Lynn Gripon was the first chairman of the League City Parks Board in 1976. Because of his relationship with Mayor Johnnie Arolfo and his everlasting determination to make his community a place of quality and beauty, he worked for the creation of the League City Parks Department during League City’s early years between 1962 and 1975.
After years of dedication to this effort, he finally got Mayor Arolfo and the City Council to establish a League City Parks Board and Parks Department in 1976.
Lynn was chairman when the first park land that was accepted by the city in modern times through a donation of 40 plus acres in the newly established Countryside North Subdivision. That park has been developed and is now known as Countryside Park. In 1980 when Lynn retired from the Parks Board, the Parks Board and mayor and council chose to name the walking trail through the park for Lynn Gripon and so honored him at a community gathering.
In 1978, Lynn was chairman of the first board of the League City Patrons of the Park Foundation Inc., a 501c3 not-for-profit organization for the securing of private donations of land and private funding for the paying of development costs for parks and recreation activities in League City.
During 1979, while Lynn Gripon was chair of the League City Parks Board, a comprehensive mandatory parkland dedication ordinance was created. This ordinance is still in effect today, providing funds derived from new development for park land acquisition and development for League City.
Gripon was a lifetime advocate of natural beauty, land conservation and recreation activities within his community, state and nation.
Lynn donated more oak trees to the community than anyone in the history of League City — all the oak trees west of state Highway 3 along FM 518, the trees at the Chester Davis Sportsplex, at every school within League City during Arbor Day activities. Lynn and Walter Hall were the two citizens making sure the original Butler Oaks throughout the old park of League City were preserved.
Lynn was a gentleman who had nothing but friends in League City, an avid Boy Scout and troop leader, leaving his special touch on a generation of young men in this community. He was an avid League City Noon Lion who gave so much of himself for 50 years to the Village Fair and Lions charities. Lynn and his company donated an extraordinary amount of time assisting the League City Garden Club and his Friend Walter Hall on the development of Helens Garden, now a City Park.
I don’t know of one person more deserving to have Countryside Park named in his honor than Lynn Gripon. He certainly laid the ground work for one of the finest Park and Recreation Systems in the State of Texas.
Pat Hallisey lives in League City.