16024_Comprehensive Parks and Trails Plan_FINAL FOR WEBSITE…

Adopted: February 20th, 2018

Letter From the Mayor Dear Friends,

It is my pleasure to present the City of Rowlett’s 2018 Parks, Recreation, Trail Master Plan. This master plan provides long-range guidance for our City on park utilization, park redevelopment, potential future park space, operations management, revenue sources and maintenance plans. As with our parks system, this plan’s development was supported by our outstanding citizen partner organization, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. This document would not have been possible without the contributions of you, the citizens of Rowlett, through participation by your Park’s Board representatives, your input during the Master Plan open house, and your responses to the Parks Master Plan Survey. I especially want to highlight the support to our parks system and the development of this plan by our hardworking members of the Rowlett Parks and Recreation Department for their leadership on this effort! Having raised my family in Rowlett, I have long treasured our City’s parks and recreation resources. I hear from people throughout Rowlett who hold the same appreciation for our parks, green spaces, Community Centre, Wet Zone Waterpark, athletic facilities, and recreation programs— all described in detail in this 2018 Parks, Recreation, Trail Master Plan. Recreation and park facilities and programs promote neighborliness and social inclusion by providing a venue for special events and daily interaction. These spaces and places are anchors in the community they serve, creating a destination for visitors and residents alike. In many ways, our City’s health is reflected in the health of our parks system! So thank you to the Parks and Recreation staff who work tirelessly to keep our parks clean, our facilities welcoming and safe, and our programs vibrant and relevant; and to those who mentor our youth, provide social and recreational connections for our seniors, and help our families to make lasting memories. Most importantly, thank you to the citizens of Rowlett who participate in the planning for our great community!

Mayor Tammy Dana-Bashian




City Council Tammy Dana-Bashian- Mayor Robert Blake Margolis- Place 1

Brownie Sherrill- Place 2 Matt Grubisich- Place 3 Debby Bobbitt- Place 4 Pamela Bell- Place 5 Martha Brown- Place 6 Parks and Recreation Board E.C. Umberger III- Regular Member, Chair Mike DeLatte- Regular Member, Vice Chair Bernadette Hagmeier- Regular Member

Gregory Craig- Regular Member Dolores Henning- Regular Member Ken Romaine- Regular Member Nancy DeVelde- Regular Member Alan Hogan- Regular Member

Lonnie Cornwell- Regular Member Sean McGrew- Alternate Member Diana Moore- Alternate Member Donna Ferguson- Alternate Member City Staff Brian Funderburk- City Manager Angie Smith- Director of Parks and Recreation

Aaron Cleaver- Parks and Recreation Business Manager Richard Harris- Parks and Recreation Operations Manager Consultant Team Brad Moulton, ASLA- la terra studio- Project Lead

Michael Black, ASLA- la terra studio- CEO Kris Brown- CLARB, ASLA, ISA- President Jeff Slater- la terra studio- Project Planner Abra Nusser- Ideation Planning




01 INTRODUCTION.....................................................................9


03 TRAILS AND PATHWAYS........................................................53

04 RECREATION AND PROGRAMMING....................................85

05 IMPLEMENTATION..............................................................91

06 APPENDIX..........................................................................105





Introduction Rowlett is a growing city with community members wish to be more connected by trails of multiple types and to have a stronger relationship with one of its biggest assets, Lake Ray Hubbard. This Parks, Recreation, Open Space, and Trails Master Plan includes bold steps with an economic development lens to make these goals a reality. Rowlett has the opportunity to provide a destination- centered parks and recreation system that showcases the city’s character and provides for healthy and fun lifestyles. The community has a strong level of satisfaction with the parks and recreation amenities that are currently provided, but there is a desire for the parks and recreation system to grow and evolve, in addition to improving and maintaining existing assets. Rowlett has an innovative and diverse array of offerings, and this action-packed Plan provides a fresh approach to take the system to the next level while accommodating continued growth and development. The City of Rowlett is the primary governmental entity that provides recreational facilities for community members in Rowlett. Ancillary recreational facilities are provided by the State of Texas through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), Garland ISD, Rockwall ISD, Dallas County, Rockwall County, and various homeowners associations within the community. This Plan follows the general guidelines for local park master plans established by TPWD, but those guidelines do not address recreation specifically and this Plan does. This document is also intended to meet the requirements of the Department of Interior for the Urban Parks and Recreation Recovery Program. Per planning requirements issued by the TPWD, the Parks, Recreation, Open Space, and Trails Master Plan should be updated after a five-year period or before if any major developments occur that significantly alter the needs of the city to remain eligible for the project priority program for TPWD grant funding. It has been approximately seven years since the last update, and Rowlett has undergone major development in that timeframe. This 2017 Parks, Recreation, Open Space, and Trails Master Plan serves as an entirely new Plan. Purpose:


1 - Introduction

Last but not least, this Plan serves as a component to implement the vision of the City’s comprehensive plan. The comprehensive plan takes a big-picture glimpse of the community’s needs and provides high-level recommendations to address them, but this Plan takes the subject of parks, recreation, trails, and open space and develops a more focused action plan to evolve the City’s parks and recreation system specifically.


