Windcrest Parks and Recreation Open Space Master Plan

Michael McAlear
2012-07-27
Windcrest Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation Open Space Master Plan

 

Adopted by Windcrest City Council on July 25, 2012 Windcrest City Resolution 2012-385 (R), Windcrest City Council

Alan Baxter, Mayor

Gerd ‘Jake’ E Jacobi

Jim Shelton

Pam Dodson

Rita Davis

John Gretz

 Rafael Castillo, City Manager

Tom Garcia, Public Works Director

Michael McAlear, Special Assistant

Andrew Hunt, Raba Kistner Engineering

Peter Olfers, Texas Landscape Architect

continue reading...

As recommended by

Windcrest Parks & Recreation Commission

Jan Leaders, Chair

Joe Ann Hilliard

Mike Scott

Dennis Dooley

Jay Eldridge

Will Harrison

Scott Gorton

>PRELIMINARY COPY<

Pending approval by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

 

INTRODUCTION

Scope

 

The City of Windcrest Parks and Recreation Master Plan intends to:

 

> Develop a comprehensive Plan to set priorities and establish direction and purpose in the City’s Open Space Plan growth and development.

 

> Provide goals and objective for the City to strive for in continuing to provide residents with a sense of community by providing Open space areas and parks for leisure and recreational use.

 

> Ensure that all members of the City of Windcrest have safe, comfortable, and relaxing areas in which to enjoy recreation and leisure time.

 

> Give clear documentation of the direction of the Windcrest Parks and Recreation System Master Plan for approval by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in order for local parks and trailways grant programs.

 

The Windcrest Parks and Recreation Open Space Master Plan will provide overall guidance for City government to aid with decision-making of capital improvement needs, daily operations, and continuing programs intended for the citizens of Windcrest, Texas. The goals and objectives espoused in this Plan will meet comprehensive community needs by providing both short and long-term goals and objectives of the City Parks and Recreation system. After adoption by the city of Windcrest this plan will give direction and purpose to future decisions by Windcrest City government.

Picture Placeholder

Brook Falls Lake with winter migratory birds

 

The Windcrest, Texas Parks and Recreation System Master Plan is required to qualify for Texas Parks and Wildlife statewide park and trail system grant funding. This is a new Master Plan to comply with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Master Plan requirements as initiated in 1994 and should provide suitable direction until needing an update in 2017. This plan will serve as a guide for local parks and trails decision making until that time. Good quality of life is complemented by an active lifestyle with outdoor recreation and activities to aid in overall relaxation as provided for by this Open Space Plan.

 

Development of Windcrest parks will require both purpose and direction as embodied by input from citizens and leadership from City government and administration. This ongoing development will require citizen input, planning, establishment of programs and activities, fiscal planning and financing from City government, assessment of direction and changing priorities, and continued city support from both advisory boards and volunteers. An assessment of ever-diminishing natural wildlife concerns will also be encompassed by this Plan. The City of Windcrest will need continued support from both citizens and corporate sponsorship to achieve success with a dynamic direction for future improvements to this Park system.

Picture Placeholder

Takas Park and Civic Center

 

This Windcrest, Texas Parks and Recreation Open space Master Plan will provide citizens with an inventory of the existing park and recreation facilities together with a clear assessment of future needs as embodied by the ever-changing dynamics of a modern city.

This Plan will also assist with any private, federal, state, or county funding as applied for by City Officials. Ever-changing demands for sports programs and complexes, together with health and wellness programs, will be priorities of this program co-existing with leisure activities, birthday parties, and nature in the great outdoors.

 

Enhancement of the quality of life is an ever-changing goal of the City of Windcrest; together with evolving City demographics and changing times it makes this Parks and Recreation Master Plan an ever-evolving work in progress. This Master Plan is but a broad outline of changing specifics that our City is always hurrying to address and keep its citizens as comfortable, fit, and happy as possible. The Parks and Recreation Master Plan is and will continue to be ever changing and continually growing in scope and nature.

