Posts tagged “Parks and Recreation

Fall recreation schedule looks different this year

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

In March, our entire world was turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses, schools, travel, and parks and recreation facilities were shut down across the country.

Just six months later, many activities have returned, but COVID-19 remains a severe threat. As we approach the fall, the Parks & Recreation Department is faced with tough decisions as we make plans to reopen our facilities and programs. (more…)


Pandemic spotlights vital role of parks and recreation

 

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

The services and programs provided by municipal parks and recreation departments have always been indispensable to a community’s well-being and overall quality of life. If that wasn’t clear before the COVID-19 pandemic, it certainly is now.

A survey by the National Recreation and Park Association found that 83% of adults say exercising at local parks, trails, and open spaces has been vital to maintaining their mental and physical health during the outbreak.

We celebrate Park and Recreation Month throughout July by highlighting the powerful role our College Station Parks and Recreation staff and professionals across the country play in health and wellness, conservation, economic impact, and social equity.

In College Station, our nationally-recognized program ensures that residents and visitors have adequate access to parks and green space. Our inventory includes 54 developed and seven undeveloped parks covering almost 1,400 acres. Amenities include: 

  • 35.5 miles of walking trails
  • 44 exercise stations
  • 58 play units
  • 28 swing sets
  • 3 dog parks
  • 1 skate park
  • 10 ponds

We invite you to join us in celebrating Park and Recreation Month by picking up a grab bag filled with parks-themed coloring pages, activities, monarch-friendly milkweed seeds, and more. Stop by the Stephen C. Beachy Central Park Office on weekdays between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. If you call 979-764-3486 when you arrive, we’ll bring it out for curbside pickup.

 


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

EDITOR’S NOTE: The post was updated on June 18.  

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 six 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?
Adamson Lagoon and Cindy Hallaran Pool will remain closed for the 2020 season due to budgetary constraints, limited resources and continued health and welfare concerns regarding social distancing, sanitization, and staffing requirements. We will decide at the end of July regarding the possibility of opening splash pads.

Will you have swimming lessons this year?
Swim lessons have been canceled for the 2020 season. Click here for three water safety resources to help keep your family safe.

When will the Lincoln Recreation Center’s full-day summer camp open?
The summer camp has been canceled due to strict CDC guidelines regarding group sizes, activity restrictions, social distancing, sanitization, and staffing requirements. At this time, we are planning to offer the after-school program, beginning Aug. 13.

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 parks@cstx.gov.

 


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 cstx.gov/LincolnCenter 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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Competitive spirit attracts 400 senior athletes to town

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

The competitive hearts of athletes have been on full display this month at the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea. Watching on television is a thrill, but witnessing the competition in person must be spectacular.

While we can’t offer the Olympics, we can offer the same spirit of competition at the College Station Senior Games Friday through Sunday at venues across our community. Admission is free.

A total of 410 athletes between the ages of 49-93 are competing, including 339 out-of-towners and 156 women. A total of 198 volunteers — mostly Texas A&M students — will help us orchestrate the event.

Notable Participants

  • Swimmer Baker Lee Shannon of Houston is the oldest male athlete at the age of 93 years and nine months. He is competing in the 50 backstroke, 50 breaststroke, 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle.
  • Distance runner Barbara Chenette of Crockett is the oldest female athlete at the age of 83 years and three months. She is competing in the 5K.
  • Track & field athlete Michael McDavid of Buchanan Dam is competing in the most events at 13, including the discus, shot put, javelin, long jump, high jump, 50m, 3000m RW, 100m, 800m, 200m, 1500m RW, 400m, 1500m.
  • Frank Hershman of Surrey, British Columbia traveled 2,364 miles to compete. Other out-of-state athletes represent Louisiana and Minnesota.
  • Former Olympian Jim Gerhardt of Houston is competing in his fourth Brazos Valley Senior Games. He placed 11th in the triple jump at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland. Gerhardt will participate in the discus, hammer throw, javelin, and shot put.

Participants by Sport

13

5K Road Race

3

10K Road Race

4 teams

Basketball

12

Free Throws

13

Basketball Skills

55

Bowling

31

Cornhole

68

Cycling

11

Disc Golf

17

Golf

124

Pickleball

23

Swimming

15

Table Tennis

90

Track & Field

15

Tennis

The College Station Senior Games couldn’t happen without our generous sponsors. We offer our sincere thanks to Brazos Valley EMS, Integrity Urgent Care, Lifespan Cognitive & Motor Neuroimaging Laboratory, Center for Translational Research in Aging & Longevity, Center for Population Health and Aging, Area Agency on Aging, Piranha Fitness and Mad Taco.

As we age, many of us are content to spectate rather than participate. But for some, an innate desire for competition doesn’t allow them to surrender to time. We invite you to check out the action for yourself!

