The Mansfield Parks and Recreation Department has been awarded a $750,000 non-urban outdoor recreation grant for James McKnight Park West from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission. During their meeting Jan. 26, TPWC approved $9.9 million in competitive grants for city and county park projects from across the state, funding 20 of 52 eligible requests.
“We are absolutely thrilled with this announcement and so grateful to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission for sharing our vision for this well-established but under-developed park,” said Matt Young, executive director of community services. “Not only does this project serve a huge range of ages and interests, it truly checks all the boxes for our mission as an organization: providing welcoming spaces for residents to gather together, fitness opportunities to grow healthy families, preservation of precious natural, green spaces and lots of exciting new ways for residents of all ages to play.”
This is the second Texas Parks and Wildlife grant for McKnight Park West, whose initial development was funded by the state organization nearly 35 years ago. While heavily used as a major trailhead for the Walnut Creek Linear Trail, the park has remained largely untouched since its opening and has no recreational opportunities for residents. In the 2020 Mansfield Parks and Recreation Master Plan, improvements to McKnight West were identified as the fourth-highest priority for the southwest quadrant of the city based on community feedback and needs assessments.
Project highlights include:
● Accessible, multi-age playground and swings and shade
● Mansfield’s first disc golf course
● Pavilions, picnic tables and other park amenities
● Looped walking trail with exercise equipment
● Walnut Creek Linear Trail expansion to Julian Feild Park
The exact amenities and layout will be determined during the planning process and after a series of public engagement opportunities starting this spring to get current feedback from residents and stakeholders. No date has been set for the start of construction as the city and Texas Parks and Wildlife work to finalize the agreement.
The Parks and Wildlife Commission grant will be federally funded through the Land & Water Conservation Fund, which requires a 50 percent matching contribution from the city. The total cost for the improvements at James McKnight Park West are estimated at $2.1 million. The required matching funds for the grant will come from the city’s half-cent sales tax fund.
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.