December 4, 2017

1.5 Miles Rowlett Parks & Trails Master Plan Existing Parks & Trails 2

2000’ Figure 1.1 - Planning Sectors





On the Water. On the Move

Scale 1”=1000’ 0’ 500’ 1000’


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Plan Development Process The planning process for the Parks, Recreation, Open Space, and Trails Master Plan began in early 2017. From then, a series of interactive meetings were held to gather feedback and provide direction to the Plan. In general, the main objectives of this update process were as follows: • Assess and analyze existing parks and recreation-related topics and conditions • Evaluate existing goals and strategies for accomplishments and future relevancy • Establish an updated approach to the parks and recreation system’s growth and improvement • Listen to and collaborate with the community to determine an updated list of needs and desires relating to parks, recreation, and open space


Engagement and Feedback:

A survey was made accessible to citizens through Rowlett’s website. The responses yielded valuable information to assist in the development of this Master Plan.

Survey Analysis

• The survey gathered 180 respondents over the course of 6 weeks. • Over half of respondents were between the ages of 46 and 65. The survey had a good distribution of respondent ages overall. • 67 percent of respondents were female. The difference in gender response rate could be due to word of mouth for this particular effort reaching more women than men. Typically online surveys are free of gender bias due to their availability to everyone, but in this case, there may be a skew toward female responses due to the significant difference in respondent gender percentages. • Over half of respondents did not have any children under the age of 19 in their home. • Over 57 percent of respondents had been a resident of Rowlett for less than three years. This is representative of a growing city. Typically residents who are new to a city have higher expectations for new amenities than long standing residents. • Almost half of respondents use a City park or recreation facility at least once a week. Approximately one third of respondents use one at least once per month. • The following three reasons were the top responses for why the respondent or their family utilize the City’s park and recreation facilities:

1. Children’s recreation (52%) 2. Adult recreation (48%) 3. Senior recreation (33%)


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• Respondents typically visit Kenwood Heights Park (28%), Isaac Scruggs Park (25%), and Katy Railroad Park (15%) most often. All three of these parks are neighborhood parks, and the rate of utilization likely reflects proximity to respondent homes. Typically, there would be a higher rate of at least one community- or regional-scaled park, such as Pecan Grove Park or Herfurth Park. The lack of utilization rate of the community or regional-scaled parks represents a potential need for additional improvements to improved major parks and recreation destinations. • The following adult outdoor recreation activities received the most responses for participation by the respondents or their families within the past year: 1. Walking, running, strolling, rollerblading/skating (73%) 2. Special events (concert, festival) (39%) 3. Picnicking (39%) • The following children’s outdoor recreation activities received the most responses for participation by the respondents’ children or their families within the past year: 1. Walking, running, strolling, rollerblading/skating (46%) 2. Special events (concert, festival) (28%) 3. Picnicking (27%) 4. None (27%) 5. Swimming/diving (22%) 6. Fishing/boating (19%) 7. Field sports (soccer, football) (18%) 8. Watching outdoor sports activities in person (18%) • The following adult indoor recreation activities received the most responses for participation by the respondents or their families within the past year: 4. Fishing/boating (32%) 5. Bicycling (road) (25%) 6. Swimming/diving (24%)

1. Cardio training/workout (36%) 2. Exercise classes (34%) 3. None (33%) 4. Yoga/aerobics (23%) 5. Bowling (22%)


Based on the responses, the most popular adult indoor recreation activities center on fitness. Of note, in responses were a third of respondents reporting not participating in any adult indoor recreation within the past year. With the heat present for approximately a third of the year in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, the lack of participation in indoor recreation by adults likely represents a lack of convenient options that interest them. In a different but directly related survey question, the highest priority among respondents for park and recreation expenditures, recognizing limited funding available, was to “develop new indoor recreation opportunities (e.g. recreation center, indoor swimming).” Although outdoor opportunities and activities, such as trails and renovations to existing parks, were important to respondents, new indoor recreation opportunities were most important (first or second priority out of six priorities) for approximately half of respondents. • The following children’s indoor recreation activities received the most responses for participation by the respondents’ children or their families within the past year: Considering over half of respondents did not have any children under the age of 19 in their home, the 56 percent having no involvement with children’s indoor recreation activities is not abnormal. • Approximately 84 percent of respondents utilize the City’s trail system, which is a very high rate of utilization. The top reasons for utilization of the City’s trail system were the following: 1. Exercise (e.g. running, walking, bicycling, skating) (71%) 2. Leisure (e.g. strolling) (54%) 3. Communing with nature (32%) 4. I/we do not use the City’s trail system (16%) • Most respondents reported being satisfied or very satisfied with recreational activities provided by the City across all age groups. Each age group did contain a small percentage of respondents who reported being dissatisfied or very 1. None (56%) 2. Swimming/diving (13%) 3. Bowling (13%) 4. Watching games/spectator (13%) 5. Gymnastics/tumbling/cheerleading (12%)