For more information, visit cstx.gov/seniorgames or call 979-764-3486.


About the Blogger

Kelli Nesbitt (@kneztalk) has worked for the Parks & Recreation Department for 14 years, the last seven as marketing coordinator. A native of Bryan, Kelli earned a bachelor’s degree in health & kinesiology from Sam Houston State.


 

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Celebrate love month with Trail of Lights, Date Night

By Margie Trame, Assistant Recreation Supervisor

Valentine’s Day is when we celebrate the things we love about those who matter most. While valentine’s cards, flowers, and chocolate are always a safe bet on the day of love, experiences are infinitely more valuable.

And why limit it to just one day?

Throughout February, Wolf Pen Creek Park’s upper trails are a romantic pathway of lights to help you extend the warm glow of Valentine’s Day. The Trail of Lights begins at the Holleman Drive entrance, crosses over the bridge, and ends at the gazebo next to the creek.

The lover’s lane of lights is open from 6-10 p.m. daily.

Join us on Valentine’s Day (Wednesday, Feb. 14) from 6-9 p.m for the free Trail of Lights Date Night. Enjoy live music, carriage rides, sweet treats, flowers, and the beautiful Trail of Lights with friends, family or your significant other.

Ditch the fancy dinner this year and picnic in the park. You may also bring refreshments, but glass containers are not allowed, and coolers must be 48 quarts or smaller. Satisfy your sweet tooth with chocolate-dipped strawberries and indulge in desserts from local food trucks including Donut Darlin’, 1541 Pastries & Coffee, and Boots Beverages.

While admission and activities are free, the food truck prices will vary.

The carriage rides will be on the festival site, and all other activities and booths will be at the Wolf Pen Creek Amphitheater. Parking is available at the Wolf Pen Creek parking lot on Colgate Drive, the Arts Council building on Dartmouth Street, and at Post Oak Mall.

Pets are welcome, too, so don’t forget about the furry friends you love.

 


About the Blogger

Assistant Recreation Supervisor Margie Trame (@choochootrame) is in her first year with the Parks & Recreation Department. A native of Arlington, she’s pursuing a degree in Recreation, Parks and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M.


 

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Feed your hunger to compete at the 2018 Senior Games

By Gabby Salazar, Tourism Events Supervisor

When you used to think of senior citizens, you probably pictured older adults who were largely inactive, at least in a physical sense. But as the baby boom generation has grown older, that stereotype has changed significantly.

More of today’s seniors tend to be active, social, and vibrant folks who still enjoy physical activities and competition.

The College Station Senior Games was created for these not-so-over-the-hill competitors, offering athletes 50 years-and-older a choice of 14 activities at venues throughout our community. The 2018 games are set for Feb. 23-25, and the registration deadline is Feb. 12.

Events include track and field, swimming, cycling, golf, 5K run, 10K run, bowling, pickleball, disc golf, table tennis, tennis, 3-on-3 basketball, cornhole, and basketball skills. We’re also introducing a recumbent division to the cycling event.

Participants compete in nine age divisions, with team sports divided into three age brackets. Partner and team groups are determined by the age of the youngest partner or team member.

The $30 participation fee includes a shirt and two reception tickets with an additional fee per event. For more information and to register, go to cstx.gov/SeniorGames.

At the age of 91 years and nine months, swimmer Baker Lee Shannon of Houston was the oldest male athlete in 2017. Baker competed in the 50-meter backstroke, 50-meter breaststroke, 50-meter freestyle, and 100-meter freestyle. Barbara Chenette of Crockett competed in the 5K run and was the oldest female athlete at the age of 81 years and three months.

Photos: A Look back at the 2017 Senior Games

The College Station Senior Games have developed into a respected event that attracts hundreds of participants from as far away as Los Angeles. The success of the local games has even led to our Parks & Recreation Department being named to the state and national senior games board of directors.

If you’re over 50 and still yearn to engage in spirited competition, sign up for the College Station Senior Games today!

 


About the Blogger

Tourism Events Supervisor Gabby Salazar is in her third year with 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 is working toward her master’s. 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 (Jan. 25)

(L-R): Bob Brick, Linda Harvell, Jerome Rektorik, Karl Mooney (mayor), John Nichols, Barry Moore, James Benham.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Jan. 25. 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. No action was taken out of executive session.

