Every now and then, I get questions from readers about park board issues. This week, I’ve decided to answer a couple that have come up rather frequently.
Q: What is the current state of the beach recycling program?
A: Last November, the park board and Artist Boat partnered to place the first of seven recycling stations along the beach front. Plans to place up to 20 recycling cans at bus stops are currently in the works. Artist Boat has submitted a grant for them and the organization should know if they receive the funding early next year.
Artist Boat received grant funding for the first project through a Hilton Worldwide Travel with a Purpose grant and from Galveston’s Eliza and Harris Kempner Fund. The park board’s Coastal Zone Management team is responsible for maintaining the stations. To date, 2,100 pounds of plastic and 300 pounds of aluminum have been recycled from the stations.
The recycling program is part of a broader initiative known as “Leave No Trash Behind,” a project of the Marine Debris Task Force. The task force is a collaborative effort led by the park board, Texas General Land Office, Turtle Island Restoration Network, NOAA’s Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, Artist Boat, city of Galveston, the Environmental Protection Agency, Galveston.com, Galveston Surfrider Foundation and Moody Gardens.
Q: Are there any new developments on the pavilion at Seawolf Park?
A: The pavilion at Seawolf Park sustained significant damage when Hurricane Ike hit Galveston in 2008. Since then, park board officials and Federal Emergency Management Agency officials have had differing opinions on the amount of damage it received and whether or not it has surpassed an important threshold for funding.
According to FEMA, if a structure is less than 50 percent damaged, the structure can be repaired and the agency will reimburse the organization making the repairs, which in this case, is the Galveston Park Board. If a structure is found to be more than 50 percent damaged, the agency will reimburse for a new structure. According to the park board, the structure sustained enough damage to warrant a new one. According to FEMA, repairs should be made to the existing structure.
As of now, any changes to the pavilion, whether repairs or a complete renovation, are on hold awaiting the results of the city’s assets assessment. Once that is complete, the city of Galveston, the park board and FEMA will collaborate to determine next steps that will best serve the park and the community at large.
Park board meetings are open to the public and the public may address the board of trustees during the meetings. Park board meetings are typically held on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 1:30 p.m. at 601 Tremont St. If you are interested in seeing a park board issue discussed in this column or if you have any questions, please send them my way. I can be reached at email@example.com.