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Lubbock Parks and Rec gets feedback on Master Plan

Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 9:58 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The City of Lubbock’s Parks and Recreation Department held an open house at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center on Wednesday to discuss the Parks, Recreation, and Open Spaces Master Plan.

They had a full crowd in the banquet hall, with people from all walks of life, ages and interests making their voices heard. Parks and Dec Director Colby VanGundy says the input from today will help set the tone for the next decade.

“We want to make sure that as we grow, we are providing for recreation for all of our community,” VanGundy said.

Vangundy says as Parks and Rec starts building its budgets and making potential capital plans, this master plan will set the foundation. He says one of his priorities is making this plan what the community wants to see. The department is in the middle of conducting online surveys, with 3,500 responses so far.

“Walking and nature trails are going up to the top. You’re seeing splash pads being requested, pickleball is another one that’s doing that. You’re really starting to see those come in, and so the more of those surveys that we can get back, the better,” VanGundy said.

The Lubbock Plays Pickleball Club made a big appearance at the open house. President Hunter Blanchard says it’s asking the city for more space, hoping to bring leagues and tournaments to the Hub City.

“The growth of the game is just exploding with the younger generations. We have a lot of seniors that play, a lot of women, and everybody can play the game whatever their athleticism is,” Blanchard said.

Leader of the softball league West Texas Premier Fastpitch, Thavis Miller, wants more accessible fields for girls to play year round.

“Just giving the girls the opportunity to advance their skills, one. But two, be able to play year round when fields are available. It’s not a problem with fields being available, it’s a problem with accessing those fields, because of contracts or user groups or things like that,” Miller said.

Along with recreational amenities, the master plan will outline the future of the Canyon Lakes system.

“It’s like an oasis and we have the ability to reestablish a forest corridor there,” Rob Lee said.

Lee is a disc golfer and biologist who’s lived here for 30 years. He says Lubbock needs new amenities to match growth, but wants the plan to include sustainability for what’s already here.

“Take care of it and enhance it, maintain it. Because if we just build new stuff all the time, then everything starts to fall apart,” Lee said.

VanGundy says things will pick up with planning in the next four to five months, with a final plan heading to city council for approval in April or May. You can fill out the Parks and Rec surveys at Lubbockparksplan.com through the end of November.

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