The city of Bellmead has received a $150,000 matching grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for updates to Brame Park.
Bellmead will match the grant with $150,000 in local contributions for $300,000 in work at the park. The project will include new lighting, bathroom upgrades, accessible playground equipment meeting Americans with Disabilities Act standards, a merry-go-round and sensory playground equipment, Assistant City Manager Karen Evans said.
“We are going to install lighting around the walking path to light the park a little bit, make it more safe,” Evans said. “We’re also going to do some upgrades inside the bathroom. We’re going to put in some changing stations so that people can change their kids, we’re going to put in some blow dryers. We’re going to put in some ADA swing sets for kids in wheelchairs and other things so they can swing, you can strap your kids in. We’re going to put in a merry-go-round, which I think will be fun.”
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Evans also said many aspects of the park will be cleaned up. She said a mural will be painted on the park pump house, native landscaping will be installed, many of the park’s trees will be trimmed, and gravel on the playgrounds will be changed out for mulch.
The city of Bellmead has won a $150,000 grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for updates at Brame Park, including new lighting, …
“We’re going to do a lot of upgrades just to clean up that park, make it a little more friendly, more usable for the kids that have special needs as well as all of the other kids as well,” Evans said.
Bellmead’s $150,000 grant is among $20.6 million in grants the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department announced last week for local parks in 40 communities. All of the grants are on a 50-50 matching basis, with the highest being $1.5 million for the city of San Antonio and $1.5 million for the city of Fort Worth.
Other grants going to Central Texas include $148,000 for a Falls County project at Falls on the Brazos Park that includes a shaded playground, RV hook-ups and site utilities, a restroom renovation and parking; and $750,000 for a city of Harker Heights project at Kern Park that includes a community garden, practice fields, a playground, trails and a splash pad.
Evans said Bellmead’s grant is instrumental in getting upgrades done at Brame Park. She said Bellmead has worked on improving Brame Park over the last four years by repainting park pavilions, installing new tables and benches, and overhauling its splash pad. The city started planning for the Texas Parks and Wildlife grant two years ago so it could finish the park upgrades, and the city council signed off on the application in June.
She also said the city does not have to match the $150,000 entirely with cash, as in-kind contributions from the community and city-funded labor count toward the city’s obligation.
“If a business wants to donate a teeter-totter or wants to donate the merry-go-round, they can do that, write us a donation letter and we get to claim it,” Evans said. “We’re not necessarily expending $150,000 in cash. We’re expending $150,000 in labor, or in donations, which is what makes it so great. It makes it so affordable for a city like us.”
Evans said Bellmead will look toward similar Texas Parks and Wildlife grants in the future as the city works to improve more of its parks.