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dissatisfied with recreational activities provided in each age group which typically represent avid users of the activities in that age bracket. There were significant levels of neutrality in satisfaction of each age group, which can represent not being in that age group and/or not being aware of the offerings in each age group. of Rowlett park and recreation facilities. However, 28 percent, of respondents reported they were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the quality of maintenance. 20 percent of respondents indicated a mid-rating. These responses in levels of satisfaction are low and reflect some areas of opportunity in terms of maintenance of park and recreation facilities. Written comments relating to maintenance relate to poor maintenance of Wet Zone (especially its restrooms), poor maintenance of the disc golf area(s), and poor maintenance of the Community Center and its exercise equipment, but one written comment stated that “Rowlett has the best parks and maintenance of any city where [they] have lived.” • Approximately 47 percent of respondents reported being satisfied or very satisfied with the recreational programming provided by the City. 29 percent of respondents reported a mid-rating of satisfaction. Approximately 24 percent of respondents reported being dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the recreational programming provided by the City. Written comments relating to recreational programming relate to issues with limited space (in participation and area) for SAIL and PACE classes; recreation center high cost, lack of space, need for training of staff, and lack of senior activities; and need for more information regarding recreation activities on the City website. • Respondents provided the following top reasons for what prevents them from participating or using the parks or programs offered by the City: • Approximately half of respondents reported they were satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of maintenance

1. Don’t know where all the parks/trails are (17%) 2. Don’t know what programs are available (13%) 3. Lack of options (13%) 4. Lack of time (13%)


The responses to this question, paired with the responses in some other areas, reflects the need to improve content and presentation on the City’s website and social media regarding the City’s facilities and programming. • When choosing to participate in a recreation activity, the following criteria are most important to the respondents’ household:

1. Ease of access (36%) 2. Convenience of time (23%) 3. Quality of facility (21%) 4. Location (18%)

• Over half of respondents (56%) see the need for additional parkland in Rowlett, and 29 percent responded “Maybe.” The top responses for the purpose of additional parkland are the following:

1. More park area devoted to lake front 2. Dog park(s) and associated amenities 3. Recreation facilities (pools, trails, courts, etc.) 4. Green space/open space 5. Nature preservation

• A significant majority of respondents (52% yes, 38% maybe) see the potential need for additional greenbelts/hike and bike trails in Rowlett. A sampling of responses for the location of new greenbelts or trails are the following: 1. Around the lake 2. Environmental Learning Center property on Chiesa Road 3. Rowlett Park & Ride/DART Rail Station to the Community Center 4. Along/in floodplain areas 5. To and from Bayside 6. Connections to Community Park from surrounding neighborhoods 7. Muddy Creek Greenbelt 8. Lakes of Springfield to Rowlett Community Park 9. Library to Main Street 10. Across Miller Road and Highway 66 over the lake 11. Rowlett Creek to Pecan Grove area


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Throughout the survey and planning process, many locations of trails have been suggested, and it is clear that trails are very important to residents of and visitors to Rowlett. All feedback has been considered for the creation of the Trail Plan. • Recognizing limited funding available, the following ranking of park and recreation expenditures were the highest priority for respondents:

1. Develop new indoor recreation opportunities (e.g. recreation center, indoor swimming) 2. Restore and preserve natural areas 3. Renovate and upgrade existing parks 4. Develop new outdoor recreation opportunities (e.g. athletic fields, trails) 5. Parkland acquisition 6. Develop new neighborhood parks


Of note, however, is that the top scoring number one priority, “Develop new indoor recreation opportunities,” also received one vote shy of the next six priority responses. This reflects a “love-hate” dynamic with this expenditure in that it is very important to some people (69 first priority votes) and least important to approximately half as many people (36 sixth priority votes). • Recognizing limited funding available, the following park and recreation facilities were selected to be added in the City of Rowlett:

1. Hike and bike trails, soft surface (nature trail) (41%) 2. Indoor recreation center/aquatic center (41%)

3. Splashpads (sprayground) (40%) 4. Natural area preservation (37%) 5. Dog park (37%) 6. Picnic facilities (tables, pavilions) (36%) 7. Hike and bike trails, hard surface (33%) 8. Playgrounds (31%)

• In terms of preferred trail surface, over 60 percent of respondents either have no trail surface preference or prefer a combination of gravel/natural and hard surface trails. • 42 percent of respondents use social media the most as a source for information on recreational activities. Following social media is the City website at 23 percent and emails or email newsletters at 18 percent. These three methods of online communication make up approximately 83 percent of the source where respondents get information on recreational activities. Preference for receiving information related to parks and recreation activities and programs in Rowlett were related but show a key finding with 74 percent social media, 63 percent emails or email newsletters, and 59 percent City website preferred. The key finding points to a potential desire of respondents to receive more information through online sources than they currently get. For example, 42 percent of respondents use social media to get their parks and recreation information, but 74 percent of respondents prefer to get their information through social media—this represents an unmet need to provide more information on social media that is strategic and communicates to respondents regarding parks and recreation offerings and activities.


