Port Arthur leaders reaching out to community to compile master plan for city’s parks

Published 12:35 am Wednesday, September 20, 2023

A number of people took advantage of the pleasant afternoon by walking on the seawall while others opted to play tennis at Rose Hill Park

Another small group met at the park, where representatives of Burditt Consultants were on hand with visuals to show possible plans for Rose Hill Park, S/Sgt. Lucian Adams Park and other parks in the city.

The idea was to solicit ideas from the public on what they want in their city’s parks. Paul Howard, planner with Burditt, hoped to see what kinds of new activities people want to see and he understands there are some parks with aging equipment.

Burditt Consultants LLC Project Designer Phillip Kelly, left, speaks with Port Arthur City Councilwoman Doneane Beckcom about conceptual plans for the city’s parks during an open house Tuesday at Rose Hill Park. (Mary Meaux/The News)

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A workshop was held in May and there was also an online survey for residents to add their input, he said.

Two canopies were set up at Rose Hill Park near the parking area, and easels held the conceptual drawings. Chandra Alpough, Port Arthur director of parks and recreation, wants to see what suggestions residents have for the parks, what needs to be done, what they like and what they don’t like.

“To hear what unique ideas they would like to add within the city to bring some kind of unique picture or make those who want to come to the city to come and see ‘this makes Port Arthur stand out,’” Alpough said.

She also wants to hear the ideas that appeal to the quality of life — something that people want their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to come and play and enjoy.

The parks issue is divided up in several parts.

Derrick Holland, GIS coordinator, left, speaks with Johnny Brown, parks coordinator during the open house at Rose Hill Park. Dr. Albert Thigpen, assistant city manager, city councilman Thomas Kinlaw III and Chandra Alpough, Port Arthur director of parks and recreation speak nearby. (Mary Meaux/The News)

In 2021, voters approved a proposition allocating funding for Rose Hill Park, S/Sgt. Lucian Adams Park and the city’s recreation center approved a proposition.

Howard said they did not have a conceptual rendering for each of the city’s 32 parks but did include a rendering for Logan Park on Pleasure Island as well as ideas to repurpose tennis courts.

Plans for the whole parks system is the other part of the issue.

Adams Park currently has baseball and softball fiends, concession stands, restrooms, a pavilion and practice football fields.

The new rendering would add a soccer complex with shade areas, concession and restrooms, championship soccer fields, cricket field and more.

A conceptual site plan for Logan Park features a large event pavilion, grand lawn, formal food court, guitar plaza, vendor/food truck stations, music themed art installations, day use park amenities, grand canal, restrooms and parking.

Logan Park was once a vibrant park that was the venue for concerts.

Alpough said she hopes to see a master plan for the whole park system in October.