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

INTRO- Purpose                                                                                                                     2

TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                                       4

GOALS & OBJECTIVES                                                                                                      5

PLAN DEVELOPMENT PROCESS                                                                                     8

AREAS & FACILITIES/Inventory & Usage                                                                         9

PARK & TRAIL PLANNING                                                                                               12

LAND IDENTIFICATION & CHARACTERISTICS/NATURAL RESOURCES           15

PHYSICAL FACTORS/RELATIONSHIPS                                                                       17

DEMOGRAPHICS & DIVERSITY                                                                                   22

PUBLIC SURVEY                                                                                                              23

ADDITIONS/IMPROVEMENT ASSESSMENT                                                              26

PARKS/OPEN SPACE & TRAILS CLASSIFICATIONS                                                   28

NEEDS ASSESSMENT & PRIORITIES                                                                              30

FUTURE PLANNING & IMPLEMENTATION                                                                  31

PROOF OF ADOPTION                                                                                                        34

 

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

 

GOAL 1

Ensure that Windcrest parks and related facilities are considered an integral part of the daily operation and infrastructure of the city. Plan well, be creative and objective with funding, and attract continued quality growth to enhance lifestyles, overall health, and citizen quality of life and family values by enriching the environment around them.

 

Objectives

1a) Develop and institute a Park Improvement Plan for the City of Windcrest

1b) Plan for a continued conservation, maintenance, and upgrade of existing and new Open Spaces for the health, recreation, and leisure time recreation of citizens of Windcrest

1c) Develop and implement a non-motorized city mobility plan that will incorporate hike & bike trails into the existing City plan and infrastructure.

1d) Identify and implement standards to incorporate city wide continuity in public landscape and aesthetics through out the city.

 

GOAL 2

Plan, maintain, update, and improve existing diversified park and recreation open space facilities based upon the diversity of lifestyles and needs in the Windcrest community.

 

Objectives

2a) Plan, budget for, and develop new Parks and Greenways for the City of Windcrest.

2b) Budget and plan for Park infrastructure replacement and upgrades due to aging and/or increases in usage.

2c) Provide for continuous Landscape upgrades and additions as recognized by needs.

 

GOAL 3

Support local business activities, open space recreation opportunities, and health & fitness events for residents and employees of local businesses.

 

Objectives

3a) Cultivate, develop, and support relationships with new or existing local your and adult sport associations to assist in needs recognition of planning, developing, designing, building, and maintaining local sports and recreation facilities.

3b) Acquisition and development of new parks and recreational facilities in new and existing areas as determined by need.

3c) Design, develops, and builds new Linear Greenways as requested/recognized in existing Creek ways throughout the city.

3d) Aid local businesses in developing their own landscape improvements and private parks.

 

 

GOAL 4

Ensure that City of Windcrest Parks and Trails are accessible and safe for all users.

 

 

Objectives

4a) Renovate and develop existing parks to provide a safe park system for all users and allow access to as many types of users as possible.

4b) Budget for and provide safe, well-marked, easily accessible, and when required well-lit parks and recreation facilities.

4c) Establish and coordinate with City Police and Citizens Patrol for security measures protecting the park and recreation system and programs.

Picture Placeholder

Proposed new Park in West Windcrest

 

GOAL 5

Conserve and protect the existing natural heritage and resources of the city of Windcrest

 

Objectives

5a) Plan, research, and budget for conservation of these sites for educational interpretation and citizen enjoyment.

5b) Identify and enhance natural, cultural, historical, and archeological resources in the City of Windcrest.

5c) Focus on natural resource and energy efficiency and conservation when rebuilding or constructing parks in Windcrest.

 

 

 

GOAL 6

Develop a trail system which will link various parks, greenbelts, & open spaces and incorporate both public and semi-public uses.

 

Objectives

6a) Plan, design, constructs, and maintains trail ways for varying uses as to best accommodate citizen needs.

6b) Keep healthy exercise in mind for citizen well-being.

6c) Develop trails with an emphasis on preserving existing natural resources and promoting eco-friendly landscaping.

 

GOAL 7

Plan, maintain, update, and improve new diversified park and recreation open space facilities based upon the diversity of lifestyles and needs in the Windcrest community.

 

Objectives

7a) Be responsive to Citizen requests for maintenance and assistance.

7b) Keep Citizen input in mind for planning and upgrading Parks and Trails. 7c) Be proactive in anticipating areas of concern and potential problems in the Windcrest Park and Trails system.