5:21 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

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

  • Annexation Plan: The proposed ordinance directs staff to prepare a service plan for the area west of College Station identified for annexation. The service plan will contain the details related to the provision of specific municipal services to the property upon annexation and must be complete and available for public inspection before the public hearings. The ordinance also establishes the two required public hearings: March 19 at 6 p.m. and March 22 at 6 p.m., both at city hall. A fiscal impact analysis will be performed as part of the annexation process. 
  • Water Oversize Participation: The city is requesting construction of an 18-inch water transmission line associated with the development of the Brazos Valley Auto Complex. The developer’s engineer demonstrated that a 12-inch water line was adequate for the proposed development. The agreement covers the difference in cost between the 12-inch water line and the 18-inch water line along State Highway 6 South. A total of $149,805.60 is recommended for this project from the Water Capital Improvement Projects Fund.
  • Pershing Point Parking Removal: The proposed ordinance removes on-street parking on the north side of Hayes Lane from the intersection with Towers Parkway west to Papa Bear Drive, on both sides of Regiment Way, and on the north and west sides of Papa Bear Drive from the intersection with Towers Parkway and extending west and south to 120 feet southwest of the intersection with Hayes Lane. The developer of the Pershing Pointe Villas subdivision chose to construct a standard-width residential street and remove some on-street parking to comply with the Unified Development Ordinance. No parking signs were installed when the roads were built. 
  • Summit Crossing Parking Removal: The proposed ordinance removes on-street parking on the north side of Alamosa Street between Summit Crossing Lane and Dakota Lane, on the south side of Buena Vista between Summit Crossing Lane and Dakota Lane, on the east side of Dakota Lane between Alamosa Street and Buena Vista, and on both sides of the public alley between Alamosa Street and Buena Vista. The developer of the Summit Crossing subdivision chose to construct a standard-width residential street and remove some on-street parking to comply with the Unified Development Ordinance.No parking signs were installed when the roads were built. 
  • Holleman South Widening: The $9.44 million project will reconstruct Holleman from North Dowling to Rock Prairie Road West. Improvements include replacing the two-lane asphalt pavement with a four-lane concrete section, a median/center turn lane, curbs, gutters an underground storm sewer, a sidewalk on the west side, and a multi-use path on the east side. The project also includes the installation of a traffic signal at Rock Prairie West and the new elementary school entrance, as well as illumination along the corridor.

5:38 p.m.

Historic Preservation Committee

The council reviewed the Historic Preservation Committee’s annual report.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

5:42 p.m.

Procurement Card Program Audit

The council received the results of an audit of the city’s procurement card program, which found the city is mitigating risk, encouraging the efficient and effective use of procurement cards, and achieving the program’s objectives. The report said some controls could be strengthened to further reduce risk. For the full document, go to pages 7-23 in tonight’s workshop packet.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:47 p.m.

Neighborhood Conservation Overlay Districts

The council discussed providing additional flexibility in single-family Neighborhood Conservation Overlay districts.

Overlay districts are designed to provide additional standards for new construction and redevelopment in established neighborhoods to promote development that is compatible with the neighborhood’s existing character. A primary goal is to balance the need for the renewal of vacant or underused properties.

Planning and Development Services Staff is working with the Southside neighborhood on an application to form an NCO District for the College Park, Oakwood, and Dulaney neighborhoods. The neighborhoods feel the Unified Development Ordinance language governing NCO options are overly restrictive and rigid and asked for additional flexibility to allow more customization to better target neighborhood issues without overregulating other areas.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:56 p.m.

Arts Council Building Renovation

The council discussed the renovation of the Arts Council building on Colgate Drive and its use as a community center that emphasizes senior programming. The $973,000 project includes reconfiguring the layout to better accommodate community activities, addressing ADA issues, and replacing the HVAC.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:56 p.m.

Mayor Mooney suspended the workshop until after the regular meeting, which will begin after a short break.

7:07 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:13 p.m.

Historical Marker Presentations

Two historic markers were presented by College Station’s Historic Preservation Committee.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

Plaque No. 92 will be placed on the home at 700 Thomas, which is owned by Jim and Stephanie Russ. This home, built in 1953, is the former residence of Dr. O.D. Butler and his family. The late Dr. Butler was a legendary figure in the history of Texas A&M through his leadership in agriculture. The Russes are pictured with Mayor Mooney and HPC Chairman Lou Hodges.

Plaque No. 93 will be placed on the home at 601 Montclair, which is owned by Jeff and Brenda Hood. This home — likely built by members of Texas A&M’s Corps of Cadets in 1910 or 1911 — is among the original faculty homes to have been moved from campus into a nearby neighborhood. Pictured below with Mayor Mooney and Chairman  Hodges is resident Paul Dutton.

7:16 p.m.

Hear Visitors

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

  • Councilman James Benham recognized Army Sgt. Glenn D. Hicks, Jr. as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 24-year-old College Station native died April 28, 2007, when he was struck with an improvised explosive device and small arms fire during combat operations in Salman Park, Iraq.

