By the year 2027, Marble Falls will be known for a park, recreation, and open space system that is “second to none”. This includes building and maintaining parks and open spaces that are family-friendly, walkable, connected, and which maximize public access to Lake Marble Falls and other natural resources. These areas will be comprised of recreational facilities, other quality of life amenities, and programming to provide residents and visitors of all ages the opportunity to be healthy, physically fit, and socially connected.
Marble Falls envisions achieving this first by being forward thinking with redevelopment of its existing facilities, followed by strategic expansion and partnerships that respond to the needs of a growing community. This requires a focus; not only on design, construction, and other initial capital costs, but also staffing, operations, and long-term maintenance.
Our mission is to provide safe and accessible park and community facilities, recreational programming, and community events that will enhance the health and quality of life of our citizens and visitors; enrich the community and environment by conserving, protecting, and enhancing our cultural, historical, archaeological, and natural resources; and attract quality growth and economic development.
The Parks and Recreation Department maintains approximately 158 total acres of park and cemetery land in Marble Falls. Lakeside, Falls Creek, and Johnson Park are adjacent to one another and are very popular for family outings. These parks are also used for some of Marble Falls' largest special events like Howdy-Roo, Mayfest, 4th of July Celebration, Marble Falls Music Festival, Walkway of Lights and the Winter Ice Skating Rink.
Johnson Park was designated as a Lone Star Legacy Park in 2016 - one of only 37 in Texas at that time. Johnson Park holds special prominence in the local community and the state of Texas. It has endured the test of time and has become iconic to those who have visited, played and rested on its grounds.
The Parks and Recreation Department consists of a Parks and Recreation Director, Parks Superintendent, Parks Crew Leader, Maintenance Technicians, and a Recreation Coordinator. The full-time Maintenance Technicians, through the Superintendent's guidance, maintain all parkland and amenities associated with Johnson Park, Westside Park, Falls Creek Skatepark, Lakeside Park, Villa Vista Park, Childers Park, Park View Park, Hays Boat Ramp, the Green's Soccer Complex, Lakeside Pavilion, Mustang Ridge Trail, the City Cemetery, City Hall, Downtown and Harmony Park, and Lakeside Park Swimming Pool, as well other city municipal facilities.
The department manages and operates the Lakeside Park Swimming Pool; offering pool parties, swim lessons, swim team, and general swim to the community during the summer months. In 2022, the Recreation division was expanded to include an additional full-time employee. This allowed the department to offer a 10 – week summer camp program, youth soccer leagues in the spring and fall, summer track and field, youth flag football, youth basketball, and youth volleyball for the upcoming fiscal year. The Parks and Recreation Department also partners with local leagues, organizations, and concessioners to provide other recreational and educational opportunities for all ages. The Recreation division is also responsible for programming special events, as well as managing rentals for park facilities.
The Parks and Recreation Department interfaces with the Parks and Recreation Commission which serves in an advisory capacity and makes recommendations to the City Council concerning the acquisition, maintenance, operation and use of parks, cemetery, and other open spaces within the City.
Goals and Objectives
- Provide safe well-maintained park space that inspire play
- Develop and open new parks, trails, and facilities
- Provide recreational programs to improve the overall mental, physical and emotional health of all participants and foster a sense of community
- Provide youth athletic leagues to encourage physical, social and cognitive development within children
- Provide adult athletic leagues to encourage exercise as well as socialization between members of the community
- Provide a safe, clean, and sanitary facility for general swimming, swim lessons, swim team and other aquatic based exercise courses
- Seek to market and maximize the usage of all department facilities
- Improve operational efficiency with all park maintenance and recreation operations
- Continue to provide educational and certification opportunities for department staff
What We Accomplished in 2021-2022
- Reopened the Lakeside Park, Johnson Park, and park space along Lakeshore Drive that were closed during the Emergency Watershed Protection Projection, which included upgraded and new irrigation systems and sod in those areas.
- Operated 44 nights of an ice rink for the community, selling over 8400 tickets.
