City council to decide on grant to fund renovations for ‘hidden’ park in Tyler

City council to decide on grant to fund renovations for ‘hidden’ park in Tyler

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The city council of Tyler will soon decide whether to approve funding for proposed renovations to one of the city’s oldest, and least known, parks.

The Parks and Recreation office proposed new additions to Gassaway Park in May, including adding new concrete surfaces for new playground equipment, a half-court basketball play area, new parking areas, and improving access to the park.

“If awarded from the city council on Wednesday, we will be getting a grant... in the amount of approximately $80,000 to redo the playground at Gassaway Park” said LeAnne Robinette, senior manager of the office of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism for the city of Tyler.

Many residents reported during a neighborhood survey that getting to the playground and other park equipment was inconvenient considering that it was located downhill, meaning park guests would have to carry coolers, chairs, and anything else 300 to 400 yards downhill before reaching facilities.

What makes the grant unique, Robinette explained, is the fact that it’s a community-build grant; meaning, if the grant was approved, around 200 community members would volunteer to help finish renovations. The plans would also include designs from neighborhood children who described their “dream playground" in previous surveys.

RELATED: City council approves renovations planned for ‘hidden park’ in Tyler

The city began demolition on older and under-utilized playground equipment in 2018 with the idea of moving everything uphill to an area park guests would appreciate.

“So, we decided if we moved it up top, it would be more utilized by the community,” Robinette explained. “They were really excited about it, so we decided to apply for this grant in order to help us create the vision they see in that [area].”

The project could be done as early as late September if approved, Robinette said.

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