7:17 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • A $560,900 contract to JaCody Construction to purchase and replace screw lift pumps at the Carters Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.
  • A change order decreasing by $52,182 a contract with McDonald Municipal & Industrial. The new contract total is $1,074,287.
  • The second reading of a franchise agreement with Brazos Valley Recycling for the collection of recyclables from commercial businesses and multi-family locations.
  • Annual tire purchases and retread services not to exceed $230,000 from Southern Tire Mart through the BuyBoard Purchasing Cooperative.
  • An annual blanket purchase order not to exceed $120,000 with Siddons-Martin Emergency Group for repair parts and labor for fire trucks through the BuyBoard Purchasing Cooperative.
  • An ordinance directing staff to prepare a service plan and establish public hearing dates and times for the annexation of about 65 acres on the city’s west side.
  • A $149,805.60 oversize participation agreement with Bkck Ltd. for a new water main along State Highway 6 South near its intersection with Sebesta Road.
  • Removed parking on the north side of Hayes Lane from the intersection with Towers Parkway west to Papa Bear Drive, on both sides of Regiment Way, and on the north and west sides of Papa Bear Drive from the intersection with Towers Parkway extending west and south to 120 feet southwest of the intersection with Hayes Lane.
  • Removed parking on the north side of Alamosa Street between Summit Crossing Lane and Dakota Lane, on the south side of Buena Vista between Summit Crossing Lane and Dakota Lane, on the east side of Dakota Lane between Alamosa Street and Buena Vista, and on both sides of the public alley between Alamosa Street and Buena Vista.
  • A $9.44 million contract with Larry Young Paving for the construction of the Holleman Drive South Widening Project.
  • A resolution for the Strong and Sustainable Grant Program that repeals a previous resolution and delegates authority to the city manager to administer and implement the program policy.

7:45 p.m.

Rezoning in 200 Block of Holleman

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning district boundaries to Planned Development District for about 5.6 acres in the 200 block of Holleman Drive in the Pooh’s Park Subdivision. The change will allow the development of 62 detached townhouses designed for students.

Here are the PowerPoint presentations:

8:44 p.m.

Land Use at Rock Prairie and Fitch

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-2 to deny a request to change the land use designation to General Commercial and Natural Areas Reserved for about 35 acres north of the intersection of Rock Prairie Road and William D. Fitch Parkway. Councilmen Jerome Rektoik and Barry Moore voted against the motion.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

9:56 p.m.

Rezoning on Greens Prairie Road West

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the zoning district boundaries to Planned Development District for about eight acres at 3596 Greens Prairie Road West. The change will allow the development of senior assisted-living housing that looks similar to nearby homes.

Here are the PowerPoint presentations:

9:57 p.m.

Parks & Recreation Board Appointment

The council voted unanimously to reappoint Ann Hays to another term on the Parks & Recreation Board.

9:59 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

9:59 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the regular meeting and will resume the workshop.

10:00 p.m.

The council discussed its calendar and received committee reports.

10:00 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the workshop. The council meets again on Thursday, Feb. 8.

 


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: Monday’s city council meetings (Nov. 20)

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Monday, Nov. 20. 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.

4:50 p.m.

The workshop has started. Council took no action out of executive session.

4:53 p.m.

Canvassing of Election Returns

The council canvassed the Nov. 7 election returns and unanimously declared the results. Linda Harvell, Bob Brick, and John Nichols are elected to the city council.

4:57 p.m.

Oaths of Office 

Harvell, Brick, and Nichols were sworn in as council members by Municipal Court Judge Ed Spillane. We’ll post photos here later.

John Nichols

Linda Harvell

Bob Brick

5:38 p.m.

Farewell to Outgoing Council Members

Council members, city staff, and citizens bid farewell to outgoing Mayor Pro Tem Julie Schultz and Councilwoman Blanche Brick, who each served two terms since their initial election in 2011. As a parting gift, Brick presented a large print of Norman Rockwell’s “Freedom of Speech” for display in city hall.

The council will take a short break for a reception honoring the new and former council members.

Firefighters with Blanche Brick and Julie Schultz

Norman Rockwell’s “Freedom of Speech”

6:14 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:19 p.m.

Hear Visitors

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

  • Councilman James Benham recognized Army Capt. Andrew R. Houghton as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 25-year-old Houston native died Aug. 9, 2004, when a rocket-propelled grenade detonated near his vehicle in Ad Dhuha, Iraq.