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Meeting Feedback Analysis:

Ideas and discussions at the April 12, 2017 Park Board meeting and the May 18, 2017 public meeting are summarized below: Participants were asked to list the “Likes” and the “Wants” of their community and the Parks and Recreation System.

Strengths/ “Likes”:

1. There was a wide variation of responses for this category, which could be interpreted in many ways. In this case, it appears to represent an overall lack of branding, marketing, and communication to end users/residents regarding the parks and recreation system and what it has to offer. 2. Certain existing parks, trails, and the recreation center were all listed as strengths of the current parks and recreation system. 3. Pecan Grove, Kids Kingdom, and Wet Zone were the parks most mentioned in the strengths feedback. 4. Pickleball and the Rowlett Community Centre are strengths of the recreation system. 5. Trees, shade, nature, and green spaces are consistently important to end users. Top Likes Count Pecan Grove Park & Trails 5 Trails 5 Kids Kingdom 4 Recreation Centre 3 Trees/Shade 3 Wet Zone 3 Community Park 2 Nature Trail/Woods 2 Open/Green Spaces 2 Pickleball 2 * All feedback has been utilized for the plan - not just top counts.


Opportunities/ “Wants”:

1. Trails were the most cited “want” of the Parks and Recreation System. This category includes desires for longer trails, trail amenities (such as water fountains, restrooms, trailheads and maps), and for trails to make connections between destinations (such as parks, transit stops, neighborhoods, and special areas). 2. While the existing parks and trails are strengths of the community, residents also listed improvements, such as additional bathrooms, shade, signage, and safety measures for existing parks and trails. Some participants also wanted more variety in the sports fields constructed. 3. Niche/non-Traditional parks were a highly cited opportunity for the Parks and Recreation System. Niche parks like skate parks, dog parks, pickleball courts, and nature-focused parks/ centers were listed in the feedback.

Top Wants


Trails/Connections/Water Trails

42 19 17 14

Dog-Related Parks/Trails Bike Facilities/Trails/Lanes

Nature/Environmental Parks/Trails (Including Educational) Pickleball Courts (Indoor and Outdoor) and Lighting


Boat/Kayak Related Facilities/Amenities

9 9 8 8 5 5 4 3 3 3 3

Park and Trail Amenities (E.g. Water Fountains, Picnic Tables, Seating, Restrooms, etc.)

More Public Art

Skate Park

More Covered Spaces/Shade

Soccer Fields

Improved Lake Access

Improved Signage/Wayfinding (Including Educational)

Outdoor Entertainment/Concerts

Tennis Center/Courts

Water/Splash Related Parks/Amenities/Expansions


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City Collaboration: A meeting between the Parks and Recreation Department and Rowlett’s Parks Advisory Board was held on November 8, 2017. This review session assisted in fine-tuning this Master Plan. It is with all this cooperation and information gathered that this document is able to succeed. This development process allows the collaborative efforts mentioned to achieve a successful update to the Rowlett Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Master Plan. Parks and Recreation System Vision Realize Rowlett 2020 , Rowlett’s Comprehensive Plan, establishes a strong vision for the future of Rowlett. In that vision, it discusses the future of the parks and recreation system stating that “Rowlett will become a community of the lake, not just on the lake. Existing active water activities on Lake Ray Hubbard will be enhanced with lower intensity activities such as birding and kayaking. The community will be connected by high and low intensity recreational trails, as well as water taxis and trolleys that make it easy to reach recreation and entertainment.” The vision is complemented by a market analysis that cited the following as assets which poise the city for growth: transit improvements, waterfront amenities, a healthy quality of life, and policy and financing commitments to the same. Realize Rowlett 2020 set the foundation for the waterways in Rowlett, including Lake Ray Hubbard and Muddy Creek, to be utilized as potential transportation options, connections, recreation opportunities, destinations, ecotourism areas, aesthetic contributors, and amenities. The comprehensive plan and its associated amendments also provide concepts that have led to a new hierarchy of parks and recreation destinations and connections as detailed in this Parks and Recreation Master Plan that include seven Primary Destinations, two types of Secondary Destinations, and four types of Connections (see Chapter 2).


Vision: Rowlett is a lakefront city of connected Parks and Recreation destinations, showcasing the character of Rowlett and providing opportunities for healthy and fun living. Community Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Destinations: • City Center at Herfurth Park • Rowlett Nature Preserve • Signature Recreation District • Signature Gateway • Scenic Point Park • Lakeside Park • Bayside Neighborhood PROS Destinations: • Pocket Plazas • Pocket Parks Special Use PROS Connections: • Sidewalks • Multi-Use Trails • Paddling Trails • Regional Veloweb


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Topic Oriented Chapters




Parks and Community Gathering Spaces Rowlett has high quality parks and community gathering spaces, and the community is interested in expanding the city’s parkland. As the city continues to develop and grow, it will be imperative to reserve space through acquisition and requirements from private developments for additional parkland consistent with the strategies set forth in this Plan. The Rowlett Parks and Recreation Department manages and maintains approximately 807 acres of parkland, nature preserve, and City grounds. Developed facilities include the following:

