Wednesday, August 17, 2022

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.

Field Weather Closures: What We Look for When Closing a Field

With Fall well underway, there’s no telling when the weather will take a turn for the worst. What does rainy weather mean for our field availability?

There are multiple considerations our hard-working Parks Team evaluates when deciding to close a field due to weather. Today we put ourselves in the shoes of a Parks Supervisor to get a deeper understanding of the field evaluation process.

What to look for when closing a field:

1. Safety Always Comes First

The first things we look for are the safety and playability of the fields. If the field appears questionable, you need to evaluate whether someone can perform their usual actions during a game. For example, can they run and make a cutting or stopping action safely and without hurting themselves? Resident safety is our priority, and we want to eliminate the risk of accidents as much as possible.

2. Preserve Our Fields

The other thing we pay attention to is the preservation of the fields.
When you play on a field with soft or wet turf or infield areas, it becomes damaged and will not respond to these same conditions the next time we have rain. Areas with turf or infield damage will create wet spots that retain water and makes it harder to drain or flow with the pitch of the field. Consequently, this could create safety concerns and the potential for injuries.

3. Manage our Resources

The last aspect we evaluate comes from a resource management perspective. How much would it cost in time and money to address issues created by playing on fields during unideal conditions? Fixing a damaged field includes re-leveling areas with soil, reseeding, resodding, aerating, extra infield leveling, and inserting more infield material.

As you can see, a lot of thought and consideration goes into deciding to close a field due to weather. In the end, it all comes down to safety. Our mission is to create world-class experiences for those that use our fields. That includes making sure they are safe, clean, and green!

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.