6:22 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda. Councilmembers pulled these consent items for discussion:

  • Christmas Parade Banners: The city has been approached about erecting and displaying seven banners at various locations from Nov. 21-Dec. 4 to recognize the annual Christmas parade. Banners may be exempt from regulations when they promote a positive image for the city that attracts business or tourism, depicts an accomplishment of an individual or group, or creates a positive community spirit.
  • FY18 Certificates of Obligation: The FY18 Budget includes several Parks and Recreation, Public Works and Information Technology projects funded with certificates of obligation that haven’t been issued. The “Resolution Declaring Intention to Reimburse Certain Expenditures with Proceeds from Debt” would cover spending that is estimated to occur in advance of the scheduled FY18 debt issue.
  • Greens Prairie Trail Project: The change order would reduce the contract for the Greens Prairie Trail Widening Project by $198,223.18. The project included reconstruction of Greens Prairie Trail from Wellborn Road through the intersection of Royder Road. Quantities actually used were less than estimated in the original contract.

6:22 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • Banners for the annual Christmas Parade.
  • A resolution declaring intent to reimburse certain expenditures with proceeds from debt for Parks and Recreation, Public Works and Information Technology projects in the FY18 Capital Improvements Program Budget.
  • A reduction of $198,223.18 to the contract with Hassell Construction for the Greens Prairie Trail Widening Project.
  • The $136,470 purchase of 15 traffic signal cabinets from Paradigm Traffic Systems.

6:29 p.m.

UDO Master Plan Amendments

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to amend the city’s Unified Development Ordinance to recognize locational flexibility to ensure consistency among various master plan components and clarify that plan depictions may be updated as development occurs.

The UDO is intended to implement planning policy as provided in the city’s Comprehensive Plan and associated plans. Since thoroughfare and bikeway alignments in these plans are generalized locations, the plans authorize discretion for those elements to be refined as needed up to a distance of 1,000 feet without an ordinance amendment.

As part of reviewing thoroughfares for the proposed Thoroughfare Plan update, it was identified that several thoroughfares remain depicted as conceptually shown in the 2009 Comprehensive Plan, although development plans and surrounding conditions have provided refinement when implemented.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:07 p.m.

Comprehensive Plan Thoroughfare Amendments

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve an amendment to the city’s Thoroughfare Plan and Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Greenways Master Plan to reflect recent revisions to the Bryan/College Station Metropolitan Planning Organization’s 2050 Thoroughfare Concept.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:09 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

7:09 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the regular meeting. The workshop meeting will resume after a short break.

7:14 p.m.

The workshop has resumed.

7:46 p.m.

Suburban Commercial Zoning Requirements

The council voted 6-1 to approve the Planning & Zoning Commission’s recommendations for changes to Suburban Commercial zoning as part of the 10-year update to the Comprehensive Plan. Councilwoman Harvell voted against the motion. 

Most current and future Suburban Commercial locations are located near neighborhoods along major highways and thoroughfares, which creates tension between neighborhood concerns and market demands for higher intensity.

The council voted 5-2 against an earlier motion to approve the recommendations with the exception of gas stations and drive-thru establishments.  Harvell and Councilman Brick voted for the motion.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:39 p.m.

Bicycle Parking Requirements

The council discussed the city’s bicycle parking guidelines and ways to increase development flexibility and reduce requirements. The consensus of the council, with the exception of Councilman Jerome Rektorik, was for staff to bring back an ordinance reflecting the recommendations.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:46 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports. 

The council meets again on Thursday, Dec. 14.

 


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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Lick Creek Nature Center to be unveiled Saturday

By Hallie Kutch, Marketing Staff Assistant

Many people consider the 515-acre Lick Creek Park to be the crown jewel of College Station’s park system.

On Saturday, that precious jewel takes on an even shinier gleam with the grand opening of the long-awaited Lick Creek Nature Center. From 9 a.m.-noon, we cordially invite you to enjoy education stations, guest speakers, and guided tours through the 2,400-square-foot facility and the park’s many trails.

The free event begins with a welcome ceremony and ribbon cutting, followed by guided tours every half hour starting at 9:30 a.m. We’ll serve light refreshments, and dogs on leashes are welcome. Horses and bikes are not permitted.

Residents overwhelmingly approved the $2.1 million Lick Creek Park Nature Center as part of the 2008 bond election. The design was approved in 2014, but construction was delayed until an adequate water line could be installed for fire protection.

The nature center serves as the focal point of the picturesque park, which is located at 13600 Rock Prairie Rd. As the area’s premier nature preserve, the park displays a variety of native plant and animal species, including the endangered Navasota Ladies Tresses. It offers five miles of marked trails and provides ample opportunities for hiking, cycling, bird watching, equestrian activities, and nature study.

The facility features a meeting room, restrooms, indoor and outdoor classrooms, and an amphitheater available to rent for receptions, classes, meetings and more. Additional improvements and amenities have enhanced one of College Station’s favorite recreational areas and made it more accessible — and enjoyable — for young and old alike.