• Herfurth Park • Isaac Scruggs Park • Katy Railroad Park

• Kenwood Heights Park • Lakes of Springfield Park • Lakeside Park • Paddle Point Park • Pecan Grove Park • Kids Kingdom • Wet Zone Waterpark • Rowlett Community Centre • Rowlett Community Park • Rowlett Nature Trail

• Scenic Point Park • Shorewood Park • Twin Star Park • Veterans Park

This chapter will focus on the parks and open spaces in Rowlett. Trails and Sidewalks and Recreation and Programming are discussed in, subsequent chapters in the Plan. A goal with policies and associated actions for Parks and Open Space are detailed below.


2 - Parks And Community Gathering Spaces


• Scenic Point Park – Phase 1 • Katy Railroad Park – Phase 1

• Rowlett Community Park Improvements – 2018 Bond • Rowlett Community Centre Improvements – 2016 Bond • Lakeside Park Improvements – 2016 Bond • Veterans Park Improvements – 2018 Bond • Wet Zone Water Park Improvements – 2016 Bond • Kid’s Kingdom Replacement – 2016 Bond • Scenic Point Park – Phase 2 • Coyle House Utilization Plan – Spring 2016 Needs Assessment The planning process for the Parks and Recreation Master Plan identified common themes that relate to the topic of parks and open spaces. The following list represents the updated needs, generally, as assessed in the community engagement for this planning effort: • Expand the City’s parkland area by focusing on underserved parks and recreation areas • Expand the City’s parkland area by partnering with developers and other individuals and groups • Evolve the City’s parks and recreation areas into branded destinations that can be marketed and thereby communicated to residents and visitors in ways that create a branded sense of place • Ensure maintaining existing parks and recreation facilities, including providing a minimum set of improvements, is a higher priority than developing new parks and recreation amenities and areas



Standards In order to evaluate the parks, recreation, and open space facilities provided for the City’s residents, a set of standards and criteria was used to develop a Level of Service (LOS) for the system. For the purpose of this planning effort the parks in Rowlett were categorized and classified based on park design concepts and standards identified by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA): • Neighborhood Parks • Community Parks • Natural Areas and / or Open Space • Special Use Parks

Park Type

Existing LOS 122.64 Acres

Neighborhood Parks Community Parks 397.7 Acres Natural Area/ Special Use Parks 273 Acres Green Belts 14.39 Acres

NRPA Recommended LOS 1.5 Acres for every 1000 residents 2017 Population Estimate 60,219 2017 Target LOS 90.32 Acres 2017 Provided LOS 122.64 Acres Neighborhood Parks The Neighborhood Park remains the basic unit of the park system and serves as the recreational and social focus of the neighborhood. Generally designed with a focus on informal active and passive recreation that serves neighborhood recreation needs, area is provided for recreational activities such as field games, court games, picnicking, and playground areas. Many neighborhood parks may also contain athletic fields that are used by community athletic organizations, thus serving the community as a whole. Safe and convenient pedestrian access (sidewalks or hike-and-bike trails) is important to a neighborhood park location.

2030 Population Projection 70,000 (1.25% annual growth) * ESRI) 2030 Projected Target LOS 105 Acres


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Community Parks A Community Park is a large and much more versatile type of park developed to serve the community. These parks can be oriented to provide both active and passive recreational facilities for all ages. A community park can serve several neighborhood areas and can typically be conveniently accessed by automobile. NRPA Recommended LOS 5 Acres for every 1000 residents 2017 Population Estimate 60,219 2017 Target LOS 302 Acres 2017 Provided LOS 397.7 Acres 2030 Population Projection 70,000 (1.25% annual growth) * ESRI) 2030 Projected Target LOS 350 Acres Natural / Open Space These areas are natural and are generally left undisturbed but are not necessarily characterized as land preservations. No organized, active recreational uses are usually accommodated in these areas; they are primarily intended for passive recreational use. NRPA Recommended LOS 1.5 Acres for every 1000 residents 2017 Population Estimate 60,219 2017 Target LOS 180.6 Acres 2017 Provided LOS 273 Acres Special Use Parks Special Use Parks cover a broad range of specialized park and recreation facilities, often with a single major use. Golf courses, historical sites, community center sites, theme parks, water parks, and other special use facilities fall into this category. These parks may also include neighborhood or community park elements but with amenities that have a regional appeal to visitors from outside the boundaries of the city. Because special use parks vary by size and type from city to city, there is not a specific recommended level of service. 2030 Population Projection 70,000 (1.25% annual growth * ESRI) 2030 Projected Target LOS 210 Acres



Inventory The department manages and maintains 807 acres of park land, nature preserves, and all city grounds. Facilities include the Rowlett Community Centre.

