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Plano Parks and Rec addresses aging parks



PLANO, TX – Several aging parks around Plano are in need of upgrades. According to the Parks and Recreation Department, at least 19 city parks are being considered for renovations through the 2020-21 city bond.

Senior Park Planner Liz Del Turco said there are several factors that may cause a park to need renovations, but age is generally the driving force.

“It’s kind of like having an older car,” Del Turco said. “There’s a point at which you realize you’re putting more money into the car than it’s worth to keep it going.”

Evans Park, located on Mollimar Drive, is currently being renovated by the department. Del Turco said a number of issues the park experienced were because of age.

“We started this process at least a year ago, maybe two years. What we typically do is we will reach out to the neighborhoods and do some community engagement, get some feedback,” Del Turco said.

“Age is generally the trigger, although a lot of times there are other factors within the park, being 20 years old or older,” she added.

When residents reach out to the department about possible park renovations, Del Turco said certified park reviewers evaluate the land and determine what needs to be done.

Park renovations are put in order by the park’s needs and by social equity standards.

“If we’re having a certain number of parks being renovated on the west side, we want to make sure we’re also distributing that same number throughout the city so that the middle portion of town and the east side get their work done as well,” Del Turco said.

Renovations typically take nine months to a year, according to Del Turco. She wants residents to understand the department works year-round when updating the sites.

“Sometimes we have to ask people to be a little patient with us and say, ‘Look, this will even better than before, but we need to get there first,’” Del Turco said.

According to Del Turco, renovation demands have changed since the city first began implementing parks.

“If it’s an older park, a lot of times, both the safety standards and the accessibility standards have changed,” Del Turco said.

Because the city has used most of its available land, the department has focused mostly on maintenance and renovation in recent years.

“When the city was younger and growing, we really were more focused on getting parks built, new parks,” Del Turco said. “And now of course we’re reaching build-out as a city and so we’re looking more at the maintenance and renovation end of things.”