Eight-year-old Joanna Kelsey hopes that new playground equipment coming to Spring Creek Park includes what she called “climbers.”
Joanna described climbers as “Something kind of, like, tree climbing, except different.” She goes to Spring Creek Park whenever she and her family goes “over to my friend Sarah’s house. It’s right down the road. I really like it.”
She included climbers as a suggestion for the park during a neighborhood meeting Tuesday.
The city of Longview and District 4 Councilwoman Kristen Ishihara hosted the meeting to gather neighborhood input on what improvements should be made to the park on Mona Drive.
“This is a really great example of a neighborhood park that is heavily utilized by the neighborhood itself,” Ishihara said of Spring Creek, the only municipal park on the Harrison County side of the city.
Joanna joined her father, Brian Kelsey, and about 15 other residents at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 738 on East Marshall Avenue to fill out surveys with their suggestions for Spring Creek.
Jim Mobley wanted to see what improvements the city was proposing for the park, he said. He also had heard ideas about bringing a skate park to Longview and wanted to ask city officials about the feasibility, costs and liabilities of such an idea.
“I know some of my kids are really interested in that, and I’d like to see what the city says about that,” Mobley said.
Jane Hart had safety in mind. The 40-year-plus resident of the neighborhood brought photos of the waterway that slices through Spring Creek Park and provides drainage to nearby Mason Creek — a tributary to the Sabine River.
One photo showed a car that she said had parked beside the creek but rolled into it during rainy weather last week.
“It’s dangerous,” she said. As for the playground equipment, she said, “I’d just like to see the equipment upgraded, because some of it is not kid friendly.”
About $430,000 in improvements are dedicated to the park from the $24.71 million parks bond proposition that voters approved in November, Parks and Recreation Director Scott Caron said. City staff have identified needs to replace playground equipment, install a restroom, seal the basketball court surface, add shade structures and upgrade a trail that Caron said is starting to degrade.
The city is holding meetings for the six neighborhood parks and recreation areas that are getting upgrades: Stamper, Lois Jackson, Spring Creek, Patterson and McWhorter parks and Womack Field.
Ishihara will host a Patterson Park community meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday at Longview Christian School, 1236 Pegues Place.
District 1 Councilman Ed Moore will host the final community meeting, on McWhorter Park, at 7 p.m. July 9 at Pine Tree ISD’s Community Center at 1701 Pine Tree Road.
Staff and consultants will take suggestions from the surveys gathered at each meeting to compile a report that will ultimately lead to preliminary designs for the parks, Caron said. Those designs should be completed before the end of the year, and a final design will be submitted in early 2020, with construction planned for summer 2020.