Posts tagged “Parks and Recreation

Quidditch event attracts 21 teams to town this weekend

Texas A&M Quidditch team members pose for a photo. The team will participate in the 2017 Southwest Regional Championship hosted at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex in College Station, Texas, Feb. 18-19. Photo source:

The Texas A&M Quidditch team will participate in the 2017 Southwest Regional Championship on Saturday and Sunday at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex. Photo source: Facebook.

By J.D. Wood, Tourism Manager

Now that our Super Bowl buzz is finally wearing off, College Station is turning its focus to a lesser known sport – Quidditch. And it’s for the same reason Houston and every other major city in America want to host Super Bowls.

The almighty dollar.

Veterans Park and Athletic Complex will host the 2017 U.S. Quidditch Southwest Regional Championship on Saturday and Sunday, bringing in 21 teams from five different states. It’ll be the first major Quidditch event hosted at a City of College Station facility, and we hope it won’t be the last. Admission is free.

Super Bowl tourism in perspective

Houston reportedly welcomed more than 1.3 million guests for the Super Bowl weekend, with economic impact estimates as high as $350 million for the entire metro. For one weekend, that’s pretty mind blowing.

But Houston couldn’t do it alone.

The state’s event trust fund paid $25.4 million to help build up to the big game, and Houston was asked to guarantee an impressive array of complimentary services. When Dallas bid for the 2011 Super Bowl, the trust fund awarded $32.1 million, and the city pooled its vast resources to win over the National Football League.

What does this mean for College Station?

Although College Station will never host a Super Bowl, Texas A&M’s collegiate events are the Super Bowl equivalent to our local economy. According to a recent study by A&M’s Division of Finance and Administration, Aggie sporting events and related campus activities attracted 1.3 million visitors and $385 million to the regional economy in 2013. The numbers for 2016 likely exceed those estimates.

The City of College Station and Bryan College Station Sports & Events capture bids on a variety of sporting events each year that add significant value to our community. The successful bid to host our first U.S. Quidditch regional will not only spur the weekend economy, but it could also lead to additional opportunities for us to host more Quidditch tournaments.

We expect the event to attract about 300 visitors who will spend money for two days on local hotel rooms, food, and entertainment.

How do we land these events?

College Station competes with other cities to host these types of events and the economic benefits they bring. But like Houston, we can’t do it alone.

The U.S. Quidditch bid manual describes what the organization typically asks of a host community in incentives and services. While it’s no Super Bowl request, it requires host communities to commit a significant level of time and resources.

The Parks and Recreation Department and Bryan College Station Sports & Events leveraged the Texas A&M Quidditch team’s participation in national and regional competitions to assemble our pitch.

Supporting new business for local hoteliers, retailers, and restaurateurs is what drives this effort, and Quidditch is certainly not the first successful pitch we’ve had. Here are a few other notable visitor-based events hosted by College Station thanks to winning bids submitted by our dedicated Parks and CVB sports event managers:

When it’s all said and done, these events will have attracted more than 50,000 visitors who injected $20-25 million into our local economy.

Free Quidditch youth clinic

Still not sure what to think? Come out to Veterans Park and Athletic Complex on Saturday or Sunday and see what sports tourism looks like in action.

As a friendly gesture to fans and curious onlookers, U.S. Quidditch will conduct a free clinic on Quidditch Field 3 to teach kids and young adults about the sport. The clinics will last about an hour and a half and will start at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, and at noon on Sunday.

They’ll provide the equipment, too, so no need to bring your broomstick.

We’ll see you this weekend at Veterans Park!

Source: U.S. Quidditch

Graphic: U.S. Quidditch



J.D. Wood has been the City of College Station’s tourism manager since 2014 after serving as lead athletic supervisor for a year. His extensive experience in sports and tourism includes stints with the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau and Texas A&M Athletics. A native of Onalaska, J.D. earned his bachelor’s (2009) and master’s (2010) degrees in sports management from Texas A&M.


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Updates will help make playground visits safe, memorable



By Hallie Kutch, Marketing Staff Assistant

When nostalgia and childhood memories stir, what comes to mind?

For many of us, it’s sometimes a playground where we once spent countless hours climbing the equipment or running circles in an open field. Those playgrounds allowed our imaginations to take us anywhere.

The classic yellow slides and chain-link swings have been favored features in just about every park in the country. Playgrounds provide the ultimate place for children to explore, exercise and develop their creative and social skills. These memorable experiences are integral to developing young minds and bodies, so it’s vital for us to continue providing, safe, play-friendly spaces.

