By JUDY SHERIDAN
The Aledo City Council on Thursday approved the Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Master Plan, concluding a $17,700 nine-month study completed by the Institute of Urban Studies at University of Texas at Arlington.
The 10-15 year plan, which engaged Aledo residents through public meetings, interviews and surveys, includes a trail system plan, five park plans and a plan for City Hall grounds. The proposed trail system extends into the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction, along with suggestions for future park sites.
The master plan is intended to be a broad overview, with city officials filling in the details as funds become available. The plan will also serve as a tool for securing those funds through grant applications.
IUS Assistant Director Alan Klein thanked city staff, the parks board and residents who offered their input. “We hope that the result of all those conversations and the process that we went through as expressed in this plan really does reflect the aspirations of Aledo,” he said.
Graduate research associate and presenter Julie Wyatt said planners used the vision statement from the city’s Strategic Plan as a starting point, zeroing in on Aledo’s strong sense of community.
A trail system was the top priority for residents, she said, with a focus on the 2008 Safe Routes to School Plan and the portion that includes FM Road 1187 — a sidewalk route connecting elementary and middle schools.
Other priorities included renovating Community Center Park, the middle school trail to Community Center Park, developing Elm Street and Brown Trail Park and acquiring new park land.
Wyatt said the park concept plans show how the city might locate amenities that residents identified as important.
“As Aledo continues to grow we wanted to make sure that recreation needs were met while keeping a small-town rural community feel,” she said.