Posts tagged “kelly kelbly

Lincoln Center’s beautiful mural continues to inspire

In 1954, the Supreme Court ordered the integration of schools through the landmark Brown v Board of Education case. It wasn’t until the 1960s that our local black high school, Lincoln High, faced the order’s impact. 

Lincoln High and the surrounding neighborhood had served as the black community’s hub for decades. Resistance was felt in both the black and white communities, ultimately leading to the school’s closure. In 1967, the school district began leasing the land to the city as a park, with the town eventually buying the property in 1978. 

We have since seen the Lincoln Recreation Center’s renovation and growth as a symbol of unity, togetherness, and community. In the mid-1990s, Lillian “Jean” Clark Robinson, the center’s former supervisor, commissioned a mural in the original gymnasium to honor iconic black leaders.

Texas A&M architecture professor Russell Reid created the mural, which became known as “Heroes.” The work was dedicated in 1995, and Reid added Robinson’s image about a year later.

Maya Angelou once wrote, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.” As part of African American History Month, we wanted to highlight historical figures — national and local — who fought to “do better” and are represented in the mural.  

  • Booker T. Washington founded Tuskegee University and was revered as the smartest and most educated black man of his time.  
  • Barbara Jordan was the first African American congresswoman from the South. 
  • Martin Luther King Jr. used the power of speech and calm to fight for equal rights peacefully. 
  • Gen. Colin Powell was the first African American secretary of state.  
  • Maya Angelou used poetry and the gift of speech as a civil rights activist.  
  • W.A. Tarrow, the surrounding park’s namesake, was Lincoln High’s principal during segregation. 
  • Lillian “Jean” Clark Robinson fought for increased services in her community.  

The faces and stories illustrated in the simple mural inspire us to know better and do better. 

We encourage you to visit the Lincoln Recreation Center to view this piece of history, then talk with your children and neighbors about the historical significance of those on the mural and how to continue their mission.  

 


About the Blogger

Interim Director Kelly Kelbly is in her 20th year with the College Station Parks & Recreation Department. A native of Gilmer, Kelly is a 1998 graduate of Texas A&M.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!  

 


What’s the status of pandemic-delayed park projects?

By Kelly Kelbly, Parks & Recreation Assistant Director

Early this year, improvements and enhancements were underway at many of College Station’s favorite and most-visited park facilities. 

Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, followed by the economic downturn. In most cases, construction came to a screeching halt. 

So, what’s the status of those projects now?

Central and Bee Creek Parks: Demolition and construction have started in Central Park and Bee Creek Park on a pavilion and restrooms. In Central Park, park users can expect more climate-controlled restrooms, a new kitchen to rent, and a larger pavilion footprint that allows for more seating and foot traffic. The athletic shed will also have more climate-controlled restrooms and seats.  

In Bee Creek, user groups and patrons will also enjoy more restrooms in the structure nearest the ball fields. Staff is working with the contractor to achieve a final product that will be open to the public by the end of the year.

Fun for All Playground: Construction of Phase II of the Fun for All playground includes a sensory maze, wee-go-rounds, musical play area, restrooms, and a synthetic turf field. While the splash pad will remain closed for the season, the playground will open by Christmas.

Veterans Park & Athletic Complex: October saw the start of construction on the next phase at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex, including drainage improvements for the front six athletic fields to funnel water from the playing surfaces. Concrete flumes will be constructed between the fields, and sidewalks will be added throughout the complex to provide better accessibility and get you safely to your destination.  

Guests will also soon enjoy two military-themed playgrounds that are true to the spirit of the park. Other new elements include a restroom facility at the south end and the reconstruction of all three roundabouts in the park’s thoroughfare.  

During construction, visitors can expect intermittent closures at various entrances and thruways. Depending on the weather, the work should be completed by the spring.

Lick Creek Park: Many of the popular trails at Lick Creek Park have been closed since last year while a major wastewater project is finished. Regrettably, the work has been delayed because of pandemic-caused material shortages. In the meantime, staff and volunteers have planted trees and worked with the contractor to improve the trail.

We expect to reopen the trail early next year. 

If you have questions or concerns, we encourage you to contact us at parks@cstx.gov or 979-764-3486.

 


About the Blogger Interim Director Kelly Kelbly is in her 20th year with the College Station Parks & Recreation Department. A native of Gilmer, Kelly is a 1998 graduate of Texas A&M.


  If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!  


How Veterans Park will soon be even more amazing

By Kelly Kelbly, Interim Parks & Recreation Director

Few things are more disappointing for young athletes than when a much-anticipated sports event is rained out.

The Parks & Recreation staff shares that pain.

You spend endless hours practicing your sport in preparation for competitive or recreational play. At the same time, we spend untold hours preparing the fields. Unfortunately, it takes just one significant thunderstorm to cause a rainout.

When such adverse circumstances arise, our staff is laser-focused on getting the fields playable and limiting the turnaround time as much as possible. Facility improvements are on the way at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex to simplify that daunting task.

The College Station City Council recently approved a $1.9 million contract that includes drainage improvements for the front six fields that will funnel water away from the playing surfaces.  Concrete flumes will also be constructed between the fields, and sidewalks will be added throughout the complex to enhance accessibility and safety.

But that’s not all.

We recognize that younger siblings quickly become bored waiting for games or practices to end.  That’s why we’re adding two military-themed playgrounds to enhance the spirit of a park that celebrates our nation’s veterans.