 Picture Placeholder

Crestwind Drive Proposed Walking Trail

 

PLAN DEVELOPMENT PROCESS

 

The development of the City of Windcrest Park and Recreation Master Plan first began in the summer of 2003 with the City’s request for funding form a Department of Parks and Wildlife Local Park Planning Assistance Program when Windcrest developed a staged 5 year City Park System Enhancement Plan. This Plan set objectives for achieving goals including Trails & Bridges, Takas Park, and City-Wide Enhancements. This plan set both specifically targeted projects & objectives and on-going areas of improvements. The areas were specifically set out, planned, funded, and completed per the request to upgrade the existing Park.

 

A recent change in City government direction and emphasis has brought more of a citizen input-oriented style of government. This, in turn, has led to more emphasis on surveys and citizen input. Administration leaders have opened up for development many more areas in which citizens desire upgrade and improvements. The majority of these have been completed using Coty of Windcrest funding for a Civic Center upgrade, City landscaping improvements, Pickle Ball court renovations, and the anticipated (on-going) establishment of a new youth soccer complex. A new softball field is also being contemplated due to resident and local business interest.  Shade structures are being added to existing playscapes and Little League field improvements are all being completed as Windcrest Capital Improvement Programs and funded by City sourcing.

 

In addition to these City-financed improvement projects, additional Park improvements have been requested in different Parks throughout the City. Walking Trails and Park improvements are both highly-requested items through survey results. These upgrades are currently in budgeting for their inclusion in capital funding through the City of Windcrest Parks and Recreation Open Space Master Plan as approved by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

 

The City of Windcrest has recently designated the island in the center of Brook Falls Lake as a ‘Natural Area’ with no Landscaping or artificial intervention so as to allow migratory birds free use of the island. A natural inventory of plants, complete with on-line access and connections to Google Earth software has been conducted by local students & residents and is being made available to individuals.

 

A recent Special Call for Applications for Local Park Outdoor Grants by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has resulted in an Application Package being drafted in order to request funding for an east Windcrest Walking Trail complete with Wildlife Interpretive signs at the lakes on either end of the proposed trail. The package will also include a much- requested playscape at the southern lake.

 

AREAS & FACILITIES INVENTORY/USAGE

 

Citizens

Windcrest seeks to keep residents & business partner employees fit and offer recreational and educational opportunities through its Park system. Continued input sought from both keep Windcrest invigorated and dynamic. A volunteer Parks and Recreation Commission helps coordinate efforts to maintain, upgrade, and add to the existing Parks and Recreation Open Space Master Plan with support from Windcrest City Administration and City Council.

 

Businesses

Business in Windcrest, while dominated by Rackspace, has many other large Business Partners and has been diversified into several differing areas.

 

Tourism

Windcrest Tourism is primarily local residents with out-of-town guests and business associates of Windcrest businesses. Many regional attractions draw residential and business visitors.

 Picture Placeholder

Winnbrook Estates has requested several upgrades for deeded Park land

 

 

 Picture Placeholder

 

FACILITIES INVENTORY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facilities Index

 

Acreage

Some Accessible Features

Restroom

Benches/ Bleachers

Picnic Tables

Exercise Equipment

Playground

Swimming Pool

Basketball Court

Baseball Fields

Soccer Field

Concession Stand

Gazebo

Tennis Courts

Natural Areas

Meeting Hall

Kitchen

Trail

Parks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Takas Park

11.867

 

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

X

Autumn Sunset Park

5.27

 

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

X

Brook Falls Park

4.38

 

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

X

 

 

X

Other Facilities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Civic Center

N/A

X

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

 

Swimming Pool

N/A

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public Schools

 

Windcrest Elementary School

 

The Elementary School has the following amenities:

 

2 Playgrounds with swings, slides and other exercise equipment 2 Gymnasiums

 

 

Private Recreational Facilities

 

Windcrest Golf Club

9 hole golf course open to the public

 

Windcrest Tennis Center

7 Tennis Courts

1 Pickleball Court

 

 

State Parks and Lakes (within a 50 miles radius)

 

 

Parks


 

Government Canyon State Natural Area Guadalupe River State Park

Honey Creek State Natural Area

 

 

 

Lakes


 

Calaveras Lake Victor Braunig Lake Lake Medina Canyon Lake

 

PARK & TRAIL PLANNING

 

Parks and trails become an interlocking network of open spaces connecting recreation, fitness, natural resources, leisure, and transportation needs of a community. This city wide system is bounded by aesthetics and safety as priorities with these goals being objectives. Differing modes of transportation will define parameters and limitations of different types of trails. These trails in Windcrest will be separated according to design considerations into the following:

 

Types of Trails

 

♦Separated Trails- Separate trails and trail systems provided for each different type of trail user such as pedestrian, wheelchair, bicyclists, skaters, etc.

