New Pavilion Serves a Trailhead Meeting Spot

Lubbock, TX | December 2013 | By National Recreation and Park Association

New Pavilion Serves a Trailhead Meeting Spot 410

For more than two decades, Lubbock, Texas, residents who lived in the densely populated community surrounding Hoel Park had longed for an off-street place to stroll. “The trail has been a request for probably over 20 years by trail users and neighborhood groups in that part of Lubbock,” says Randy Truesdell, parks and recreation director for the City of Lubbock, Texas.

Across the city, when the parks department would ask residents what they wanted, a place to walk usually topped residents’ wish lists, Truesdell says.

The 12-acre Hoel Park, acquired some 50 years ago by the parks department, has a large pond in the middle. In addition, students and classes from an adjacent elementary school use Hoel Park as an outdoor classroom and for physical education classes. But, for a park of its size, it had poor pedestrian circulation, Truesdell notes.

“The neighborhood really wanted an off-street area to hike, ride bikes, or jog,” Truesdell says. So several years ago, the parks department began discussions about park improvements and staff solicited input from residents about what amenities they wanted. Residents wanted a trail, and receiving the Great American Trails grant helped the city to enhance the trail project.

The grant is a part of a large trail development and park project that includes a new concrete, ADA accessible 1.1-mile loop trail that meanders around the perimeter of the park and a new playground. The Great American Trails grant allowed the parks department to build a trailhead pavilion for the new trail as well as a new trailhead sign offering a park map that outlines the trail and its mileage. The pavilion includes benches and a water fountain to help alleviate summer’s harsh heat for those who step inside.

Trails create a space for nurturing social relationships, Truesdell explains, and the trailhead pavilion will serve as a meeting spot for neighborhood residents. The trailhead pavilion and sign will not only help draw attention to the new trail, but will also help direct people to the new playground.

“We would not have been able to do this trailhead pavilion without the grant,” Truesdell says. “There are a lot of people who use this park — the residents have waited a long time for this trail project.”