The map to the right documents the current parks and open spaces in Rowlett. A detailed inventory of each park is located in the appendix of this master plan. Developed Parks Park: Classification:

Size (Acres)

1 Herfurth Park

Community Park Neighborhood Park Neighborhood Park Neighborhood Park Neighborhood Park Neighborhood Park Community Park Community Park Neighborhood Park Community Park Neighborhood Park Neighborhood Park Neighborhood Park Community Park


2 Isaac Scruggs Park 3 Katy Railroad Park 4 Kenwood Heights Park




5 Lakeside Park


6 Paddle Point Park 7 Pecan Grove Park



8 Rowlett Community Park


9 Shorewood Park


10 Lakes of Springfield Park

117 4.18 0.54

11 Twin Star Park 12 Veterans Park

13 Schrade Bluebonnet Park


13 Scenic Point Park


14 Rowlett Nature Trail Park

Natural Area/Open Space


Undeveloped Parks Park:


Size (Acres)

1 Cedar Bridge Park 2 Columbia Park

Neighborhood Park Neighborhood Park Neighborhood Park Neighborhood Park

4.4 3.8

3 Environmental Learning Center

4 5

4 Mayors Park

5 Muddy Creek Nature Preserve

Natural Area/Open Space 268.30

7 R. Arnold Edwards Park

Neighborhood Park Neighborhood Park

8 6

8 Sunset Park

Greenbelt: 1 Highland Meadows

Open Space Open Space


2 Lake Highland



2 - Parks And Community Gathering Spaces



Liberty Elementary School




Keely Elementary School




Back Elementary School

Vernon Schrade Middle School

Steadham Elementary School






Dorsey Elementary School


Cullins Lake Pointe Elementary School


Pearson Elementary School






Rowlett High School


Coyle Middle School





Stephen Elementary School




Rowlett Elementary School

Herfurth Elementary School









City Land Parks/Open Green Space Water Bodies Flood Plain

Figure 2.1 - Existing Parks Map


2 Miles Existing Parks Map Rowlett Parks & Trails Master Plan







On the Water. On the Move


Scale 1”=1000’ 0’ 500’ 1000’

Service Area Map The map on the following page illustrates the service areas for Neighborhood and Community Parks, found within the Rowlett Parks System. Service areas are consistent with the guidelines established by the National Recreation and Park Association. The Special Use Parks and Facilities do not have defined service areas as they are considered to offer amenities and services that appeal to the entire resident population of the District. In some cases, the actual service area of any park may be larger if the park includes amenities of regional appeal. Smaller service areas are also possible where major roadways act as barriers to park access. The general service areas identified are as follows: Areas that fall outside of the pedestrian shed analysis are considered to be undeserved areas of the city. Residents that live in these areas are more than a five-minute walk away from a City park. This does not mean there are not other providers of open space and recreational amenities in these areas. Some school campus and HOAs are providing for these areas. Although this still benefits the general public, these areas may not be open to the general public as a park would. • Neighborhood Park - 1/4 Mile (5 Minute Walk) • Community Park - Up to 3 Miles


2 - Parks And Community Gathering Spaces


Figure 2.2 - Underserved Areas



Sports Field Analysis The City of Rowlett is the primary provider of most athletic fields for not only Parks and Recreation programs but also for the youth and adult sports associations that are recognized by the City. The following is an inventory of the existing athletic fields that the City owns, maintains or, schedules for field sports activities including practices, games, and tournaments. Current Athletic Fields Inventory: The City and County does not currently classify its fields into categories but rather schedules and assigns use based on the appropriateness of the field for games, practices, or both. For this inventory, fields will be classified as diamond fields or rectangular fields.

Diamond Fields Park/ Location

Number of Fields

City Fields Herfurth Park


Rowlett Community Park Lakes of Springfield Park


1 1

Shorewood Park

Sub Total


School District Fields Rowlett High School

* Exclusive High School Use Only

2 2

Sub Total

Total Diamond Fields



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Rectangular Fields

Park/ Location

Number of Fields

Open Areas

City Fields Rowlett Community Park Lakes of Springfield Park


3 2 1


Katy Railroad Park

Main Street (Pecan Grove)

Sub Total



School District Fields Rowlett High School Coyle Middle School Dorsey Elementary

* Exclusive High School Use Only

5 1


1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

Back Elementary

Liberty Grove Elementary

Keeley Elementary

Vernon Schrade Middle School Steadham Elementary School Pearson Elementary School Cullins Lake Point Elementary School