 

♦Shared Trails- Common trails used by more than one type of individual with varying means of transportation with varying design and or environment parameters restricting trail usage by some groups.

 

♦Multi-use Trails- Varying trail usage groups occupying the same trail or trail corridor with varying needs, surfaces, and regulations depending on transportation mode .

 

 Trail Surfaces and Markings

 

The following section on trail surfacing is an excerpt from the study Rio Grande Trail Corridor Study: Trail Surfacing Report.

 

Considerations When Choosing Trail Surfacing Options

 

There are many factors to consider when deciding which trail surface is most suitable. Aside from funding source and initial capital cost considerations, the following items must be addressed before reaching a decision on trail surfacing:

 

Concrete

 

  • Non-permeable
  • Permeable
  • Pavers

 

Concrete is a mixture of sand, gravel, and mortar and provides the hardest, fastest, and smoothest surface for recreational activities. It typically has the longest lifespan of any trail material assuming it was designed and installed correctly. When properly constructed and maintained on a regular basis, concrete can last 25 years or more. The high cost of concrete trails is often the most limiting factor since it is one of the most expensive surfaces to install. Concrete may be used for constructing trails with grades exceeding 15% without significant erosion concerns.

 

Concrete trails are generally more appropriate for urban settings and areas where there is a high volume of trail use. These trails are appropriate for the widest variety of trail uses, ages

 

and abilities. When placed in an intimate, natural setting, the wider, bright white concrete often detracts from the aesthetic beauty. However, the lighter color of concrete reflects more heat and is cooler than asphalt. Concrete can be tinted to blend in with native soil color but ultimately increases the cost of the material.

 

Asphalt

 

  • Permeable
  • Non-Permeable
  • Recycled Asphalt
  • Recycled Glassphalt

 

Asphalt is composed of a small aggregate held together by either a hot-mix or cold-mix bituminous (coal-based) compound. The resulting trail surface is hard and smooth, also very suitable for a wide range of recreational activities. Asphalt may be used on steeper alignments without significant erosion concerns.

Picture Placeholder

 

Trail managers should pay close attention to the sub-base preparation that will underlay asphalt trails as the surface is typically thinner than concrete and more susceptible to cracking by frost heaving and tree roots. Proper drainage is also required since asphalt and concrete channel the surface water, often resulting in erosion concerns.

 

Numerous types of permeable asphalt are now available and help address some of the concerns associated with non-permeable trail and parking surfaces. Recycled materials are also becoming common in asphalt paving, including Recycled Asphalt Product s (RAP),

 

which reuses old recycled asphalt or glassphalt which uses recycled crushed glass as an aggregate substitute.

 

When installed properly on suitable sub-grade, asphalt products typically have a life span less than half that of a concrete trail, averaging approximately 10 years. As with any surfaced trail, proper installation is imperative. Poorly installed asphalt or concrete trails may not last three years before problems begin to arise. Like concrete, asphalt prices are directly influenced by the by rising fuel costs and price quotes from suppliers are rarely guaranteed for more than a few weeks

 

Crushed rock trail whose curving, undulating shapes of nature are appropriate to the setting

 

Soiltac® – This is an eco-safe, biodegradable, liquid copolymer used to stabilize and solidify soil or aggregate and is also used for erosion control and dust suppression.

 

Poly Pavement – This product is a liquid soil solidifier that converts native soils into a durable wear surface.

 

Natural Pave – Natural Pave XL resin pavement binder emulsion is mixed with aggregate materials to produce compacted pavement surfaces that retain the natural coloration and texture of the constituent aggregate material. Resin pavement mixtures contain no petroleum ingredients

and are appropriate for use in sensitive natural environments, including access to beach, estuary and riparian areas.

