Posts tagged “Parks and Recreation

Parks & Recreation: What’s open and what’s not?

EDITOR’S NOTE: The post was updated on Friday, May 22, to reflect that park water fountains will be on June 1.  

By Kelly Kelbly, Assistant Parks & Recreation Director

As Gov. Greg Abbott continues his plans to open Texas, the College Station Parks and Recreation Department has been making plans for reopening spaces, facilities, and programs impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We base our discussions on federal, state, and local guidance to prioritize public health and safety.

Regrettably, budget reductions resulting from a significant decline in sales tax revenue are also a factor. Remember also that phased reopenings aren’t an immediate return to normal operations. They include necessary and appropriate measures to reduce the risks of community transmission.

Here’s a look at our current situation, including some answers to your most frequent questions.

Open Facilities

  • Basketball courts
  • Community and neighborhood parks (Directory)
  • Disc golf courses
  • Dog parks
  • Larry J. Ringer Library
  • Lick Creek Park
  • G. Hysmith Skate Park
  • Pavilions and shelters
  • Playgrounds (use is discouraged)
  • Sand volleyball courts
  • Stephen C. Beachy Central Park office
  • Tennis courts

Facility Reopening Schedule

  • Athletic Fields – June 1 for practices; June 15 for tournaments
  • Lick Creek Nature Center office and restrooms – June 1 (open Mon.-Sat. 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun. 1-6 p.m.)
  • Park restrooms and water fountains – June 1
  • Veterans Park & Athletic Complex – May 23

Remaining Facility Closures

  • Adamson Lagoon
  • Cindy Hallaran Pool
  • Fun For All Playground and splash pad
  • Lincoln Recreation Center
  • Meyer Senior & Community Center
  • Southwood Community Center
  • W.A. Tarrow splash pad

Canceled Summer Programs

  • Tsunami Swim Team
  • American Red Cross Lifeguard Training
  • Water Safety Instructor Certification
  • Swim Lessons
  • 5V5 Basketball League
  • Summer Youth Basketball
  • Summer Softball & Kickball Leagues
  • Starlight Music Series
  • Challenger Bowling
  • Water Aerobics
  • Mini Summer Camps
  • College Station Senior Games (Sept. 25-27)

For your convenience, here are some answers to your most frequently asked questions:

Are playgrounds open?
Yes, but their use is discouraged. Citizens should stay 6 feet away from anyone who doesn’t live with them and follow other CDC guidelines.

Is Lick Creek Park open?
Yes, the trails are open. The office and restrooms will open on June 1. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m-5 p.m., and Sunday from 1-6 p.m.

Is Veterans Park & Athletic Complex open?
The park will open on May 23. The restrooms and athletic fields open on June 1.

When will the pools and splash pads open?
Cindy Hallaran Pool will remain closed for the 2020 season due to budgetary constraints. Adamson Lagoon is closed due to strict CDC guidelines regarding social distancing, sanitization, and staffing requirements. Depending on protocols and governor’s orders, Adamson could open July 6. We’ll decide at the end of June. Splash pads will open when allowed by the governor.

Will you have swimming lessons this year?
No, if we open Adamson in July, staff will focus on proper cleaning and public swimming.

When will the Lincoln Recreation Center’s full-day summer camp open?
We canceled Session 1 due to strict CDC guidelines regarding group sizes, activity restrictions, social distancing, sanitization, and staffing requirements. Depending on protocols and governor’s orders, we might offer session 2 beginning July 6. We’ll decide at the end of June.

When will the Summer Parks Guide be published?
The summer guide will not be published. We are committed to providing updated information through our website.

Who will enforce minimum health protocols for non-city-sponsored youth sports and tournaments?
User groups and tournament organizers are responsible for developing, implementing, and enforcing minimum health protocols for their events at our facilities. The city is responsible for sanitizing restrooms, trash cans, and fields.

