, one of our world-class Parks Supervisors, to learn all the behind-the-scenes details of all the work that goes into our parks.

Happy Park and Recreation Month to those who keep our public parks green, clean, and safe!

Staying Safe and Cool in a Southlake Summer

Summer is the busiest time of year for Parks and Recreation professionals because it’s the best time for families to spend time outside doing what they love!

Nothing beats a lazy day lounging by the pool, exploring a new playground, or training for the Fall Athletic season during the summer months. However, Southlake summers can be unforgiving, and practicing summer safety is crucial.

Here are a few summer safety tips to keep in mind as you get out and explore our incredible recreation amenities this summer.

Dress for Success
Our Southlake residents are always fashionable, but it’s imperative to remember to dress for the heat. Styling light colors is a great way to reflect harmful sun rays while keeping cool. Add some light layers made of breathable fabric for added sun protection. Dress for success when you visit our world-class Southlake parks and playgrounds! Don’t forget to snap a “fit pic” for the gram!

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Don’t forget to drink water when spending time outside! Drinking enough water is vital any time of the year, but it is essential when it’s hot. Start your day with a glass in the morning and add another to every meal. Grab a fun reusable bottle to take to the pool, the playground, and the winding trails of the Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve. Our Parks professionals always carry extra water around, and you should too!

Timing is Everything
The summer days are long, and the number of fun activities is endless. If spending time outdoors is part of your daily routine, adjust your schedule to avoid the hottest parts of the day. Early mornings and evenings are the best time of day to schedule a tennis or pickleball match with friends, walk your dog, or take your little one to the park! Mid-mornings to early afternoons can be the hottest hours of the day. Beat the heat during that time by checking out Champions Club and enjoying our indoor Aquatics Center!

Apply and Reapply
Finally, apply sunscreen! Your skin is your biggest organ, so show it some big love this summer by generously applying sunscreen when you go out. Sweat and water can limit the benefits of sunscreen, so make sure you reapply every two hours for maximum protection.

There are many ways to stay cool and safe in Southlake this summer. Remember these tips, and you’ll create many life-long memories!

Rack Up Points For the Fit City Challenge with the Outdoor Fitness Series

The Fit City Challenge starts next week, and if you don’t know how to start earning points for Team Southlake, have no fear! The Outdoor Fitness Series is here!

Join us this spring for everyone’s favorite free fitness series. Outdoor classes are located in different parks throughout Southlake and taught by Champions Club’s world-class group fitness instructors. The Outdoor Fitness Series is ideal to try our most popular group fitness classes before committing to a Champions Club membership.

Ready to see what all the Champions Club hype is all about? Mark your schedules for the following times.

Saturday, April 1 at 9:00 AM
High Fitness at the Aria Amphitheater

Tuesday, April 11 at 6:00 PM
Yoga at the Bob Jones Nature Center Pavilion

Wednesday, April 19 at 6:00 PM
Zumba at Aria Amphitheater

Tuesday, April 25 at 6:00 PM
Pilates at Bob Jones Park

Saturday, April 8 at 9:00 AM
Boot Camp at Champions Club Outdoor Turf 1

Thursday, April 13 at 6:00 PM
Pilates at Bob Jones Nature Center Pavilion

Saturday, April 22 at 9:00 AM
Boot Camp at Champions Club Outdoor Turf 1

Thursday, April 27 at 6:00 PM
Yoga at the Aria Amphitheater

No registration or membership is required, so get outside, get a good workout, and get some points for Team Southlake!

Southlake Featured Park: North Park

Maintaining green, clean, and safe public parks is our daily mission.

There’s nothing Parks professionals love more than seeing our community get outside and enjoy our world-class parks facilities. This week’s featured park is a beautiful space for outdoor lovers and sports enthusiasts!

North Park is next to the Southlake DPS North Training Center and is Southlake’s newest community park. Completed in September 2012, the park serves as a fantastic amenity to the surrounding neighborhoods of Estes Park and Oak Pointe. Those who live around that area have surely noticed North Park’s distinctive Tuscan villa-inspired concession building, but that’s not the only feature that makes it outstanding!

This spacious community park is an asset to the community and a local example of superior park design. Complete with three lighted multi-purpose sports fields, various walking trails, a unique playground, a large pond, and generous open play space, North Park has it all! In addition, North Park hosts our recreation flag football games and the Southlake Carroll Lacrosse Association’s lacrosse games!