 

EMC Squared – EMC Squared is highly effective in improving the stability behavior of a broad spectrum of aggregate and soil materials for service applications in a wide variety of climatic conditions. The product technology is both user-friendly and environmentally affable.

 

StaLok/Stabilizer – Made from ground seed hulls of the plantego plant native to Arizona. Stabilizer is a nontoxic, non-staining organic soil stabilizer. StaLock is a polymer enhanced version of the 20-year-old product.

 

Soil-Sement – Soil-Sement is an environmentally safe, advanced powerful polymer emulsion that produces highly effective dust control, erosion control and soil stabilization.

 

What are the existing soil and environmental conditions in the area?

 

  • characteristics of the native soils     • soil constraints and possible solutions
  • hydrologic patterns of the area     • topographic relief

 

What are the aesthetical considerations?

 

  • curving, undulating shapes in nature
  • dealing with the feel of straight, dusty roads (levee/canal roads)
  • diversity of views during trail experience

 

 

What is the overall management strategy and what will be the long-term operating costs?

 

  • effects of user groups on different surfaces, depths and widths
  • maintenance and long-term durability    • law enforcement and park/trail patrol
  • vandalism issues (graffiti on hard surfaces, deformation, arson)

 

What is the anticipated trail use?

 

  • volume of use     • types of use    • seasons of use

 

What is the availability of surfacing materials?

 

  • cost/benefit analysis for surfacing types    • distance of material source to project site
  • methods and equipment required for proper installation
  • embodied energy requirements from processing and transportation of materials Prepared for New Mexico State Parks, Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Dept. http://www.americantrails.org/resources/trailbuilding/Rio-Grande-Trail-Surfacing.html

Per The National Center on Accessibilitythe minimum requirements found in the Outdoor Developed Areas Final Report are based on several principles. They include:

 

  1. Protect resource and environment

 

  1. Preserve experience

 

  1. Provide for equality of opportunity

 

  1. Maximize accessibility

 

  1. Be reasonable

 

  1. Address safety

 

  1. Be clear, simple, and understandable

 

  1. Provide guidance

 

  1. Be enforceable and measurable

 

  1. Be consistent with ADAAG (as much as possible)

 

  1. Be based on independent use by persons with disabilities

 

One of the challenges the committee faced was building consensus on criteria for accessible trails. Trails provide unique outdoor experiences that at times may be difficult to make accessible while maintaining the natural elements. Accessibility requirements vary for each individual. For example, a person who uses a manual wheelchair with a strong upper body may be able to easily transverse slopes that a

 

mother pushing a stroller could have difficulty maneuvering. In other words, useable does not necessarily indicate accessible.

Picture Placeholder

 

http://www.texasaccess.com/tas_illustrations.htm#Exterior_Route_Connecting_with_a_ Public_ROW_Sidewalk_that_Exceeds_2%

 

Trail Width, Access & Slope (Grade)

 

Per Texas Accessibility Standards minimum & 7’-0 wide where possible Signage

http://www.fs.fed.us/outdoors/naturewatch/start/planning/Interp-Sign-Design.PDF

http://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/pubs/htmlpubs/em7100-15/page47.htm Lighting

Per City of Windcrest Parks & Recreation standards Traffic Control

The number of multi-use trails throughout the U.S. has grown substantially in the last

 

twenty years. When the national, nonprofit Rails to Trails Conservancy formed in 1985, it was estimated that there were about 250 miles of rail trails nationwide. Now there are more than 13,000 miles of rail trails in addition to hiking, snowmobiling and other off-road trails, and many more miles of canal towpaths, river and stream banks, and utility and other corridors that have been developed as community trails. A growing interest in improved health and fitness and recreational pursuits such as bicycling and rollerblading have contributed to the popularity of trails and fueled demand.

Few multi-use trails would have been built without enactment of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) in 1991. ISTEA included the Transportation Enhancements (TEP) and Recreational Trails (RTP) Programs, which, for the first time in history, provided a dedicated stream of substantial funding for trail projects and helped launch the trails movement across the nation. In 1988, the Transportation Equity Act of the Twenty-first Century (TEA-21) continued the TEP and RTP funding and added the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program as another funding source that could be applied to trail projects. In 2005, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) continued TEP, RTP, and CMAQ, and added the Safe Routes to School Program, which will provide funds to improve and/or develop public roads, bicycle-pedestrian pathways, or trails in the vicinity of schools.