Additional enhancements included in the project are a new restroom at the south end and the reconstruction of the park’s three roundabouts.

We expect the work to be complete by next spring. In the meantime, we also understand the project will create challenges and frustrations for park users. The road work will cause intermittent closures of the Harvey Road and University Drive entrances, and at times, we’ll need to restrict access from the north to the south end of the park.

Work around the front six fields will require a construction fence to protect visitors, and caution signs will be posted throughout the park and along roadways. We urge you to heed all warnings for the safety of your family.

For updates on the project, along with all our programs and events, we encourage you to subscribe to our weekly Recreation Connection eNewsletter. For more information, contact us at 979-764-3486 or parks@cstx.gov.

Veterans Park and Athletic Complex is a jewel in our parks system, attracting more than one million local and out-of-town visitors a year. We appreciate your understanding and support as we make this fantastic complex even more impressive.

 


About the Blogger

Interim Director Kelly Kelbly is in her 20th year with the College Station Parks & Recreation Department. A native of Gilmer, Kelly is a 1998 graduate of Texas A&M.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 


Improvements on the way at Central, Bee Creek parks

By Kelly Kelbly, Assistant Parks and Recreation Director

Abolitionist Frederick Douglass once wrote, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” A true application of that statement is dealing with construction projects in our community parks.

A prime example is the struggle you may encounter at Stephen C. Beachy Central Park and Bee Creek Park in the coming months. Next week, construction crews will begin demolishing the Central Park pavilion, restrooms, and athletic shed, as well as the Bee Creek restrooms. Reconstruction of the facilities should be finished by late fall.

The brief inconvenience will be worth it. When the project’s complete, you’ll have beautiful, functional facilities for your visits to these popular parks.

At Central, you’ll have more climate-controlled restrooms, a new kitchen to rent, and a larger pavilion footprint that allows for more seats and foot traffic. The athletic shed will also have more climate-controlled restrooms and additional seats. At Bee Creek, user groups and park patrons will enjoy more restrooms in the structure nearest the ball fields.

The parking lots may be closed at times during construction, but we encourage you to continue to use the parks. And don’t worry — ample porta potties will be available.

 


About the Blogger

Assistant Director Kelly Kelbly is in her 19th year with the College Station Parks & Recreation Department. A native of Gilmer, Kelly is a 1998 graduate of Texas A&M.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 


Parks and Rec offers many ways to get your game on

By Kelly Kelbly, Parks & Recreation Assistant Director

Those of us who work in the Park and Recreation industry know it isn’t always fun and games, but since July is National Park and Recreation Month, we want to celebrate everything that makes our field fun and full of joy and excitement.

Since 1985, America has celebrated this as Park and Recreation Month. This year’s theme is “Game On!  A game is defined as a form of play or sport, especially a competitive one played according to rules and decided by skill, strength, or luck.

The College Station Parks and Recreation Department offers everything from summer camps to sports leagues to special events, so there’s a chance for anyone of any level to get in a game.

For example, kids can stop by the Lincoln Recreation Center to test their skills at knockout, ping-pong, or hula hooping. Those in Lick Creek Nature Center programs are often found playing chase or tag. Older kids can drop by the Southwood Community Center, Meyer Senior & Community Center, or Lincoln Recreation Center to play 42, bridge, and mahjong.

If you’re interested in competitive sports, we offer youth basketball and flag football leagues throughout the year, and swimmers can join the Tsunamis, our summer swim team.  We also partner with several organizations to ensure that soccer, baseball, and softball options are available.

Adults can compete in Ultimate Frisbee, spike ball, softball, kickball, basketball, and volleyball leagues.

But the fun doesn’t end there.

Throughout the year, we host dozens of tournaments that showcase outstanding athletes in a variety of sports. If you don’t want to compete, we invite you to drop by as a spectator.

For more information, check out our Summer Parks Guide or website, or call us at 979-764-3486. We have endless opportunities to get your Game On.

Put me in coach; I’m ready to play!

 


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.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!

 


Meyer Senior and Community Center opens in June

By Kelly Kelbly, Assistant Parks & Recreation Director

The Bob & Wanda Meyer Senior and Community Center is within a few weeks of opening!

Work on the floors is still being performed, along with other punch list items, which will clear the way for this senior-focused center to be ready for additional technology installation and new furniture.

Doors will open and programming will begin Monday, June 3, at 8 a.m.

The rescheduled grand opening ceremony will be Wednesday, June 5, at 10 a.m.

If you already have your copy of the College Station Parks & Recreation Summer Guide, then you will see different dates listed. The online version of the guide has the correct grand opening information, along with all the programs that will be offered at the Meyer Senior and Community Center.

For those who may be unaware, the Bob & Wanda Meyer Senior and Community Center is the reimagined, renovated facility formerly occupied by Arts Council of Brazos Valley at 2275 Dartmouth St.

The center will offer three multipurpose rooms, a room for arts and crafts, WiFi, and plenty of space for dances, classes, a wide variety of activities, or just visiting with friends and family.

The center and its senior programming are made possible through generous contributions from the estate of Bob and Wanda Meyer, and is the fulfillment of Bob’s dream for College Station to have a facility that met the social needs of its older citizens.

Learn more at cstx.gov/MeyerCenter or in our Parks & Recreation Summer Guide.

 


kkbioAbout 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.


 

If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!