People who live in Texas City have known for years that we have remarkable facilities for our size. Unique, in fact.

We at the Civic Club were reminded of our good luck by Dennis Harris, who is director of the Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department of our fair city.

He talked about all the good stuff we have, and some more to come.

I confessed I pick ways to drive through town based on the number of flower beds I will enjoy on the way. Others do the same.

But what he told us, which was a revelation, is that if you pull out all the grass and put in bushes and flowers and small trees, you don’t have to mow all that grass. And that saves the city a lot in labor costs. Smart, huh?

Harris also stated a fact we all know, but others are reluctant to admit. Folks elsewhere in the county are jealous. We have been beautifying for years, partially thanks to the fine revenue from our plants.

He said the national association for swim instructors met in Texas City and pronounced our natatorium among the finest in the world.

The natatorium, an indoor, year-round swimming pool, operates as a combined Texas City-Texas City ISD facility, which is unique. The Texas City High School swim team uses it, as do other swim teams.

And every year, all the second graders in the entire system come for swimming lessons at that pool. With all the water around us, what could be more marvelous?

Another combined effort is Robinson Stadium, which for years and years has been home to the Texas City High School Baseball Team, and many others.

Fairly new to the collection to parks is the skate park, which Harris said fit right in with all the trees and has close access to the water park, which used to be Nessler Pool.

One of the things to come, to help introduce visitors and residents to the vast collection of fountains and statues, is an app for smartphones giving a guided tour of all those beautiful spots.

Our municipal shooting range is unique among cities. So is the Lowry Fitness Center, which maintains all kinds of equipment and all kinds of reasonable prices for membership. We should all be the healthiest people in the county, if not the world.

If you are interested in history, the museum and heritage square both provide outlets for that interest. After years of preparation, the museum has become the home of the U.S.S. Westfield, the partial reconstruction of a union warship, which went down in the battle of Galveston.

Why did we get the exhibit? Because the ship was unearthed at the opening to the Texas City Ship Channel. Part of the exhibit is a big cannon that everybody ought to go and see.

There’s so much more. A park for handicapped children. A golf course with a PGA pro. The Settlement, which tells the story of the black cowboys who worked at the Butler Ranch.

Just look around. Harris and his crew are what makes Texas City so beautiful.

Cathy Gillentine is a Daily News columnist. She may be reached at

(2) comments

Gary Miller

Replacing lawns with trees, bushes and flower beds increases the cost of maintaining the property. 100 sq feet flower bed will cost more than mowing acres of grass.

Doyle Beard

when one factors in cost of mowing equipment, maintaining it, fuel and man hours to mow and edge Gary not sure I agree with you .

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