Weatherford Democrat

March 18, 2013

Park place planning

masterplan workshop March 23


Weatherford Democrat



By Judy Sheridan

Aledo residents interested in helping to shape the city’s new Parks & Recreation Master Plan — a guide to future park development — can do so this Saturday, March 23, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Aledo Community Center, 104 Robinson Court.

Alan Klein, of the Institute of Urban Studies at UTA, said several hands-on exercises using maps and drawings will help residents identify what they would like to see in terms of future parks, trails and projects.

Representatives from the institute will also update the public on the progress made so far on the master plan, which got under way last month.

Two strong interests have been expressed during interviews the institute has conducted, Klein said, trails for walking and biking and opportunities for the downtown area near City Hall that will be created by the construction of the Aledo Trail couplet.

The interests echo those expressed in the city’s strategic plan, he said.

Klein said he has also become aware of Aledo’s “unique features in terms of vistas and natural areas,” and the way the Aledo ISD and private companies provide facilities and programs for area youth.

While working in the city, Klein said, it has become clear that Aledo’s strengths revolve around the school district’s reputation for academics and athletics and the city’s sense of community and heritage.

“There’s a real pride in the history and the downtown as the core of the community,” he said. “A lot of people are dedicated to moving Aledo forward.”

Growth — both inside and outside city boundaries — represents the biggest challenge in the years ahead, he said.

“A lot of growth is happening, and it will place more demands on park services,” he said. “One of the reasons we’re doing this is so we can look over a 10-year time horizon and see what resources will be needed to address those needs.”

Parks can draw new people who move to the area outside Aledo into the city itself, Klein said.

He mentioned the North Central Texas Council of Government’s long term plans for the Regional Veloweb, a network of hike and bike trails proposed across North Texas.

Residents can also give their input on the master plan by completing a survey that is available on the city’s website at www.aledo-texas.com.

The survey should be returned to City Hall, 200 Old Annetta Road, or emailed to the city secretary at deana.mcmullen@aledo-texas.com.