By Amanda Rogers
Mansfield celebrated Earth Day with a trio of ribbon cuttings at local parks.
Gertie Barrett Park and Watson Branch Park were added as the 22nd and 23rd in the Mansfield system, while McClendon Park West reopened after an extensive renovation.
McClendon Park West
The 5-acre park at 799 W. Broad St. got at $2.3 million renovation, including a splash pad, pavilions, more parking spaces and new bathrooms, plus the rarely-used softball fields in the rear were converted to basketball courts. The park also has a playground.
Named in honor of former Mansfield City Council member McClendon “Mac” Moody when it opened in 1985, the park has been a popular spot on the west side of town.
“If he was here, he would be crying all day,” Mayor Michael Evans said of Moody, who also served as a deacon at Bethlehem Baptist Church, where Evans has been the pastor for more than 30 years.
Moody’s oldest daughter, Alma Dudley, was on hand to help Evans and the Mansfield Parks Facilities Corp. board cut the ribbon on the renovated park.
Gertie Barrett Park
Linda and Dick Wintzel’s former home place was purchased in 2009, and finally opened as an 8-acre park at 2121 Gertie Barrett Road. The $2.3 million park in northwest Mansfield includes a splash pad, two playgrounds, pavilions, walking trail and restrooms.
Massive trees, including bois d’arc, oak and pecan, were saved and worked into the park’s landscape. The looping walking trail wanders by pastures where horses graze. The beautifully setting exuded peace, until the splash pad was turned on and youngsters of all ages hurled themselves into the water and an early taste of summer.
Watson Branch Park
The new 11-acre park at 1420 Watson Branch Road was built by Realty Capital Management as part of the new Watson Branch subdivision in central Mansfield. The $1 million park includes about 3/4-mile of the city’s paved linear trail, plus two playgrounds, a pavilion and picnic tables.
The developer went above and beyond the requirements from the city, said Matt Young, the city’s director of community services, and Ann Beck, marketing and communications manager for Mansfield Parks and Recreation.
“It’s great when they see the value that a great park will have,” Beck said.
Mansfield, Texas, is a booming city, nestled between Fort Worth and Dallas, but with a personality all its own. The city’s 76,247 citizens enjoy an award-winning school district, vibrant economy, historic downtown, prize-winning park system and community focus spread across 37 square miles. The Mansfield Record is dedicated to reporting city and school news, community happenings, police and fire news, business, food and restaurants, parks and recreation, library, historical archives and special events. The city’s only online newspaper launched in September 2020 and will offer introductory advertising rates for the first three months at three different rates.