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Posted on: May 28, 2021

Garland Earns Grant Funding to Support Park Improvements

Artist rendering of splashpad area at Watson Park

The City of Garland is awarded a $750,000 non-urban outdoor grant to support significant improvements at Watson Park on Lawler Road. Proposed developments include a soccer field, futsal court, resurfaced basketball court, playground, splash pad, refurbished pavilion, trails, enhanced landscaping, native conservation area, restroom and parking lots.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (TPWC) approved more than $21.6 million in competitive local park grants to help fund projects that will create and enhance outdoor recreational opportunities like nature trails, native gardens, playgrounds, splash pads, dog parks and sports fields at 38 community parks statewide.

The grants, allocated to local government entities, appropriate state and federal funding dedicated for the acquisition and/or development of public recreation areas and facilities in Texas on a 50/50 reimbursement match basis. Once funded, all grant-assisted sites must be dedicated as parkland in perpetuity, properly maintained and open to the public.

Garland applied for the grant to supplement existing bond funds and some Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for Watson Park, which is part of an area identified in the Parks Master Plan as an underserved area. 

“The state funds give us the opportunity to tie the bond-funded elements, such as the splash pad and playground improvements, with the CDBG futsal court and provide improved accessibility in the parking and restroom improvements,” said Andy Hesser, Managing Director of the Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts Department. “All of these variables together made it a perfect candidate to utilize state and federal funds to supplement local funds to improve our residents’ quality of life. As evidenced by the grant award, this project fulfills not only Garland’s mission, but the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department mission and the federal Land and Water Conversation Fund goals as well.”

Garland voters approved more than $117 million in the 2019 bond election to renovate, construct and improve Parks & Recreation facilities. Learn more about those improvements at BuildGarland.com. Visit the Garland Parks & Recreation website to learn more about the strategic master plans.

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