Improvements are on the way

The City of College Station values the benefits and importance of playgrounds. In September, the College Station City Council unanimously approved more than $600,000 for improvements and repairs to play areas in 15 city parks. Construction began in October and is expected to be finished by early 2017.

An essential element for a safe play space is the playground’s surface or foundation. Eco-friendly, durable rubber surfacing will be installed near swings and other play areas, and new play units, swing sets, and exercise equipment will be added. The changes and updates will enhance safety and help prevent injuries.

Here’s a list of the major updates:

  • CASTLEGATE: Removal of pea gravel from swing area, installation of new rubber surfacing, the addition of swings and chains, and painting of existing swing set.
  • CASTLEROCK: Removal of pea gravel from swing area, installation of new rubber surfacing, the addition of new swings and chains, and painting of existing swing set.
  • EDELWEISS: New swings and the addition of rubber surfacing.
  • GEORGIE K. FITCH: New play units and the addition of rubber surfacing.
  • JACK & DOROTHY MILLER: New surfacing for the walking path.
  • LINCOLN RECREATION CENTER: New swings and replacement of surfacing in swing area.
  • LIONS: New play units and the addition of rubber surfacing.
  • OAKS: New play unit and relocation of existing rubber surfacing.
  • SANDSTONE: New fitness equipment.
  • SOUTHERN OAKS: New swings and replacement of surfacing in swing area.
  • STEEPLECHASE: New swing set and the addition of rubber surfacing.
  • STEPHEN C. BEACHY CENTRAL: New play unit and addition of rubber surfacing.
  • THOMAS: New fitness equipment
  • UNIVERSITY: Removal of pea gravel in swing area, installation of a new swing set and rubber surfacing.
  • WOODCREEK: New play unit and addition of rubber surfacing.

The City of College Station Parks and Recreation Department offers 34 parks featuring play units for your kids to explore, enjoy, and make fond childhood memories they’ll carry the rest of their lives.

We invite you to share your experiences in our parks on Twitter with the hashtag #CSTXparks.


312d2ecAbout the Author

Hallie Kutch is in her second year as marketing staff assistant in the Parks & Recreation Department after graduating from Texas A&M in 2014 with a degree in sports management and a minor in tourism research 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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Trick or Treat at Werewolf Creek features candy, activities



By Gerry Logan, Special Events Supervisor

Instead of hopping neighborhoods and navigating dark streets this Halloween, take your family to the Wolf Pen Creek Festival Site on Friday, Oct. 28 for Trick or Treat at Werewolf Creek, where more than 100,000 pieces of free candy will be available.

From 5-10 p.m., Wolf Pen Creek will become a five-acre trick-or-treating paradise, thanks in part to 80 candy booths hosted by local businesses, non-profits and other groups. Activities include a mini hay maze, Paw Paw’s Party Train, bounce houses, local food vendors and more. Admission is free.

Torrential rains forced us to cancel last year’s fun, but you’ll notice some new features since the inaugural event in 2014.

In addition to providing candy in its on-site courtyard, the Arts Council of Brazos Valley will unveil a new family-friendly exhibit called “Tales of the Summer.” The summerthemed show includes original paintings, photographs, and sculptures by dozens of Brazos Valley artists.

We’ve also replaced the hay rides with shuttles from Post Oak Mall due to safety concerns. From 4:45-10:15 p.m., two accessible Texas A&M buses will transport guests to and from the Arts Council of Brazos Valley building and the Post Oak Mall parking area nearest the park. The festival site is also an easy walk from the mall.

Trick or Treat at Werewolf Creek is the place to be for safe Halloween fun!

For more information, go to or call 979-764-3486.

aaeaaqaaaaaaaajnaaaajdyxm2qzndbjlwywnjitngexny1intziltkznmvkmduwzgvkmgAbout the Author

Gerry Logan (@GL_sportsguy) is in his fourth year with the Parks & Recreation Department and has served as special events supervisor since 2014. He was previously the sports coordinator for the City of Clinton (Miss.) for three years. A native of Pontotoc, Miss., Gerry is a graduate student at Texas A&M after earning a degree in parks & recreation management from the University of Mississippi in 2010.  


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Enjoy NFL football on Wolf Pen Creek big screen



By Gabby Salazar, Event Activities Assistant

As a Texan, I’ve learned that all you need for a great football watch party are the three “F’s”– football, food, and friends.

