City of Katy moves forward with local park improvement plan

City of Katy moves forward with local park improvement plan Main Photo

11 Mar 2024

By: Aubrey Vogel - Community Impact

The city of Katy continues to see improvements to area parks after the adoption of The Parks, Trails and Recreation Master Plan in 2022.

The framework

The Parks, Trails and Recreation Master Plan aims to grow the city of Katy’s parks program with funding from the $4.2 million parks bond approved by voters in May 2021. Parks and Recreation Director Kevin Browne said the project has seven objectives all focused on trail development, creating and upgrading city parks; expanding recreational, educational and leisure programs; and entering collaborative agreements.

“Our primary goal every year is to continue working towards achieving the goals and objectives set forth in the [Parks, Trails and Recreation Master Plan],” Browne said in an email. “We are [focused on] providing safe, fun and unique opportunities at our parks, programs, events and facilities for people of all interests and abilities to enjoy.”

What’s being done

One project is the 3B Learning Center, a $384,305 learning center for students and families on a historic 5-acre property on Franz Road. The center will feature exhibits detailing the Fussell House’s history and an outdoor learning space highlighting the local Katy and coastal prairie ecosystem focused on native plants, animals and insects, Browne said.

The parks department is targeting opening in spring 2025.

Construction is underway for Phase 1 of the center. Browne said Phase 1 is expected to conclude this spring and includes:

  • Fussell House renovations
  • Construction of a parking area
  • Addition of fences and gates

Phase 2 will begin after the completion of Phase 1 and will focus on the back portion of the site. It includes trail development, the outdoor learning area, excavation of the pond and general area landscaping, Browne said.

Other projects

Other upcoming smaller-scale projects include a playground replacement project at Woodsland Park and a new air conditioning system at the Johnny Nelson Katy Heritage Museum, approved by City Council at Feb. 12 and Feb. 26 meetings.

Meanwhile, city staff is reviewing options to determine a long-term plan for the multipurpose field at Katy City Park, replace gates at Katy Dog Park, and address drainage at both the dog park and Katy City Park near the basketball pavilion, Browne said. The trail feasibility study is underway.

The plan also outlines the creation of a natural park, Leyendecker Landing, dedicated to David Leyendecker, former engineer for Katy, Fulshear and Waller, who died Dec. 30, 2020. Although, Browne said they are still a few years out on the project, which will be located opposite of the ponds at the corner of Pitts and Morton roads, and will include walking and boardwalk trails with a focus on waterfowl habitat and viewing opportunities as well as serve as a drainage area and recreation field.

What else?

The city has a number of parks projects, which have been completed since the launch of the initiative in 2022:

  • Katy City Park: fitness court and sidewalk installation; batting cage replacement; and resurfacing of tennis courts and basketball pavilion
  • Katy Arboretum: playground replacement and installation of shade structure
  • Katy Dog Park: installation of shade structure with additional benches and dog lease racks
  • Woodsland Park: replacement of BBQ Pit and playground and repainting Community Center, gazebo and restroom
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars Park: painting of pavilions and restroom
  • Thomas Park: memorial bench and tree installations, and repair of gazebo roof
  • Katy Heritage Park: new monument sign and enhanced landscaping
  • MKT Railroad Depot & Park: new monument signs and approval of train playground donation, and installation of additional fencing
  • Johnny Nelson Katy Heritage Museum: repairing antique tractors and vehicles back to working status, enhancing existing exhibits, and installation of "Nine Natives Garden"

Full Story