The nature center’s mission is to provide exceptional experiences while educating and inspiring visitors to explore, respect, and protect the natural world. The Parks and Recreation Department is teaming with community partners and organizations to host educational classes, programs, and events for all ages to enhance appreciation of the environment and encourage wildlife conservation and stewardship.

The nature center officially opens to the public on Nov. 1. Operating hours will be weekdays from 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sundays from 1-6 p.m.

Paid classes already are underway. A few of the offerings include:

  • Outdoor education field trips.
  • Weekly Saturday programs such as birdhouse building contests, campfire building demonstrations, storytelling, survival tips, etc.
  • Saturday Showcase: once-a-month traveling education exhibits.
  • Self-led nature walk/wildlife identification scavenger hunt.
  • Birding 101 and guided nature walks.
  • Sunrise and sunset yoga classes.
  • Wild Wednesday: weekly hands-on programs to get you up close and personal with native critters and plants.
  • Friday Family Hikes: bring a picnic and hike before dinner with your family.
  • Little Ag Producers: youth learn how to identify, grow, harvest and prepare local vegetation.
  • Sunday Safety Series: learn snake and insect identification and bite protocol and outdoor and trail bike safety.

For more information on classes, special events, and facility rentals, go to cstx.gov/parks.

Related Blog:


About the Blogger

Hallie Kutch is in her third 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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Oct. 7 event makes racing in diapers superb family fun

By Virginia Godwin, Assistant Recreation Supervisor

Friendly competition never goes out of style — especially when the competitors are still in diapers.

On Saturday, Oct. 7, young crawlers, stumblers, walkers and runners from across the Brazos Valley will get together for the Toddler 2K and Baby Crawl at Wolf Pen Creek Park. The fun-filled event will also feature vendor booths and health and wellness activities that families can enjoy together.

Youngsters will compete on their developmental level and will be divided by age into early crawlers, strong crawlers, early walkers, strong walkers, and toddlers. Crawlers and early walkers will have a short distance race with one parent or caregiver at the starting line and one at the finish line. Walkers and toddlers will compete in a 2K race and may be accompanied by a parent or caregiver. Participants will be given complete instructions after they check-in starting at 9 a.m.

College Station Parks & Recreation and Fit4Moms are also offering a free family workout from 9-9:45 a.m. Moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles and anyone else is welcome to participate and model healthy activities for the little ones.

Children five-and-under must be kept in a stroller during the workout but will be entertained throughout. If you have not participated in a recent Fit4Moms class, please arrive early to complete a waiver form.

The cost is $5 per child, and registration ends Oct. 5.

Call 979-764-3486 for more information, or go to rectrac.cstx.gov to register.

 


About the Blogger

Virginia Godwin is in her fourth 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.


 

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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (Aug. 24)

Back (L-R): Linda Harvell, Jerome Rektorik, James Benham, Barry Moore. Front (L-R): Blanche Brick, Mayor Karl Mooney, Julie Schultz.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Aug. 24. It’s not the official minutes.

The meeting is being broadcast live on Suddenlink Channels 19 and 119 (HD) and online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

5:34 p.m.

The workshop has started. Councilwoman Julie Schultz is absent tonight.

No action was taken out of executive session.

5:57 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

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

  • Graham Substation Equipment: The equipment purchased through this bid requires a significant delivery time from the date of purchase and is be installed during the construction of the Graham Road Substation in 2018. The equipment to be purchased includes transformers, a gas circuit breaker, circuit switchers, and 3-phase electric substation transformers. The bid includes delivery, set-up of the transformers on the foundations, filling with oil, and testing.
  • Four-Way Stop at Thomas/Dexter: The intersection of Thomas Street and Dexter Drive has stop signs on the Thomas Street approaches. An area resident expresses concerns about appropriate sight lines. Traffic Engineering found that the sight line for vehicles at the stop sign on the westbound approach was inadequate to see vehicles approaching the from the left on Dexter. Consequently, Traffic Engineering recommends making it a four-way stop controlled intersection.
  • Brazos Valley Recycling: Staff recommends renewal of years 3-5 of a five-year franchise agreement and general services contract with Brazos Valley Recycling for the collection, processing, and marketing of recyclable materials. The city pays an annual cost of $880,000. Recycling collection services and associated public education programs account for $3.18 of the $14.40 monthly sanitation fee charged to each customer.
  • Water Well No. 9: The project includes the installation of Well  No. 9 and a collection line on city property to add additional pumping capacity to match population projections and state requirements. Final project costs are expected to be less than what was budgeted in FY17.
  • Water Line Relocation: Staff recommends approval of a construction contract for the installation of a water line west of the FM2818-FM60 intersection. The existing 30-inch water line will be removed or filled with grout.

6:04 p.m.

