Skate Park JL1A

Abner Gonzalez goes airborne as he skateboards at Sul Ross Park. The city is holding a series of public meetings on an update to the parks master plan.

Staff photo— Jerry Larson

The city of Waco is preparing a master plan to guide the next decade of park development, and it’s looking for residents to weigh in.

The city is holding public meetings this week on the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan, which sets priorities for building new parks and improving existing ones.

The meetings are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Waco Multipurpose Building, 1020 Elm Ave. and 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Dewey Community Center, 925 N. Ninth St. Residents can also fill out a survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/wacoparks.

“This gives us an opportunity to have somewhat of an understanding of what the community expects of us in the number of parks we have, where they’re located, and what goes in those parks, from splash pads to playgrounds,” parks and recreation director John Williams said. “These are the kinds of things we’re trying to ascertain through community input.”

In the past decade, the city has made major improvements at its signature Cameron Park, extended the riverwalk and upgraded neighborhood parks and recreation centers, all based on the plan that was last updated in 2005.

That plan needs to be updated so the city can be eligible for state and federal grants, Williams said.

The first public meeting on the plan was held at South Waco Community Center on Thursday, but few people showed up, he said.

Williams said the parks staff will draft a plan over the next months that will be sent to the parks board for a recommendation to the Waco City Council.

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