Guest speakers at future League City Parks Board meetings will help residents understand trails and nature tourism, board members said.
The idea to have speakers on various topics emerged after residents from neighborhoods such as Fairway Pointe and The Villages of Oak Creek Colony criticized the board for failing to explain hike and bike trails.
The first phase of the 2010 Hike and Bike Trail Project added more than eight concrete trails throughout various League City subdivisions, but some residents opposed the trails.
Some residents from Fairway Pointe spoke at several public meetings to express that they were worried trails would bring crime to their neighborhood or that hikers and bikers might get hit by errant golf balls or even be attacked by alligators.
Bringing speakers to meetings will give the board ideas on how to spread their trail proposals and explain park features to residents, parks board President Vaness Hamilton said.
“We have to be more informed,” she said.
Hamilton wants people to know what’s going on and she wants the board to do more outreach, she said. One example she gave is telling residents how transportation affects city parks.
The parks board should gain insight from neighborhoods going forward, Westover Park Homeowners Association President Diane Turski said.
“We have been invited to attend their meetings, which we plan to do in 2018,” Turski said.
Alma Reyes, community manager for the Fairway Pointe Homeowners Association, declined to comment. The Villages of Oak Creek Colony Homeowners Association also declined to comment.
Countryside South Homeowners Association President Jonathan Lucas likes what the board has in mind, he said.
“I believe transparency is great in situations like this and having an open channel of communication,” Lucas said. “This is something we strive for as a board and for our community as well.”
Speakers from specific groups such as Texas Parks and Wildlife and Texas Master Naturalists could help the board communicate better, parks board member Sandra Kelly said.
“To me, what I want to see is what can we learn from these groups?” Kelly said. “What can they bring to us that will show us how we can improve on what we’re doing?”
Even providing nature-related videos to residents could increase knowledge on subjects like parks, Councilman Greg Gripon said. And speakers would help board members make better choices, he said.
“I think anytime you educate yourself, you’re going to make better decisions,” Gripon said.