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The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission approved a maximum local park grant of $750,000 to the City of Brownwood for Riverside Park. This marks the largest award from Texas Parks and Wildlife to the City of Brownwood to date. The competitive grants are allocated to local government entities on a 50/50 reimbursement match basis. The City of Brownwood will match the grant award of $750,000 to make a total project scope of $1,500,000.
“The Riverside Park improvement project is a significant investment leveraging federal and state grant funding to maximize improvements,” said Mayor Stephen Haynes. “This project will increase the functionality of the park and create more opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy.”
In December of 2023 the Brownwood City Council approved phase I of the renovation project at Riverside Park, marking one of the largest investments in the City’s park system since the Bert V Massey II Sports Complex. Riverside Park is a shaded 90-acre park adjacent to the Pecan Bayou on Riverside Drive and is equivalent to nearly a third of the entire city park system and serves as the City's largest park.
Riverside park improvements will be visible as two phases of construction. Improvements for both phases were identified in the 2023 adopted Parks Master Plan, with significant community engagement through surveys, and public meetings. Improvements identified took existing usage and events held at Riverside Park into consideration, as well as future events that may be held in the park.
Primary Funding Source: Federal American Rescue Plan Allocation
Phase I improvements prioritize infrastructure and include the demolition of existing roadways, reconstruction of new asphalt roadways, 180+ designated parking spaces, new road ribbon curbing, fencing, electrical, lighting improvements, landscaping, a new modern pavilion, expanded patio of pavilion with string lighting, food truck hookups, entrance signage, and sidewalk improvements.
Primary Funding Source: Grant Funding through Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Phase II improvements proposed to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department prioritize recreation and amenities. The grant includes proposed improvements of native landscaping, additional site amenities, a playground with inclusive elements, paved trail improvements, river view picnic facilities, signage, a rain collection system for the pavilion, restroom improvements, sand volleyball court improvements, public art, and additional lighting. Additional project scope elements focused on recreation amenities will be added.
Closure Updates: Riverside Park will be closed to the public beginning Wednesday, January 24th, to allow for construction crews to safely begin work on Phase I improvements in the park. Please do not access Riverside Park during the construction closure. Signage will be visible at the front of the park entrance to inform vehicular and pedestrian traffic of the closure. The front portion of the disc golf course located in the pecan orchard remains open, with parking available at the corner of Market Street and Riverside Drive. Construction completion is expected by the end of September 2024.
The City reminds residents of the opportunity to explore other locations within the City’s parks system, during this closure. Coggin Park has a new half-mile concrete walking trail, Camp Bowie walking trail at the sports complex offers a nearly 3-mile loop, as well as options at Cecil Holman Park and Camp Bowie Memorial Park. For a full list of parks and amenities at each location view here.