Note: Success doesn’t happen by accident. For the City of Round Rock, it’s been a decades-long process of strategic planning and methodical execution. The Future Forward series highlights our efforts to manage Round Rock’s rapid growth.
When it comes to taking the long view on City needs, it should come as no surprise we have master plans for transportation and water to ensure these basic needs are met as Round Rock makes its way to an ultimate population of 250,000. But we take our parks and recreation amenities just as seriously, because we know they play such a key role in making this community a place you love to call home.
To give you a sense of how busy our Parks and Recreation Department stays, consider these numbers for participation in programs, events and facilities:
- 713,035 users of Clay Madsen Recreation Center
- 253,625 users of Allen Baca Center
- 75,219 participants in recreation programs
- 161 events/tournaments supported by PARD
- 38,128 hours of facility rentals at PARD facilities
- 21,034 hours of athletic field usage on PARD fields
- 136,478 users of PARD pools
The department rides herd on more than 1,500 acres of developed parkland and 740 acres of undeveloped parkland. But as more folks move to Round Rock, we know the demands on our system will grow too, which is why our master plan for parks and recreation gets updated about every ten years. The most recent update, Playbook 2030, was approved by the City Council this past August.
The master plan is needed to:
- Point out deficiencies in the existing parks system
- Look at potential growth of the City over the next 5-10 years and assesses where additional facilities will be needed
- Guide the acquisition of land to meet current and future open space needs
- Prioritize recommendations so the most significant deficiencies are addressed as quickly as possible
- Guide City leaders in determining where and how parks and recreation funding should be allocated over the next 5 years
A survey and series of public meetings were used to engage the public as the plan was being developed. We heard from residents that what they want is more trails, more shade, more natural areas, more parks and more fitness opportunities.
The parks staff identified the following needs: facility repairs, expansions and upgrades; additional practice space; additional parkland and recreational programming space; and grow Old Settlers Park and continue to plan for expansion and upgrades to accommodate and serve future residents. The plan includes a series of goals to accomplish the identified needs.
The No. 1 goal in the master plan is to link the community. The City should provide a trail and open space system which links parks, schools, greenbelts, neighborhoods, places of employment, retail shops, restaurants and open spaces.
Other goals target: community cohesion through the creation of special places and programs unique to Round Rock; taking care of what we have by developing a sustainable system; being great environmental stewards through landscape management and maintenance practices and natural resource preservation, as well as continuing to conserve, protect, and enhance the community’s environmentally and culturally sensitive areas; and finally, distributing our resources equitably throughout the community.
All this future planning has taken place at the same time our Parks staff has been busy working on $56.5 million in projects approved by voters in a 2013 bond election. Highlights include expansion of the Rock’N River Family Aquatic Center, Soccer Complex improvements at Old Settlers Park and a major expansion of our trail system.
Taking care of business today while making sure we’re on top of our planning game is what Future Forward is all about.