BVSWMA FY18 Budget

The council approved the Brazos Valley Solid Waste Management Agency’s proposed budget for FY18, which includes $8.92 million in revenues and $9.44 million in expenses. The budget also reduces the gate rate from $20.50 to $20.00 per ton from Bryan and College Station.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:20 p.m.

Park Preserves in ETJ

The council heard a presentation about potential parkland in the city’s 3½-mile extraterritorial jurisdiction. The discussion covered parkland needs and possibilities and included the Parks and Recreation Master Plan, current parks and greenways properties, current land purchase efforts, the Parkland Dedication Ordinance, and possible funding.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:28 p.m.

Traffic Control Center Award

The council heard a presentation about the national Public Agency Council Achievement Award received by the Traffic Systems and Traffic Engineering divisions for the city’s Traffic Control Center (TCC). The award was presented at the Institute of Transportation Engineers annual meeting in Toronto. Pictured below (L-R) are Traffic Signal Technician Jimmy Pletzer, Traffic Signal Technician Juan Gonzalez, Jr., Traffic Systems Superintendent Lee Robinson, Mayor Mooney, Traffic Engineer Troy Rother, and Traffic Systems Foreman Garrett Martinek.

This award recognizes agencies that have achieved excellence through implementing innovative ideas and delivering outstanding transportation engineering, planning, and operations. The TCC helps improve traffic conditions with new technologies and allows signal timings to be changed in real-time during special events or roadway incidents.

Signal performance measure software also allows city staff to better monitor and adjust traffic signal operations. The City of College Station was the first agency in Texas to implement signal performance measures, and others are following our lead.

The TCC pulls together video streams from more than 100 cameras that are shared with the Police and Fire Departments as well as Texas A&M. The video streams are critical when moving 120,000 fans away from Kyle Field after football games. Staff from Traffic Systems, Traffic Engineering and the Police Department man the TCC during the postgame operations, observing the video streams and manipulating signal timings. The TCC is in constant communication with the Kyle Field command center.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:42 p.m.

Bloomberg Mayors Challenge

The council discussed the city’s participation in Bloomberg Philanthropies 2017 Mayors Challenge. The initiative is designed to help city leaders think big, be bold and uncover inventive and shareable ideas to tackle problems, deliver results and improve life for residents.

Entrants will receive expert guidance to develop their ideas and will join Bloomberg’s cities network, which identifies, elevates, and promotes innovations that work. The 35 Champion Cities will win up to $100,000 to test their ideas and build local support. The five cities with the best ideas will receive millions to implement their ideas at scale.

6:47 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports. The regular meeting will start at 7 p.m.

7:06 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

7:11 p.m.

The mayor proclaimed September as Still Creek Ranch Month.

7:20 p.m.

Hear Visitors

Two 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 Lance Corporal Todd R. Bolding as part of the Fallen Heroes Memorial program. The 23-year-old Manvel native died June 3, 2004, after being wounded in hostile action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.
  • Fred Dupriest of the Southside Neighborhood Advocacy Group spoke about the city’s planning terminology, specifically how mitigation is not necessarily a benefit.
  • Michael Kuitu and Cathy Liles submitted written comments.

7:23 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted 6-0 to approve the consent agenda:

  • A $316,746 purchase of various long lead time major equipment for the proposed Graham Substation.
  • A purchase not to exceed $1,145,926 of two 3-phase electric substation transformers for the proposed Graham Road Substation.
  • Renewal of the recycling collection franchise ordinance and service agreement with Brazos Valley Recycling not to exceed $880,000 or the number of customers multiplied by the approved agreement rates.
  • A $5.6 million contract with Garney Construction to install water well No. 9 and a collection line.
  • A $433,552 contract with Dudley Construction to relocate the 30-inch water line at FM2818 and FM60.

This item was pulled from tonight’s agenda:

  • Modifications to the Research Valley Partnership’s bylaws.

This item was voted on separately:

  • The council voted 6-0 to approve the addition of a four-way stop intersection at Thomas Street and Dexter Drive. Councilwoman Brick requested this item be pulled for a separate vote so she could thank the neighborhood residents and city staff.

7:49 p.m.

Plantation Oaks Addition Land Use

After a public hearing, the council voted 5-1 to deny a request to change the land use designation from Suburban Commercial to General Commercial for about 1.3 acres north of University Oaks Boulevard on the west side of Earl Rudder Freeway. Councilman Barry Moore supported the motion. Three people spoke against the change in the public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:59 p.m.

Plantation Oaks Addition Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted 6-0 to deny a request to change the zoning district boundaries from Office to General Commercial for the same property in the previous item. Two people spoke against the change in the public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:04 p.m.

Koppe Bridge Land Use

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the land use designation from Suburban Commercial to General Commercial for about 1.7 acres on the east side of Wellborn Road where Koppe Bridge Bar & Grill is located. The change will make the tract conform with property to the north that will be developed into an HEB store.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:06 p.m.

