Parks and Recreation

Monday’s inaugural community conversation: Thomas Park

By Barbara Moore, Assistant to the City Manager/Special Projects

On Monday, Sept. 16, the City of College Station will host the first of what we hope will be many community conversations. We invite you to join us at 7 p.m. in the Community Room at the Lincoln Recreation Center at 1000 Eleanor St. for the inaugural topic of Thomas Park.

We’ll serve light refreshments and provide childcare.

The primary goal of these conversations is to listen and share information about important community issues. To reduce the formality of these discussions, we’re hosting them away from city hall and removing the usual stressors of lecterns, gavels and speaker time limits. Let’s talk to and learn from one another.

While elected and appointed officials may be in attendance, the conversations will be led and facilitated by City Manager Bryan Woods and city staff.

A second community conversation, one that focuses on code enforcement, is being organized for early next year, and we’ll provide those details when they’re worked out. Because this is a continuing series of conversations on topics of importance to our community, we are open to your suggestions. Feel free to email me at

We hope to see a full room at our first community conversation to help us fully understand the issues that shape our city.


About the Blogger

Barbara Moore is in her 13th year with the City of College Station and her first as assistant to the city manager. Barbara served 12 years as neighborhood services coordinator. She previously was the executive director of Family Outreach of Bryan/College Station and was the director of faith-based relations for the Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity. Barbara is a 1992 graduate of Jackson State and earned her master’s degree in public administration from the University of Washington in 1996.


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Learn about field hockey at free clinic Sept. 13

By Trish Winkle, Field Hockey Clinic Instructor

Did you know field hockey is among the world’s most popular sports?

When it came to the United States more than a century ago, field hockey was played predominately on the east coast. In recent years, it found its way across the country — even to parts of Texas.

Field hockey players use a long, hook-shaped stick to hit a hard plastic ball up and down a grass or turf field.  The idea is to score as many goals as you can in the opponent’s goal. Field hockey has many unique rules and shares more similarities with soccer than ice hockey.

Our free clinic on Friday, Sept. 13 from 6-8 p.m. at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex is open to anyone from three-years-old to adult with any ability or mobility level. No need to preregister, either.

The clinic features fun stations where you can learn more about the game’s equipment, rules, and skills. You can spend as little or as much time as you like at each station, but if you finish them all, you can win field hockey sticks and balls, t-shirts, lessons, and more.

The great thing about trying field hockey for the first time is that it’s new to almost everyone else around College Station, too. Regardless of whether you’ve played sports or haven’t found your niche yet, everyone is pretty much on the same level.

The clinic’s primary purpose is to introduce you to an exciting new sport in a fun atmosphere. We invite you to join us!

For more information, call 979-764-3468.


About the Blogger

Trisha Winkle is a former collegiate field hockey player who has coached at the club, high school, and collegiate levels. A native of New Jersey, Trish has recently moved to the area to work in Texas’s A&M’s Education Abroad program. In her free time, she shares her love of field hockey.


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Hysmith Skate Park celebrates 8th anniversary

By Kelly Kelbly, Assistant Parks & Recreation Director

Even in the intense heat of a Texas summer, passersby will notice dozens of people of all ages perfecting their skateboarding skills at the G. Hysmith Skate Park on the eastern edge of Bachmann Park.

Eight years ago today, the City of College Station opened the park in memory of Garrett Hysmith, an energetic, ambitious middle-schooler with a passion for skateboarding. The 13-year-old passed away in 2005 after a courageous nine-year battle with cancer. His family, friends, and community members convinced the city council to make Garrett’s dream of a local skate park a reality.

The G. Hysmith Skate Park is a popular venue for skateboarders of all skill levels. The lighted facility features a covered spectator area, a large pro-style flow bowl, a pool-type bowl, and a long, linear street course that includes hundreds of feet of varying terrain and scalable elements.

Since the park opening in 2011, the Parks and Recreation Department has added restrooms and a covered shelter atop the hill near the bowls for spectators to marvel at the skills of potential Olympians.