You can find all three at the Wolf Pen Creek Amphitheater.

On Monday, we invite you and your friends to put on your lucky jerseys and watch Monday Night Football on our 32-foot inflatable HD screen as the Houston Texans take on the Denver Broncos and Texas A&M’s own Von Miller. On Sunday, Oct. 30, we’ll show the Dallas Cowboys‘ game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Admission is free. Gates open at 6 p.m. and both games kick off at 7:30.

Concessions won’t be available, so be sure to bring your favorite tailgating food and drinks. Glass containers and kegs aren’t allowed, and coolers must be 48 quarts or smaller. Don’t forget your blankets and lawn chairs — and your pets are welcome, too!

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


0868913About the Author

Gabby Salazar is in her third year as a recreation assistant for the City of College Station. Before joining the city staff, she was the night manager at Texas A&M’s Reed Arena. A product of A&M’s sports management program, Gabby earned her bachelor’s degree in 2014 and her master’s in 2016. A native of Alamo, she was also a member of the Aggies’ nationally-ranked track and cross country teams.


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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Sept. 8)

2014 Council

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Sept. 8. It’s not the official minutes.

The meeting is being broadcast live on Suddenlink Channel 19 and streamed online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

6:04 p.m.

The workshop has started. Mayor Nancy Berry is absent tonight.

6:15 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. Councilmembers pulled this consent item for workshop discussion:

  • Park Playground Improvements: The $638,000 contract with TF Harper is for improvements and repairs to playgrounds at 15 city parks. The work is expected to be finished by early 2017.

  • Green Prairie-Arrington Road Design Contract: The $145,000 contract with Kimley-Horn is for engineering and survey services associated with improvements to the Greens Prairie Road-Arrington Road intersection. The project consists of a channelized right-turn lane, a pedestrian island, a traffic signal, extension of existing drainage structures, signage, and striping.

6:51 p.m.

Game Day Traffic Plan

The council heard a presentation about the city’s partnership with Texas A&M to efficiently move traffic away from Kyle Field after football games. The city has worked with the university and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute in this effort for several years.

The partners develop and share preseason traffic control plans that specify road closures and traffic direction on and off campus.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:52 p.m.

The workshop has been suspended and will resume after the regular meeting, which will start after a short break.

7:01 p.m.

The regular meeting has started. After the Pledge of Allegiance, Mayor Pro Tem John Nichols requested a moment of silence for the A&M student who died this morning in an accident involving a city sanitation truck.

7:09 p.m.

400 Fairview Historic Marker

The Historic Preservation Committee presented Historic Marker No. 90 to Fred and Shirley Dupriest family for their residence at 400 Fairview. This presentation summarizes the property’s history:

The Dupriests are pictured below with Mayor Pro Tem John Nichols.


7:15 p.m.

Thank a Police Officer Day

Mayor Pro Tem John Nichols proclaimed Saturday, Sept. 17 as Thank a Police Officer Day. Pictured below are (l-r) Craig Anderson, Chris Suel, Leeann Alverez, Jeff Seale,Mayor Pro Tem John Nichols, Brandy Norris, Chuck Fleeger, Barrett Field, and James “Jim Bob” Arnold.


7:24 p.m.

Hear Visitors

Four people spoke during Hear Visitors when citizens might address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda.

  • Ben Roper recognized Marine Pfc. Dustin M. Sekula as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 18-year-old Edinburg native died April 1, 2004, due to enemy fire in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.
  • Tim Powell spoke against the recent rezoning of a large tract of land near the Indian Lakes Subdivision.
  • Landry Tucker spoke about banning earbuds while driving.
  • Jonathan Coopersmith spoke in support of impact fees.

7:25 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • A $76,929.21 contract with Kraftsman Commercial Playgrounds & Water Parks for the removal and installation of a new slide at Adamson Lagoon.
  • A $638,471.75 contract with TF Harper for improvements and repairs to various playgrounds at city parks.
  • A $150,929 contract with GrantCaffey Construction for the City Gateway Signage Project.
  • A $145,000 contract with Kimley-Horn and Associates for engineering and surveying services associated with the Greens Prairie and Arrington Road Intersection Improvements Project.
  • A $456,453 contract with Palasota Contracting for a street rehabilitation project along Nimitz Street from Lincoln Avenue to Ash Street.
  • Price agreements with Osburn Associates ($42,193) and N-Line Traffic Maintenance ($42,447) for roadway signs, posts, and brackets.
  • A resolution authorizing city staff to negotiate the purchase of right-of-way and easements needed for the University Drive Pedestrian Safety Improvements Project.
  • The appointment of the presiding judges and alternate judges for the Nov. 8 general and special election as recommended by Brazos County Elections Administrator Trudy Hancock.