Koppe Bridge Rezoning

After a public hearing, the council voted unanimously to approve a request to change the land use designation from Rural to General Commercial for the same property in the previous item.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:51 p.m.

Off-Street Parking Standards

After a public hearing, the council unanimously approved amended off-street parking standards in the city’s Unified Development Ordinance to provide flexibility and reduce regulatory barriers. One person spoke in the public hearing.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:56 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

8:56 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The council meets again on Monday, Sept. 11.

 


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 been 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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Voters’ Choice returns to popular Starlight Music Series

By Gerry Logan, Recreation Supervisor

If you dream of performing on a live stage in front of enthusiastic and appreciative music fans, here’s your chance.

The crowd-pleasing Voters’ Choice contest returns to College Station’s Starlight Music Series this spring after a successful debut in 2016.

Bands and musicians over the age of 16 — and not signed under a promotional authority/contract — can enter for a chance to play at the May 6 concert at Wolf Pen Creek Amphitheater. Entrants must submit one song in an MP3 format along with a YouTube video of the song being performed.

A panel of local judges will select up to 12 finalists based on song originality, stage presence, and creativity. The public will then vote April 4-15 to determine the three artists who will compete at Wolf Pen Creek for these prizes:

1st Place $750 and an artist development package by Revive45
2nd Place $500
3rd Place $250

Starlight Music Series

In College Station, the arrival of spring means more than warm temperatures, green grass, and blooming flowers. It also means the return of the popular Starlight Music Series on selected Saturdays at the Wolf Pen Creek Amphitheater.

The free six-concert series opens April 8 and feature a variety of music to fit just about every taste.

Since 2002, the City of College Station has invited citizens to enjoy family-friendly entertainment under the stars. The best parts are that it’s completely free and guests can bring refreshments. Food and drink are also available for purchase on-site.

Guests are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs, and free parking is available at Post Oak Mall. We offer a KidZone area at each concert that features bounce houses and other activities from 6-10 p.m.

Join us this spring for six nights of free musical entertainment under the stars at Wolf Pen Creek Amphitheater!

2017 Concert Schedule

April 8 Texas Unlimited Band with guest Rosie Flores
May 6 Voters’ Choice winners
May 13 Will Hoge (solo) with guests Bonnie Bishop and Joey McGee
May 27 Def Leggend with guests Infinite Journey and Trio Grande
June 10 Step Rideau & the Zydeco Outlaws with guest Kidd Reece and Mo’ Live Zydeco
June 24 Cory Morrow with guest Cameran Nelson

 

For more information, go to cstx.gov/starlight or contact us at parks@cstx.gov or 979.764.3486.

 


About the Author

Gerry Logan (@GL_sportsguy) is in his fifth 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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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: www.facebook.com/texasamquidditch/

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

 


AAEAAQAAAAAAAAPXAAAAJDIzZWZlOWYzLTkyMmQtNDkxOS1iMDk0LTAyM2NjMTA1MDFmYwAbout the Author

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

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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

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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 cstx.gov/Halloween 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

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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 cstx.gov/events 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)

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.

historic

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.

thankyoupolice

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

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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 rectrac.cstx.gov 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 cstx.gov/parks.

 


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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National youth softball championship starts Monday

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By J.D. Wood, Tourism Manager

When people around the country look at College Station these days, they see us not only as the home of Texas A&M University but as a great destination for youth sports events. We serve as host for many state and regional athletic events each year, but sometimes the stakes are the highest possible.

Yes, I’m talking about a national championship.

Starting Monday at Veterans Park & Athletic Complex and Stephen C. Beachy Central Park, College Station is playing host to the American Softball Association’s USA 16-and-Under Class A National Championship. We’ll have 92 teams from 24 states in town battling to wear the crown as the best 16-and-under fast-pitch softball team in the country.

Teams will travel from all over the U.S and will be arriving in College Station as early as Saturday to prepare for Sunday’s opening ceremonies at Wolf Pen Creek. Tournament play starts Monday and will continue daily until the championship game on Sunday, Aug. 7.

The 15 teams from Texas illustrate the strength the sport has in our state. Other teams are coming from as far west as Lake Stevens, Wash. (2,199 miles); as far north as Southfield, Mich. (1,290 miles); and as far East as Port St. Lucie, Fla. (1,169 miles).

For more information and tournament brackets, visit cstx.gov/tournaments.

 


AAEAAQAAAAAAAAPXAAAAJDIzZWZlOWYzLTkyMmQtNDkxOS1iMDk0LTAyM2NjMTA1MDFmYwAbout the Author

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 both his bachelor’s (2009) and master’s (2010) degrees in sports management from Texas A&M.


 

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