Yes, skateboarding is now an Olympic extreme sport and is featured as part of the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo. While our community may not offer many opportunities for other extreme sports devotees, we offer a superb venue for skateboarding enthusiasts to pursue their passion.

Happy Anniversary, G. Hysmith Skate Park!


About the Blogger

Assistant Director Kelly Kelbly is in her 18th year with the College Station Parks & Recreation Department. A native of Gilmer, Kelly is a 1998 graduate of Texas A&M.


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Games of Texas benefit BCS by a cool $8.1 million

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

The final numbers are in for the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation’s Summer Games of Texas. The Olympic-like festival attracted 8,461 athletes from across the state to compete in a dozen events from July 25-29.

Only 130 participants were from College Station, which means the rest – along with about 20,000 of their coaches, family members, and friends – were visitors who dropped an estimated $8.1 million into the local economy by filling local restaurants and hotels.

Participants by Sport

Event Participants Venue
Archery 49 Texas A&M Physical Education Building
Boxing 114 Hilton College Station & Conference Center
Flag Football 276 Veterans Park & Athletic Complex
Judo 57 Texas A&M Physical Education Building
Golf 65 The City Course at Phillips Event Center
Lifeguard Competition 60 Adamson Lagoon
Pickleball 92 Lincoln Recreation Center
Skateboarding 21 Williamson Skate Park
Swimming 2,638 Texas A&M Student Recreation Center
Track & Field 4,459 College Station High School
Ultimate Frisbee 440 Bryan Regional Athletic Complex
Tennis 190 Bryan High School, Texas A&M Mitchell TennisCenter, Texas A&M Omar Instructional Tennis Center, Phillips Event Center
Total Participants 8,461

Here are some interesting tidbits reported by the Bryan and College Station Parks and Recreation Departments, which partnered with Texas A&M to manage the event:

  • Athletes set 53 Games of Texas records — 42 in swimming and 11 in track and field.
  • Participants and volunteers consumed 38,304 bottles of water and used 27,160 pounds of ice.
  • Local sponsors donated 1,185 meals for participants and volunteers.
  • 162 volunteers assisted, including 44 from the Texas Army National Guard.
  • 331 tennis matches were played over three days.
  • 37 boxing bouts were conducted, four involving girls.
  • The lowest golf 18-hole single round score was a 74 by 17-year-old Ethan Galvan from McAllen. Ethan also had the lowest 36-hole tournament score of 74-82=156.

College Station played host for the seventh time after hosting previous events in 1988, 1994, 2000, 2014, 2015, and 2018. The Games of Texas will move to Corpus Christi for the next two years and to Brownsville in 2022-23.

Local GOT Participation by Year 

2019: 8,461

2018: 7,621

2015: 7,750

2014: 8,438

On behalf of the Cities of College Station and Bryan, we extend a special thank you to our volunteers, TAAF liaisons, commissioners and Texas Army National Guard Warriors. The overwhelming success of the event is a direct reflection of your dedication. We sincerely appreciate your gift of time, energy, and enthusiastic support.


About the Blogger

Kelli Nesbitt (@kneztalk) has served the Parks & Recreation Department for 15 years, the last eight as marketing coordinator. A native of Bryan, Kelli earned a bachelor’s degree in health & kinesiology from Sam Houston State.


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Renewed Lincoln Rec Center celebration set for Aug. 3

By Cheletia Johnson, Lincoln Recreation Center Supervisor

“We pledge a better school to be, O’ Lincoln how we love you.”

The closing line from the former Lincoln High’s school song still rings true more than 70 years later. The Lincoln Recreation Center’s $3.4 million expansion and renovation extends the Texas historical site’s long tradition of education and fellowship for future generations.

We invite you to join us as we celebrate, cherish and explore the renewed Lincoln Recreation Center at a grand opening ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 3, from 10 a.m.-noon at 1000 Eleanor St. The event also features the College Station Police Department’s Back to School Rally.

Ribbon-cutting will be at 10 a.m., followed by guided facility tours every half hour, starting at 10:30. CSPD will provide free school supplies, and you can interact with police officers and explore emergency vehicles. Youngsters can also enjoy bounce houses, the splash pad, and games.