7:30 p.m.

Single Family Height Protection

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to amend the city’s Unified Development Ordinance to provide lower density residential height and distance protection.

The change clarifies the provision and adjusts exceptions for properties that may be located in a designated redevelopment area or if the adjacent single-family use doesn’t conform to the property’s zoning.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:35 p.m.

Harvey Hillsides Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to rezone from Rural to Suburban Commercial a small property at the corner of Harvey Road and Pamela Lane. The change would allow for development.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:38 p.m.

Public Hearing on Proposed Budget

No one spoke during a public hearing on the city’s proposed $341 million budget for FY17. The budget is scheduled for adoption at the next council meeting at 3 p.m. on Sept. 22.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:51 p.m.

Public Hearing on Proposed Property Tax Rate

Three people spoke during the second public hearing on the city’s proposed property tax rate of 47.25 cents per $100 of assessed value, which will generate about $37 million. The proposed rate represents a two-cent increase.

Robert Rose, Robert Forrest and Richard Dusold spoke against the proposed rate.

The first public hearing on the tax rate was held August 31. The tax rate is scheduled for adoption at the next council meeting at 3 p.m. Sept. 22.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:52 p.m.

The regular meeting was adjourned. The workshop meeting will resume.

9:01 p.m.

Water/Wastewater Impact Fee Update

The council received written comments from the Impact Fee Advisory Committee about the proposed water and wastewater impact fee and was updated on the process for possible implementation.

A public hearing and formal action regarding the fees are scheduled for the Sept. 22 council meeting.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:02 p.m.

The mayor pro tem adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar, future agenda items, and committee reports. The council meets again on Thursday, Sept. 22.

Colin KillianAbout the Author

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian)has been with the City of College Station since 2010. He previously served 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also done extensive volunteer work for the U.S. Olympic Committee and 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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How our fall rec lineup can make you a better parent

26407298 - angry mother of teen playing computer games

26407298 - angry mother of teen playing computer games

By Virginia Godwin, Assistant Recreation Supervisor/Youth Services

Transitioning from summer to fall is always an adventure.

For parents, it means more routine and less spending on family vacations and kids’ camps.

For youth, it means reuniting with friends and starting a new year of learning.

The Parks and Recreation Department has been working on expanding our programs to offer fun learning outside of the school environment. We’re talking hands-on, engaging classes that encourage developing social skills and learning. It’s like when you sneak veggies into meatloaf — the goal is to provide positive development while your child has fun!

This fall, we’re adding Bricks for Kidz and Drama Kids classes to our fall lineup. You don’t have to be an aspiring chemist to love our science classes, and you don’t have to be the next Leonardo DiCaprio to have a blast with Drama Kids. Classes are for all ages from Pre-K through school age.

Not all our offerings are for kids.

Conscious Discipline is a parental training workshop series that teaches parents and caregivers how to manage the challenges of parenting while developing new skills and experiencing more connected relationships.

I’m a new mom as well as a recreation professional who works with youth, so I know first-hand how easy it is to get frustrated when your kids’ behavior doesn’t meet your expectations. Through the Conscious Discipline series, you’ll learn how to regulate your thoughts and actions when those frustrating behaviors happen. I guarantee you’ll laugh through every class as our incredible instructor navigates the daily mishaps to the frustrating-never-going-to-end breakdowns.

While Conscious Discipline is a great tool to implement at home, CSISD educators also use the tools in their classrooms.

The series has no residence requirements, but all classes require advance registration, which begins Sept. 6. Visit or stop by the Stephen C. Beachy Central Park Office at 1000 Krenek Tap Rd., from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on weekdays.

For more information, view the Fall Parks Guide at


13062486_10205970830219402_6104763740309753222_nAbout the Author

Virginia Godwin is in her third year as assistant recreation supervisor/youth services. A College Station native, she previously served as staff development specialist for Kids’ Klub, the College Station Independent School District’s after-school program.


Photo Copyright: mandygodbehear/123RF Stock Photo 

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