MARY MEAUX — Port Arthur’s parks hold pleasant memories as leaders plan for future

Published 12:24 am Thursday, September 21, 2023

Aries Milo and son Karson Romar choose a different city park to visit on a weekly basis.

“Every Sunday me and my son and some of my little cousins will venture out and just experience and explore, and it gives them an opportunity to get out of the house, get off their tablets and just be one with their imagination,” Milo said.

“And at the end I ask them did they enjoy it. I post it on social media and the next Sunday we’re on for the next selection. So, yeah, parks are definitely important. We definitely need them.”

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Romar took time this week to view conceptual renderings for Rose Hill Park, some of which featured walking trails and a spray pad.

The conceptual renderings were part of an open house Tuesday at Rose Hill Park headed up by Burditt Consultants, which was hired by the city to create the plans with help from the city’s parks and recreation department.

The outdoors-loving Milo enjoys jogging, and when she goes jogging, she does it down Procter Street. She would enjoy seeing jogging trails at Rose Hill Park, should that plan be chosen.

Other amenities such as a pavilion were in the renderings. Milo envisions bands paying at the pavilion and food trucks lined up.

Chandra Alpough seems a natural fit for her position as director of parks and recreation. The Port Arthur native has fond memories of growing up in the city and spending time in its parks.
Alpough was athletic growing up and played softball.

“I remember going to the softball fields. I remember the concession stands. I remember eating stuff from the concession stands, and I remember playing on the playscape systems,” she said.

Her time was spent at Rose Hill Park and Barbara Jacket Park on Gilham Circle, she said, adding as she got older she spent time on Pleasure Island.

Milo also has happy memories of Pleasure Island, saying she took her maternity photos when she was pregnant with son Karson at Fun Island Depot.

Port Arthur’s 32 parks offer different experiences, from playground equipment and picnic tables to baseball/softball/football practice fields, and much more.

City leaders have been soliciting ideas from the public on what residents want in their parks. A workshop was held in May and there was also an online survey for residents to add their input. Then this week was the open house featuring conceptual renderings to give a visual representation of what possibilities lie ahead.

City leaders hope to have a master plan for the whole park system in October.

Mary Meaux is a news reporter at The Port Arthur News. She can be reached at