Monday, August 2, 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!

Imagine Yourself Outdoors – Southlake’s “Treemendous” Scavenger Hunt

Fall is a “treemendous” time in Southlake, and the City is giving away five trees in a special contest to celebrate.

To play, you’ve got to get outside! We’ve got twelve trees that we want you to find in our beautiful parks. You’ll know them by the signs that we’ve placed in front of them. There is a story behind each tree, and we will tell their stories over the next several weeks on the City of Southlake Facebook page and the Experience Southlake Facebook page.

To be eligible for our Treemendous Scavenger Hunt, all you have to do is find the specified tree in our parks, take a selfie in front of the tree, and email it to talktous@cityofsouthlake.com with the subject line “tree scavenger hunt.” In your email, be sure to include your name, address, and telephone information (entrees are limited to Southlake residents). Due to email size limitations, please send each tree selfie entry in a separate email. Each selfie submitted counts as one entry, and only one submission is permitted per person, per featured tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The contest ends at 11:59 p.m. October 26. All eligible entries will be part of a random drawing with winners announced on Friday, October 30. Look for the winners’ names on the City and Experience Southlake Facebook pages, My Southlake News, and ExperienceSouthlakeTexas.com/Treemendous. The trees will be delivered to the winners on Friday, November 6, Texas Arbor Day.

Full contest rules can be found on the contest website, and all guidelines must be met to be eligible to win.

Good Luck! The complete tree list is below. We’ll see you at the parks!

Southlake is the Perfect Family Staycation

Have all the fun and relaxation of a vacation, without having to leave town! From restaurants to shopping to our beautiful parks to our luxurious spas and hotels to our fun events, Southlake has everything you need for the perfect staycation.

Splash, Play and Run

Whether it’s a run through one of the trails at Bob Jones Park or taking your kids for a splash at Bicentennial Park, there’s a park for you and your family!

Start your staycation at one of our many parks.

Shop ‘til You Drop

Take a midday stroll through Southlake Town Square, Park Village, Shops of Southlake or some of our other shopping options and find the perfect shopping experience for you. From finding the perfect outfit to getting started on your new hobby, Southlake has a store for you.

View our over 260 shopping options here.

Bring Out Your Inner Chef

When you’re planning your staycation, why not take a cooking class? Central Market, Taste Buds Kitchen and Sur La Table all offer a wide variety of classes to choose from!

Dine Out

Start your day off with a nice brunch, enjoy lunch at one of our breezy patio restaurants, grab a coffee, have a nice steak dinner and finish with dessert right here in Southlake! We offer a wide range of dining options and cuisines that are going to make your staycation perfect.

Find the perfect bite here.

Pet-Friendly Options

Your staycation can be spent with your furry companion thanks to our many pet-friendly options. You can take Sparky over to BooBoo’s Buddies Dog Park at Bob Jones Park for a walk or take him with you to lunch or dinner at one of our many pet-friendly dining options. Get him the VIP treatment from grooming to a massage or check into one of the pet-friendly hotels.

See just how pet-friendly Southlake is here.

Relax, it’s Your Staycation

Your staycation can be exactly how you want it. You can kick back and relax. Southlake offers a variety of spa options, and you can relax in one of our luxurious hotel options!

Choose from one of many spa options here.

View our hotel accommodations here.

Don’t Forget These Activities!

Southlake has the perfect attractions to enhance your staycation. You can watch a movie at Harkins Theatre or head on over to the Red Door Escape Room. This place locks you in a room for 60 minutes with friends and family, and you have to solve clues to escape the room!

Southlake Tennis Center Scores with Renovations: New tennis center updates to increase space and amenities

The third and final phase of Bicentennial Park improvements has left the Southlake Tennis Center in the midst of a renovations rally since the demolition of its clubhouse building in April 2017. With three-quarters of the updates now complete, match point is on the horizon to soon unveil additional clubhouse space and amenities.

As Southlake has grown over the years, so has the popularity of the Southlake Tennis Center. Over the past decade, six additional tennis courts have been added to the original 13 tennis courts; however, the clubhouse building has remained unchanged since the Center’s opening in 1999. With an original capacity for only a few staff members, the club house could no longer accommodate the now 10 tennis pros and 22 personnel at the Southlake Tennis Center, not to mention the year-round, full-schedule of adult and junior players.

Tennis Center Construction PhotosThe new clubhouse renovations will result in additional space and enhanced amenities. In addition to extra retail space for the full-service pro shop, upscale materials are also being used to create a boutique retail setting. Additional restroom facilities are being added, along with upgraded shower and locker areas. A lounge area, full break room and work space with desks will be available to Tennis Center pros and staff. In the back of the building, a multi-purpose space connected to a shaded patio via accordion-style doors will open opportunities for events, meetings and luncheons. Although ceramic tile work, exterior masonry and exterior finishes are still ongoing, final updates will be complete for an anticipated May 2018 grand opening.

Upon completion of clubhouse renovations, two tennis courts will become enclosed to allow for indoor play during inclement weather.

“As a public center for recreation, the new updates to the Southlake Tennis Center will allow it to better accommodate the needs of resident and visiting tennis players, as well as open up additional opportunities for the Center to host tennis-related activities and events,” stated Chris Tribble, the director of Community Services for the City of Southlake.

The $8.8 million-dollar Bicentennial Park improvements are being funded by the Southlake Parks and Development Corporation (SPDC). Created in 1993, the SPDC administers the City’s half-cent sales tax allocated to parks-related capital projects.

The community is invited to an Open House event on Friday, May 18th from 6:00-8:00pm. Guests will be able to take a tour of the new facility while enjoying various activities. If you have any questions, contact Southlake Community Services at (817) 748-8019.

Can’t Play Today

It’s easy to understand when it’s raining and storming outside why games are canceled and playing fields are closed, but why is it closed when it’s sunny outside?

There are many things considered when the decision is made to close a playing field. “Safety is our top priority when deciding to close a practice or game field,” says Mike Reasoner, parks manager, “Beyond the weather, we also look at the field after it rains for standing water, how wet the ground is, and if there are any slick spots.”

During the week, the decision to close a field is made by 3:00 PM and updated here. If a final decision for the weekend field closures is not made by Friday at 3:00 PM, the Parks team will keep checking the field conditions and weather and make decisions on field closures as needed.

Along with the website, the City Field Closure Line (817) 748-8028 is also updated with field closure information. When looking for field closure information on the weekends, please call that number because the website is only updated Monday-Friday.

For more information, please visit the Rainout Policy page on the City of Southlake website or call Parks and Recreation department at (817) 748-8019.

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.