The trails and greenways movement was also aided by the 1994 publication of The National Bicycling and Walking Study: Transportation Choices for a Changing America. Goals outlined in this Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) document were to double the percentage of trips made by bicycling and walking, reduce bicycle and pedestrian casualties by ten percent, and plan and construct needed facilities including trails.1

from Road and Trail Intersection Safety Funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

 

LAND CHARACTERISTICS & IDENTIFICATION

 

Terrain

 

Windcrest terrain is typical of the southern edge of the Texas Hill country, combining some of both gradual and abrupt elevation changes with inconsistent rainfall amounts, requiring use of xeriscape planting for many landscapes. Terrain has been sampled and tested for engineering requirements of civil and structural nature.

 

South central Texas between the Edwards Plateau to the northwest and the Gulf Coastal Plains to the southeast.

 

The city's gently rolling terrain is dotted with oak trees, mesquite, and cacti, which flourish under the clear or partly cloudy skies that prevail more than 60 percent of the time. Although San Antonio lies 140 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, the seat of Bexar County, pronounced "Bear," is still close enough to experience the warm, muggy air of a semitropical climate. During the winter, temperatures drop below the freezing mark an average of only 20 days; precipitation is mostly in the form of light rain or drizzle. Annual rainfall is nearly 28 inches, enough for production of most crops. May and September see the most rainfall, building to thunderstorms with winds from the southeast. The city's proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, however, can bring San Antonio some severe tropical storms. Summers are hot; in fact, federal studies of weather patterns rank San Antonio as the fourth hottest city in the nation because of the average 111 days each year that temperatures reach 90 degrees or higher.

 

http://www.city-data.com/us-cities/The-South/San-Antonio-Geography-and-Climate.html Flora & fauna

 Picture Placeholder

Egyptian Geese in Brook Falls Lake (migratory)

 

 

Many migratory birds use the three existing Windcrest Park Lakes for stops or temporary destinations of their migratory routes. Windcrest is home to many different birds (listed below):

Birds: Loons, Purple Martins, Great White Egrets, Humming Birds, Crows, Grackles, Kingfishers, Grey Herons, Cardinals, Mourning Doves, Mocking Birds, Brown Headed Cowbirds, American Goldfinch (winter migrating), American Wigeon, Ravens, Egyptian Geese, and Night Herons, Yellow Crowned Night Heron, Green Heron, Egyptian Goose, Black-bellied whistling duck, Mallard duck, Teal ducks, Muscovy ducks, Barn swallow, Tree swallow, Blue jay, Pinion jay, Common nighthawk, Black vulture, Cooper's hawk, Chimney swift, Yellow bellied sapsucker, Phoebe, Shrike, Vireo, Wren, House Wren, Cedar waxwing, Warbler, Sparrow, House finch. Meadowlark, Red winged blackbird, Scissor tail flycatcher, Red breasted robin, Great blue heron, Comorant, Gull, Tern, Flycatcher, Chickadee, Owl.

Bats: Fruit bat, Mexican free-tail bat

Turtles: Red-eared sliders, Alligator snapping Turtles, Soft-shelled Turtles Fish: Rio Grande Perch, Black Bass, Catfish

 

Trees: Bald Cypress trees, Live Oak trees, Spanish Oak trees, Hackberry trees, Monterrey Oak trees, Texas Sycamore trees, Mountain Laurel trees, Mesquite trees, Red Oak Trees Shrubs: Crepe myrtle, Mexican heather, Texas sage, Astia, Plumbago,

 Picture Placeholder

The Island in Brook Falls Lake is left Natural, used for nesting by a variety of birds

 

Why is there an interest in migratory birds in Texas?

Of the 338 species that are listed as Nearctic-Neotropical migrants in North America (north of Mexico), 333 of them (or 98.5%) have been recorded in Texas. This means that of the 615 species of birds documented in Texas, 54% of them are Nearctic-Neotropical migratory birds. Texas is important to these migrants and these migrants are important to Texas.

What exactly is a Nearctic-Neotropical Migrant?