North Park is not just for the athletically gifted, however. Art and architecture admirers will find a hidden gem within the Italian tower of the North Park Villa. While its primary function is for concessions and restroom amenities, it’s also the home to one of our Public Art collection pieces. Next time you find yourself at North Park, be on the lookout for Janice Hart Melito’s gorgeous “Longhorn Bass Relief.”

Whether you’re a Lacrosse fan, enjoy the gnome-themed playground, are on the lookout for unique public art, or enjoy walking around outside, North Park is a world-class green space for the Southlake community,

Make sure to pencil in an outing to North Park this week!

The Parks Division Begins Annual Winter Rye Application

Did you walk around Town Square last weekend and think the grass looked abnormally short?

Don’t worry it’s not an optical illusion, and no, the landscaper did not make a mistake. What you’re witnessing is the Parks Division preparing for our winter rye application. The Parks Division uses rye in its Turf Management Program to preserve high-traffic grassy areas during the winter months when the warm weather grass is dormant. Think of popular public parks like the ones in Town Square.

When grass is dormant, it cannot repair itself if damaged. It’s, therefore, more suspectable to creating bare and dead spots during City events when coming out of its dormancy in the Spring. All athletics fields utilized during the cold months use this process to keep them looking sharp and minimize wear and tear.

On top of preserving the warm weather grass from severe damage, rye acts as an erosion-preventative technique. The rye grass provides an extra root system that grows and holds the soil together during the heavy downpours over the winter months.

The annual winter rye application is just one example of the Parks maintenance techniques the Parks Division utilizes to keep Southlake beautiful and a wonderful place to visit. Their goal is to ensure every park in the City is clean, green, and safe! We feel fortunate to live and work in a City that takes such good care of its green spaces.


We Rise Up for Parks and Rec: Meet your Parks Crews

It wouldn’t be Parks and Recreation without the incredible Parks team that keeps our award-winning parks system looking world-class!

Our Parks Crews rise for Parks and Rec as they are the early birds that get to work when many of us are still catching some zzzzs. In the heat of the summer months, our friends at Parks are up at 6:30 AM keeping our favorite outdoor gathering spots clean, green, and safe! In celebration of Park and Recreation Month, we want to take some time to highlight the incredible services our Parks Crews provide our community.

Our Parks team does a lot to serve our community. They manage over 1,100 park acres, including city-wide beautification, contract management, field maintenance, facility utilization agreements, event support, and working with our Athletic Associations. With only so many hours in a day, how does the Park team keep our City looking so beautiful?

The Parks Division focuses on the highest level of customer service to create a world-class experience by providing a safe, secure, and aesthetically beautiful parks system for all. Our staff consists of different Parks Crews organized by location and specialized skills. Each Crew oversees specific parks to ensure our residents create lifelong memories.

Here’s the breakdown of our incredible Parks Crews:

North Park, Bob Jones Park, and Bob Jones Nature Center Crew
You can find this team on the North side of town. You’ve experienced the dedication of this Crew if you’ve ever enjoyed a softball tournament at North Park, hiked the trails at the Bob Jones Nature Center, or taken your furry friend to Boo Boo’s Buddies Dog Park!

Bicentennial Park Crew
This Crew spends their days close to home in the largest community park in Southlake– Bicentennial Park! They take care of everything within this park, including the playground, Tennis Center, Liberty Gardens, and the soon-to-be Pickleball Complex.

Southlake Sports Complex, Neighborhood Parks, and Facilities Crew
Travel any direction in Southlake and you’ll run into this Parks Crew. This is the team in charge of the Southlake Sports Complex, Town Square Parks, and the plethora of neighborhood parks we have scattered across the City. Not only that, but this team also handles maintenance of the City’s decorative fountains, ponds, and pavilions!

Thank you to our incredible Parks professionals that keep our City looking beautiful. We rise up for this team because they rise up for us every day!

Fit City Challenge: Have you Walked These Trails?

Hey there, Team Southlake! We have two more weeks left of the Fit City Challenge, and it’s coming down to the wire! Every minute matters to help us claim the gold.

There’s no shortage of ways to get active in Southlake, from our world-class sports fields to our state-of-the-art recreation facility, The Marq. This post is for those that want to get off the beaten path and try something new.