- Coordinated the City’s seasonal Christmas decorations – including tree installation, holiday banners and garland, streetscape and tree lights, and the addition of holiday banners along the 281 bridges.
- Installed additional trash cans and benches in Lakeside Park.
- Installed additional security cameras within parks to increase safety to patrons, as well as protect assets.
- Hosted the 2nd Annual Arbor Day celebration at the Greens Soccer Complex and planted 8, 45-gallon native trees.
- Began the Childers Park Renovation project, completing the installation of new irrigation, new fencing, additional walking paths within the complex, upgraded electrical systems and took underground, upgraded the backstops to a net system, installed new foul poles, installed new sod on the playing fields, and completed renovated the restrooms and concession stand.
- Created standard operating procedures for mowing of city facilities, as well as developed severe cold weather operation plans to proactively protect infrastructure and assets in the park system.
- Renovated the Johnson Softball Field restrooms to make sanitary and ADA compliant.
- Designed and installed new irrigation zones at the Greens Soccer Complex.
- Replaced the outfield safety netting at Johnson Softball Field.
- Installed cooling unit in the Harmony Park restroom utility chaise to protect AV equipment for the downtown music system.
- Upgraded downtown landscaping and irrigation along Main Street.
- Installed irrigation and landscaping along 4th Street.
- Resurfaced the Westside basketball court and installed two shade structures.
- Three members of the park’s maintenance division competed in the TRAPS Maintenance Rodeo and qualified for state competition. At state, one member finished 5th place in the zero-turn mower obstacle course.
- Hosted the inaugural Family Camp Out event with 31 families in attendance.
- Created the second annual Parks and Recreation Guide which includes comprehensive information on parks and park rentals, trails, programs, and special events offered by the department.
- Hosted Halloween in the Park with 15 vendors and nearly 2,000 people in attendance in Lakeside Park.
- Hosted four Movie in the Park events throughout the year to offer additional opportunities for families to enjoy the park system.
- Coordinated and facilitated the Light Up Parade. 51 parade entries and nearly 3,000 people were in attendance in the Downtown district for this annual event.
- Created and hosted a Blue Santa Softball Tournament, raising $1,400 for local charities.
- Offered the second annual Breakfast with Santa program. For the second year in a row this is a sold-out event.
- Created a year–round schedule for youth athletic leagues for the community and offered spring and fall youth soccer leagues. Each season produced 250 registrants for the 8-week seasons.
- Launched our first year of Backbone Adventure Camp, which offers weekly offerings for children 5-12 to attend our summer day camp for 10 weeks in the summer. Children get to play games, explore our park system, and go on weekly field trips.
- Created a 10-week free concert series in Johnson Park, attracting over 7,900 people throughout the season.
- Offered the first season of youth flag football and participated in the league of surrounding communities.
- Completed an update to the Master Plan for Park View Park, which included public input and city council approval.
What We Plan to Accomplish in 2022-2023
- Complete the Childers Park Renovation project.
- Establish an operational and maintenance plan for the Thunder Rock Sports Park.
- Complete the full design of Park View Park and prepare the project for construction.
- Acquire the Tree City USA designation, which includes the establishment of a public tree ordinance, develop a comprehensive plan for tree maintenance and care within the public space, along with a mitigation plan for annual loss of trees.
- Increase diversity of native trees species present in public spaces.
- Staff to participate in the Central Region Maintenance Rodeo and attend the TRAPS Institute, TAAF Winter and Summer Games of Texas, TAAF Annual Conference, TAAF Sports Management School, and Sports Turf Management and Texas Turf grass Conferences.
- Increase adult athletic league offerings by adding spring, summer, and fall softball and kickball leagues.
- Introduce and implement supervised youth programs to provide safe and monitored recreational activities.
- Implement additional youth athletic leagues to improve physical, social and cognitive abilities of children in area.
- Increase recreational senior programming to include a travel and exercise programs.
- Increase training opportunities and certifications held by staff to increase efficiency and proficiency within the workplace.