As a newspaper covering the whole of Fort Bend County on a weekly basis, it’s not often that we get the opportunity to opine on parks in the opinion section of the paper.
Most weeks, the latest political controversy or countywide issue takes precedence over that which might be deemed less central.
But if we take a moment to pause and think about it, maybe parks do deserve a more central role in conversations about Fort Bend County.
After all, one of my first excursions into Fort Bend County, years before my arrival at the Star, came during a jaunt to Brazos Bend State Park out in Needville. The size of that park is literally dramatic.
In some of by subsequent jaunts around the county’s parks, however, I’ve learned that Brazos Bend is hardly alone in inspiring a love of nature and a sense of beauty for our natural surroundings.
It’s those experiences at our county parks that make me think it’s worth giving some praise to both Missouri City and Sugar Land for their work to improve parkland in their communities in recent weeks.
We wrote about Missouri City recently approving a $225,000 contract to improve a walking and jogging trail at Hunters Glen Park using federal coronavirus funding. Beyond the use parkgoers will get out of that, it also comes on the heels of requests requesting the improvement for months.
So, all credit is due to city leadership for finally putting the funding to use in direct response to a request from residents.
And then there’s Sugar Land, which recently approved a contract for a little more than $1 million to add additional trails, a pavilion and more at Brazos River Park. The funding for that will come from a bond that voters first approved in 2013, but was delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
This week, in preparation to write about that decision, I paid a visit to the park to get some photos for the story. It’s not my first time visiting the park, and each time I’ve gone, I find myself wishing I didn’t have to leave and get back to work.
There’s something overwhelmingly wonderful about the chance to wander along next to the Brazos River through a bunch of greenery.
Sugar Land seems to understand this intuitively. While parts of the park were clearly designed to wow (such as the facilities near the entrance), the majority of the park that I’ve seen is simple walking paths through the woods.
That is, after all, what we’re looking for when we visit Fort Bend County’s many parks – a chance to get away for a bit and enjoy something outside the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
And for my money, there are few counties that serve that purpose better.
So, thank you Missouri City and Sugar Land. And thank you, all the other municipalities that spend money to make sure our residents can enjoy the nature that makes Fort Bend County such a wonderful place to live.
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