With over 1,100 acres of parks, open space, and various miles of pathways, there’s a trail in Southlake for everyone. Consider taking the path less traveled this week as you look for ways to get your 45 minutes in.

Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve
True outdoor enthusiasts know that there’s no better place to hike in Southlake than at the Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve. Explore the beauty of the Cross Timbers ecosystem as you traverse over 20 miles of hiking trails! The White-Tailed Deer Trail offers a mild, .25-mile walk along the Nature Center property for novice hikers. The Bluebird Trail is perfect for hikers of all ages and experiences. This gorgeous .75-mile trek takes you further into the preserve while still being mild enough for children to enjoy. The 1.75-mile round trip hike to the lake is a perfect way to spend the morning for more adventurous wanderers. Those looking for a true challenge can use the Nature Center as the entry point to miles of the Walnut Grove National Recreation Trail on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ land. Always stay on the trails and follow the arrows when you are out on the preserve.

Bicentennial Park
Everyone knows Bicentennial Park is home to various sports such as Baseball and Tennis, but it’s also a lovely place for a walk! Grab a friend and walk the perimeter of the park. Stop to admire the gazebo at The Liberty Gardens and say hello to the Pioneer Woman near the Log Cabin. Walk along the pond and cross the bridge over by the Aria Amphitheater for some gorgeous views of The Marq.

Bob Jones Park
Grab your four-legged friend and head on over to Bob Jones Park for a brisk walk along the trails of this impressive park. Take a picture with the Bob and Almeady Jones statue, and then let your pup loose inside of Boo Boo’s Buddies Dog Park. Check out the Southlake Sister Cities’ Painted Rock Trail to find a lovely surprise. Bring your supplies and leave a rock of your own!

Chesapeake Park
If you’re on the southwest side of Southlake, then take advantage of the picturesque trails along the pond at Chesapeake Park. Take the entire family and top off your visit by playing at the playground!

Liberty Park
Northern Southlakers know that Liberty Park at Sheltonwood provides top-notch walking trails off the beaten path. Liberty Park’s multi-use trail system is more expansive than you may think, boasting 17 acres of parkland.

How about it, Team Southlake? Have you walked these trails yet? Let’s make every minute count!



The Outdoor Fitness Spring Series is Back and Better than Ever!

The beautiful Spring weather is here, and it’s the perfect time to get your sweat on outside!

Our Champions Club group fitness instructors are committed to providing world-class experiences for our Champions Club members, and we know they are the best in town. We want to share our incomparable group fitness classes with the entire community. The Outdoor Fitness Spring Series is the perfect opportunity to come together, get our sweat on, and enjoy the great outdoors in our beautiful parks!

Join us this month for this short series of fun, free classes located in different parks throughout Southlake and taught by our one-of-a-kind group fitness instructors. We’ll raffle off an awesome swag bag of gear to one lucky participant during each class.

Mark your calendars for these fantastic free classes:

Wednesday, April 13 – 6:00-7:00 PM
HIIT/Stretch with Megan
North Park

Monday, April 18 – 6:00-7:00 PM
Stretch/Yoga with Rebekah
Bob Jones Nature Center

Saturday, April 23 – 9:00-10:00 AM
Bootcamp with Skyler
Champions Club Outdoor Turf 1

Wednesday, April 27 – 6:00-7:00 PM
Zumba with Ann, Rosy, Cristina
Aria Amphitheatre

This limited series is open to all ages. No registration or membership is required. See you at the parks!

Spring is the Perfect Time to PLAY at the Park!

Texas winter is always up and down, but thankfully we are finally in Spring! There’s no better time to play at the park now that the weather is warming up.

Southlake boasts numerous gorgeous public parks, and there’s nothing better than getting outside and playing with friends. Our PLAY at the Park program is a great way to get your kids active outdoors. Each month, we’ll choose a different Southlake Park to explore on a beautiful Saturday.

Apart from the incredible scenery of our public parks, our staff will provide structured activities to create a fun-filled day for all participants. Games, activities, hiking trails, and open space will make this a day to remember. Participants receive a yummy lunch to keep them energized as they play outside!

Here’s a look at our upcoming PLAY at the Park outings:

  • Saturday, March 26 Liberty Park
  • Saturday, April 23 Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve
  • Saturday, May 28 Bicentennial Park

Claim your spot and get outside! Register here.