When will senior adult programming resume?
Senior programming won’t resume until the fall. People 65 years and older and those who live in nursing homes or long-term care facilities are encouraged to stay home as much as possible.

Are dog parks open?
Yes, Barracks, Steeplechase, and University Park are open.

Can you fish at College Station ponds?
Yes, you can fish at Brothers Pond, Cy Miller, John Crompton, and Stephen C. Beachy Central Park ponds. You must have a freshwater fishing stamp if you’re 17 or older. For information on pond stocking, harvest regulations, and license requirements, go to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website.

Are cemeteries open?
Yes, the Aggie Field of Honor and the College Station Cemetery are open for visitation. The hours are Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to sunset, and on Sunday from 6 a.m. to sunset.

We understand the vital role our department plays in our community’s quality of life, especially during these challenging times. We are faithfully working to create healthier, happier, and more connected communities while responsibly addressing the COVID-19 outbreak.

For more information, contact us at 979-764-3486 or


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.


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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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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (about 5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. YMCA: In the workshop, the council will hear a presentation about a possible YMCA facility in the College Station area.
  2. Citizen Survey Results: In another workshop presentation, the council will receive the results of the 2019 citizen satisfaction survey conducted in April by National Service Research.
  3. Park Improvements: As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider a $538,800 contract for improvements at Gabbard and Thomas Parks. The Gabbard project includes a new playground, surfacing, and a shade structure. The Thomas project includes a new play unit and surfacing on the south end and new surfacing and swings on the north end.
  4. Greens Prairie Rezoning: After public hearings, the commission will consider two items changing the land use and zoning from Estate to Suburban Commercial for about 1.3 acres southwest of the intersection of Greens Prairie Road West and White’s Creek Lane. The changes would allow for small-scale commercial development.
  5. Northeast Sewer Line Phase 2: The council will consider a $2.35 million contract with Elliott Construction for the Northeast Sanitary Sewer Trunk Line Phase 2 Project that runs from just north of Raintree Park through the city’s greenway property, east of Wilderness Drive, and ends at the Carters Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Related Links:                                                                 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.

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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Dec. 13)

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Dec. 13. It’s not the official minutes.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink channel 19 or online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

5:03 p.m.

The workshop has started. The council took no action from executive session. (more…)

New programs help teens discover their passions

By Hallie Hutchins, Parks & Recreation Marketing Assistant

The teen years can be rough. It’s all about self-discovery and trying out new things.

Positive, stress-free activities at the end of the school day can help teens discover their interests and passions. Two new programs offered by the College Station Parks and Recreation Department can lend a hand.

Teen Night After School at the Lincoln Recreation Center provides an all-inclusive, safe space for teens 14-18 years old to spend time with friends, get help with homework, and enjoy sports, board games, foosball, pool, and video games. Computers and free wi-fi are also available.

Teen Nights are every Monday-Thursday from 6:30-8:30 p.m. through Dec. 20. Membership is $45 a semester.

The fun continues on Fridays from 10 p.m.-midnight with 5th Quarter when teens can gather at the Lincoln Recreation Center to play basketball, dodgeball, volleyball, board games, ping pong, foosball, or pool. Light refreshments are also available at no charge.

Scheduled dates for the 5th Quarter are Sept. 28, Oct. 12, Oct. 26, and Nov. 2.  The cost is $3 per night or free with an after-school membership.

These new programs will encourage teens to interact in a safe and supervised social environment that promotes healthy lifestyle skills.

For more information, visit or call 979.764.3779.


About the Blogger

Hallie Hutchins is in her fourth year as marketing staff assistant in the Parks & Recreation Department after graduating from Texas A&M in 2014 with a degree in sports management. She has previously worked with the Dallas Sidekicks professional soccer team and Texas Team Junior Golf. Originally from White Oak, Hallie also attended Kilgore College and was a member of the famed Kilgore Rangerettes dance team.


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