We’ll serve light refreshments with entertainment by the Lincoln Center’s Minds of Champions Chorus. Overflow parking is available at the Wayne Smith Ballfield parking lot at 107 Holleman Drive.

The development of the new center supports our community’s growing needs and enhances after-school programs, young adult and senior programs, and educational classes while providing rental space. It also serves as a social hub that encourages community members to gather, create, learn, and enjoy.

What’s New?

Voters approved expansion and renovation in 2008. A new 15,355 square-foot building includes a second gymnasium with wood flooring, three additional activity classrooms and a fitness room loaded with new equipment. The facility is accented with purple in reverence to Lincoln High’s school colors and proudly displays the old Panthers mascot on the gym floor.

The new building features five multipurpose rooms that can fill an array of recreational, social, meeting and rental needs. It also has an open area for physical activities and a fully furnished workout area with state-of-the-art equipment.

Renovations to the original building include an expanded community room, an upgraded computer lab, floor repairs, and better gymnasium lighting.

Through the vision of Lincoln Recreation Center trailblazers Lillian Jean Clark Robinson, Lance Jackson, and Kim Daily, the center will improve the quality of life for children, youth, seniors, and families through culturally responsive educational and social service activities.

“Many of the participants at the Lincoln Recreation Center are descendants of students from Lincoln High,” Lincoln High alumnus Henry Lewis said. “Like their forefathers, they are contributing what they’ve learned from the center to the College Station community.”

The transformation embodies the true spirit of the old Lincoln High school motto:

“Forward forever, backward never.”

For more information, go to or call 979-764-3779.


15056423_10211457886507712_8938533943363720232_nAbout the Blogger

Lincoln Center Supervisor Cheletia Johnson has worked for the City of College Station for more than 25 years. A College Station native, she grew up near the LRC. Cheletia earned a bachelor’s degree in community health from Texas A&M and a master’s in counseling from Prairie View A&M.


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Thousands pour into town for Games of Texas

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

Let the Games begin!

The 2019 Texas Amateur Athletic Federation’s Summer Games of Texas starts Thursday at premier venues across College Station and Bryan. The Games run through Monday.

The Olympic-like festival features roughly 8,500 amateur athletes of all ages from across the state competing in multiple sporting events, mostly in swimming and track and field. Other events are archery, boxing, flag football, golf, judo, lifeguard competition, pickleball, skateboarding, tennis, and Ultimate Frisbee.

Daily admission tickets are $7 for swimming, and $5 for boxing and track and field, while other events are free. You can also follow the action at

The City of College Station, in collaboration with the City of Bryan and Texas A&M, is playing host for the seventh time after conducting the event in 1988, 1994, 2000, 2014, 2015, and 2018. We’re thrilled to be the host city again.

Last year’s Games attracted more than 19,000 athletes, coaches, families, and volunteers, who made an estimated economic impact of about $7.7 million on our community.

We invite you to help welcome our visitors at the opening ceremonies on Friday from 6-8 p.m. at the Wolf Pen Creek Festival Site. Led by the College Station High School Cougar Marching Band, the parade of athletes begins at 7 p.m. A thrilling trampoline show by Flippenout Productions tops off the event.

Traffic Delays, Facility Closures

College Station Parks and Recreation facilities and pools will be closed Thursday through Sunday. Affected facilities include the Parks and Recreation offices, Meyer Senior and Community Center, Lick Creek Nature Center, Lincoln Recreation Center, Southwood Community Center, Adamson Lagoon, and Cindy Hallaran Pool.

Motorists can expect delays around College Station High School throughout the Games as lanes will be minimized to accommodate parking. In addition, Holleman Drive from Dartmouth Street to the former Sears Service Center parking lot will be closed on Friday from 4-9 p.m.

For more information, visit or call 979-764-3486.

Related Links


About the Blogger

Kelli Nesbitt (@kneztalk) has served the Parks & Recreation Department for 15 years, the last eight as marketing coordinator. A native of Bryan, Kelli earned a bachelor’s degree in health & kinesiology from Sam Houston State.


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