Herfurth Elementary

Rowlett Elementary School Stephens Elementary School

Sub Total


12 13

Total Rectangular Fields




Current and Future Field Demands Utilizing the information gathered from the demographic summary, plus the analysis of existing fields and the input from the various stakeholders and user groups, the following summarizes the current and future field demands. Trends The City of Rowlett is in a similar situation as most cities in the United States where the demand for youth athletic fields is greater than the supply. However, the demand for fields tends to peak in the spring and early summer for diamond fields and in the fall for rectangular fields (football and soccer competing for the same fields). There are virtually no communities that have more developed athletic fields than they can schedule and use. Sports field development is trending to more “multi-purpose” field types, where space is limited, areas are not reserved for only one sport. The way a field area can be engineered and designed can lend to more multi-purpose use by paying close attention to light placement, grading and drainage, and sun angles. Multiple sports such as lacrosse, soccer, football, cricket, and ultimate frisbee can all be played on multipurpose field types. Standards There is no actual standard but many communities use a range of one diamond field and, rectangular field per 2,000 to as much as 6,000 of population. With this ratio, the City of Rowlett sits in the middle with a ratio of 1 diamond field per 3,100 of population and 1 rectangular field per 2,952 of population (counting only organized fields and not open areas) based on a 2017 City population of approximately 62,000. In most communities the primary concern is finding enough locations for youth field sports teams to practice more than it is having enough game fields. Recommendations Moving forward it is a recommendation of this Plan that the City of Rowlett conduct an in-depth Athletic Field Use and Demand Study with thorough user group participation. This study will go beyond the scope of this Plan and should explore current utilization rates, potential growth, tournament potentials, and financial implications of sports field development.


2 - Parks And Community Gathering Spaces

Future study should consider and further develop recommendations on the following: • Sports field design and maintenance standards • Relocation of fields at Herfurth park as new Downtown Park concept is realized • Development of clear and open areas available for team practices (potential partnerships with school, church, and third-party sites) Athletic Fields • Improve existing fields – The top priority should be to improve the condition of the existing athletic fields in the City of Rowlett. Although many of the fields are in exceptional shape, it should be noted that field rejuvenation should be included on a regular Capital Improvement Project schedule. • School District Open Space- These open spaces may be the most critical to allow for additional area for practice space as well as some younger age-group game play. Typically, the conditions of these open areas are not to the standard of general sport field play. To develop these areas to an acceptable playable condition may require the City to work with the School District to fund capital improvements and assist with maintenance. • New Planned Fields- As stated previously, The City of Rowlett does not currently suffer from a deficit of playing fields as current demands are being met for game play. Practice field availability has become an issue and can be addressed with the organization and identification of areas throughout the city acceptable for future development of additional fields. The followings areas have been identified as potential diamond and rectangle field development areas.

• Shorewood Park • Springfield Park • Rowlett Community Park • Twin Star Park • Sunset Park

When possible, new fields should be developed as multi-purpose fields to accommodate the most potential user groups.




Goal: To create a destination-centered Parks System complemented by high quality maintenance and amenities. Policy: Expand the City’s parkland area by focusing on underserved parks and recreation areas. • Action: Provide a park within walking distance of all homes in the city. • Action: Acquire parkland in areas of the city with significant parkland needs. • Action: Identify, purchase if necessary, and preserve unique natural and open space areas, habitat, and plant and wildlife within the community. Policy: Expand the City’s parkland area by partnering with developers and other individuals and groups. • Action: Encourage the preservation of open space by individuals, companies, non-profits, and public agencies to enhance the livability, aesthetic value, and natural beauty of the city. • Action: Require improved and activated parkland from new development through revised zoning regulations and through discretionary zoning requests by developers. • Action: As Bayside and other areas continue to develop, ensure that connections and access to the beach are provided with access easements and applicable wayfinding and on-site signage where feasible.


2 - Parks And Community Gathering Spaces

Policy: Evolve the City’s parks and recreation areas into branded destinations that can be marketed and thereby communicated to residents and visitors in ways that create a branded sense of place. The City’s branded destinations can generally be classified as major and minor. Major destinations are those that currently are or have the potential to be regional and/or community-wide attractions and amenities. People within the city and in cities within the greater Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex will view these destinations as somewhere they would be willing to travel a moderate amount of time to visit. These major destinations should be viewed as an economic development showcase of Rowlett’s excellent quality of life. When branded, the community can have the opportunity to clearly and distinctly understand the significant parks and recreation assets that their City provides and maintains. Minor destinations are those that currently are or have the potential to be locally-utilized parks and recreation attractions and amenities. These minor destinations are neighborhood-scale and serve as complementary linkages and open space between the City’s major destinations. The main goal of the minor destinations is to provide all residents in Rowlett with a park or open space within walking distance of their home. Throughout this section, branding and marketing is a prominent theme. Through community collaboration and analysis of the meeting and survey feedback, it became clear that many residents either did not know which amenities were already available to them or were interested in learning more about the park and recreation- related offerings of the City. The park and recreation system is on the brink of a new chapter. This new chapter will create a sense of place within the city by communicating these significant assets in a coordinated and strategic fashion. Branding of a park can include elements such as monument signage, wayfinding, educational exhibits, and/or public art centered on a common aesthetic theme. Branding and marketing often get overlooked as implementation strategies but are essential to taking this park and recreation system to a higher level.



Rowlett Nature Preserve

Scenic Point Park

Signature Recreation District

City Center at Herfurth Park

Lakeside Park

Signature Gateway


- Major Destinations


2 Key Map Rowlett Parks & Trails Master Plan Miles






On the Water. On the Move

Scale 1”=1000’ 0’ 500’ 1000’


2 - Parks And Community Gathering Spaces

Major Destinations: Lakeside Park

• Action: Combine Lakeside Park South, Lakeside Park North, and Paddle Point Park into a larger “Lakeside Park,” served by a marked and designed connection across Miller Road. • Action: Design and market the larger Lakeside Park as a lakefront and paddling destination. • Action: Improve the paddling launch area at Paddle Point Park as an access point for the Central Paddling Trail (detailed further in Trails and Sidewalks).

