On Tuesday August the 10th 2021, the Early City Council approved the Town Center Recreational Master Plan. After much consideration and after taking in as much public input as the city could, below is the approved master plan.
This master plan consists of several recreational amenities that will work perfect for the community. Those amenities are: batting cages, a lighted walking trail, a one-acre dog park, a lakeside recreational area with a playground, benches, picnic tables, a pavilion/stage for family gatherings and outdoor events, and a 6.5-acre golf playground area allowing for practice play on six full size greens with a small tee area capable of accommodating shots up to 225 yards, a 12,000 square foot putting green with an 18-hole putting course.
In addition to these land based recreational amenities, we are currently working with Texas Parks and Wildlife to construct a 5 acre neighborhood fishing pond. Looking at the masterplan you can see the new proposed shape of the pond, canal and secondary pond. It also includes two lighted fishing piers. Once the pond is reshaped, TPWD biologist working with the City of Early will build enhanced habitat for the fish and aquatic life. This will aid in the growth and reproduction of the fish that live in it. After filling the pond the pond will be stocked with native sporting fish and provide an opportunity for anglers in our community to have a high rate of catch. Discussions are still happening about the possibility of paddle boats and kayaking rental available on the pond.
These amenities are all apart of the master plan, but could be subject to change as we move forward and develop the construction plans. As an example, the golf component could change to additional open space and more of a family style miniature golf. This masterplan is full of wonderful opportunities for a new outdoor recreational for our community. Planning is already underway to address funding, to applying for Texas Parks and Wildlife Non-Urban Grant. This grant could be for up to $850,000 and would require a cash and in-kind match from the city. In addition to this funding, another opportunity for fund is the new Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Habitat and Angler Access grant. This grant is for up to $50,000 and the funding could be used for habitat enhancement and the fishing piers.
City Administrator Tony Aaron is quoted as saying, “The public has an ongoing outcry and request for more things to do for our kids and families. This Town Center Recreational area offers a low cost opportunity for families to get outside enjoy the outdoors and spend time together. It will be unlike other outdoor areas because it will have many types of activities in one place. With it located within walking distance of new restaurants, hotels, apartments, and shopping this is a place that you can come and stay for a few hours or the whole day with your friends, family, and neighbors. We couldn’t be more excited for what is happening”