Piece of Mind: Let There Be More Parks

Apr 20, 2020

By John Kanelis

This blog post might not be of general interest, but those of you who have moved to your "forever home" might appreciate that I am smiling a bit while I write this brief message.

We moved to Princeton, Texas, a little more than a year ago. We settled into a new home in a subdivision that is still under construction. Just a bit south of us -- about a block or so away -- is a large tract of land that eventually is going to become a park.

Yes, the city is going to build a park. Lots of "green space" will be among the homes that are popping up all around us.

The Princeton City Council recently approved a design contract of $120,550 to start development of the park. Kimley-Horn and Associates will design the park. Get a load of this: It will include hiking and jogging trails, a restroom, a fishing dock and pond, two pavilions and flashing lights at pedestrian crossings. The park will be west of Beauchamp Boulevard and south of U.S. Highway 380. 

Where is the money coming from? The actual park development funding source is still an open question, but the Princeton Herald reported: “City Manager Derek Borg reported that the design work is funded through public improvement district fees received from (the) Arcadia Farms subdivision.”

The J.J. "Book" Wilson Memorial Park came to the city as a gift from a local landowner.

The city has embarked on an ambitious park development plan that includes some additional green space near the downtown area as well as at the proposed municipal office complex east along U.S. Highway 380.

I am unclear when this park will be finished. However, here’s the cool part: I never have watched a park being built in real time, although I did watch a park in Amarillo re-developed and repurposed into a new and improved version of an existing park. This forever home we are purchasing will enable my wife and me -- along with our 7-year-old granddaughter -- to watch a brand new park come into being.

I happen to believe this is an exciting development in our retired life.

Our retirement journey brought us here for a singular purpose, to be near our granddaughter. She loves to play outdoors when she comes over. I hope she maintains that keen interest while we watch the park being developed.

I do know that her grandmother and I will enjoy the park as we continue to enjoy retired life.

John Kanelis, former editorial page editor for the Amarillo Globe-News and the Beaumont Enterprise, is also a former blogger for Panhandle PBS in Amarillo. He is now retired, but still writing. Kanelis can be contacted via Twitter @jkanelis, on Facebook, or his blog, Kanelis' blog for KETR, "Piece of Mind," presents his views, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of KETR, its staff, or its members.

Kanelis lives in Princeton with his wife, Kathy.