Lakeside North

Paddle Point Park

Lakeside South

























Signature Recreation District • Action: Design and market Pecan Grove Park, Wet Zone, Kids Kingdom, and the Rowlett Community Centre as the City’s “Signature Recreation District”. • Action: Design and market the Signature Recreation District as a lakefront, boating, and paddling destination. • Action: Prepare and implement a master plan for the Signature Recreation District. • Action: Improve the paddling launch area at the Signature Recreation District as an access point for the Rowlett Paddling Trail (detailed further in Trails and Sidewalks).


2 - Parks And Community Gathering Spaces

City Center at Herfurth Park

• Action: Design and market Herfurth Park as the “City Center at Herfurth Park”. • Action: Prepare and implement a master plan for the City Center at Herfurth Park. • Action: Design and market the City Center at Herfurth Park as the City’s main event and community gathering space, which includes provisions for food trucks, niche sports, trails, and multipurpose spaces.



Rowlett Nature Preserve In the feedback gathered during the planning process, a nature preserve with an associated environmental facility and education opportunity were repeatedly desired by the community. Although Rowlett already has a nature preserve, the Muddy Creek Greenbelt, it does not appear to have adequate improvements, access, and programming to be recognized by residents as such. By master planning the area, changing the name, and adding some of the aforementioned features, it can begin to live up to its potential as a major destination and amenity within the community. • Action: Design and market the Muddy Creek Greenbelt as the Rowlett Nature Preserve. • Action: Prepare and implement a master plan for the Rowlett Nature Preserve. • Action: Provide designated access points with wayfinding and on-site signage as applicable. • Action: Provide a complete looped trail system within the Rowlett Nature Preserve utilizing soft surface nature-type trails with trail amenities such as educational features, off-spots with water and restrooms, and seating. Special areas should contain elevated boardwalks for scenic views and natural interactions. • Action: Connect Chiesa Road location to Rowlett Nature Preserve. • Action: Connections to adjacent parks.


2 - Parks And Community Gathering Spaces

Signature Gateway

• Action: Prepare desired park and recreation-related concepts for the City’s Signature Gateway area to incorporate into potential new development. Per the vision for this area established in Rowlett’s Comprehensive Plan, the concepts should include, but not be limited to, iconic gateway elements, entertainment/events, plaza(s), an amphitheater, public art, performing arts, and culture-related features. For park dedication and provision in this area from private development, focus should be placed on lake access, multi-purpose plazas, and visual and physical interaction with the lake. • Add a temporary paddling launch area to the Signature Gateway to comprise an access point for the Central Paddling Trail (detailed further in Trails and Sidewalks). As the area develops, a more permanent and improved paddling launch area should be provided.


Proposed use ofType 2NewNeighborhood building types due to the restricted depth of the lots

Proposed townhouses fronting the TakeArea and lake (to supply attachedunitsper themar- ket study)

Proposed use of Type 1 New Neighborhood building types to transition to the existing single-family residential develop- ment adjacent to the site

Proposed multi-unit homes to supply at- tached units per themarket study

Proposed green to act as a Terminated Vista

Proposed preservation of existing vegeta- tion

Proposed neighborhood scale Civic Building (i.e. post of¿ce, church, etc.)

Proposed pedestrian passage anchoredby column screensor gates

Proposed preservation of existing vegetation for natural stormwater drainage and to serve as anaturalbuf- fer between New Neighborhood and the existing single-family residential neighborhood adjacent to the subject area

Proposed townhouses to transition to existing single- family residentialadjacent to the site

Proposed urban square to divert traf¿c deeper into site

Proposed surface park- ing

Possiblemarina site

Proposed focal point at con- verging streets

ProposedCivicBuilding and paved urban plaza

Proposed sight lines to the lake andTerminatedVistas

Proposed parking structures off of PGBT with liner buildings fronting on interiorpedestrianoriented streets

Sub-Area 3: These building foot- prints suggest three towers. This area can be con¿gured in numer- ousways. Theprovidedcon¿gura- tion is demonstrating that the area needs to be broken up using tools in the FBC to allow for pedestrian circulation (i.e.urbanplazas,urban squares and pedestrian passages)

• Trail connections.

F i g u r e 6 : S a m p l e M a s t e r P l a n Provided is a Sample Master Plan by which the Sample Regulating Plan is keyed to. The Master Plan is in line with the intent of the Realize Rowlett 2020 Plan and the Signature Gateway Sub-Area Plan. The Master Plan also takes into ac- count the provided market study for Signature Gateway. The City of Rowlett realizes that in order to achieve the desired intensity of the Master Plan incentives need to be provided to reduce the infrastructure gap.




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