These species are collectively known by a host of other names. The species that comprise this group basically breed in temperate latitudes (i.e., U.S. and Canada), but leave for the winter

 

for tropical latitudes farther south (i.e., Central and South America). Their migratory habits are part of their lives and heritage.

*Common names follow the 7th edition of the AOU Checklist. Added modifiers in quotes represent distinct subspecies. http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/wild/birding/migration/

 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird photo courtesy of Mark Lockwood

 

Regional Proximities & Park access

 

Windcrest is located in Bexar County. U.S. Interstate 35 borders the western edge and Walzem Road bisects the western part of the City with Crestway Drive another major east- west artery. Eisenhauer Road is the southern boundary of Windcrest.

Windcrest is 12 miles from San Antonio center and adjacent to San Antonio City limits for the perimeter of its boundary. Randolph Air Force Base is approximately 11 miles and Fort Sam Houston 7 miles away . The city limits include approximately 3 square miles.

Just south of Windcrest across Walzem road is Roosevelt High School and Ed White Middle School. Windcrest Elementary School is inside Windcrest city limits.

 

Proximity to Major Metros; Nearby Cities (Distance in Miles): San Antonio 12

New Braunfels 23

Corpus Christi 150

Austin 69

Laredo 168

Kerrville 69

Del Rio 164

Dallas 267

Houston 196

 

PHYSICAL FACTORS/RELATIONSHIPS

 

The Windcrest area has a mild subtropical climate, with temperatures ranging from an average high of 95 degrees in July and an average low of 39 degrees in January.

 

Windcrest averages 2 to 3 inches of rain per month, with precipitation varying often and occasional small periods of diminished rainfall dependent upon Texas weather patterns.

 

Businesses in Windcrest:

Windcrest has very few unoccupied tenant slots for new businesses and enjoys excellent occupancy rates with duration consistency in software support, banking, restaurant, educational, lodging, retail, and other sectors.

 

Windcrest businesses include Rackspace U S Inc., U S Immigration & Naturalization Services, University of Phoenix, Milan Institute of Cosmetology, Drury Inn & Suites, Office Depot, Pear Tree Hotel, Mattress Firm, Home Depot, Texas Med Clinic, Conn’s Appliances, Pets Mart, Banks, Restaurants, various other retail businesses.

 Picture Placeholder

Proposed Midcrown to Walzem Greenway location

 

DEMOGRAPHICS & DIVERSITY

Income

Estimated median household income in 2009: $71,360 (it was $60,596 in 2000)

Windcrest:

$71,360

Texas:

$48,259

Estimated per capita income in 2009: $37,214

 

Ethnicity

 

  • White alone - 3,083 (57.5%)
  • Hispanic - 1,300 (24.2%)
  • Black alone - 651 (12.1%)
  • Asian alone - 210 (3.9%)
  • Two or more races - 99 (1.8%)
  • American Indian alone - 12 (0.2%)
  • Other race alone - 5 (0.09%)
    •  
         

      Males: 2,512

       

      (46.8%)

      Females: 2,852

       

      (53.2%)

       

       
      Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone - 4 (0.07%) Population in 2010: 5,364. Population change since 2000: +5.1%

 

Median resident age:

 

55.1 years

Texas median age:

 

 

40.8 years

 

Homes

Estimated median house or condo value in 2009: $174,511 ($120,400 in 2000)

Windcrest:

$174,511

Texas:

$125,800

 

Families

 

Average 2009 household size:

Windcrest:

 

2.3 people

Texas:

 

2.5 people

 

Percentage of family households:

Windcrest:

 

 

69.4%

Whole state:

 

 

70.3%

 

Percentage of households with unmarried partners:

Windcrest:

 

 

2.9%

Whole state:

 

4.4%

 

PUBLIC SURVEY RESULTS

Due to public communications from both residents and business associates concerning direction and priorities of the municipal Parks & Recreation system, the following Public Survey of residents and local businesses was conducted between July 6 & 27, 2012

The survey was conducted using the following questionnaire:

CITY OF WINDCRESTParks questionnaire

 

Street:                                                                            

 

  • 1) How familiar are you with the Windcrest Parks and Recreation Commission?

Not Familiar                                                   I’ve heard of it                                              Familiar                                  I’ve seen a meeting                                      I’ve seen multiple meetings

 

  • 2) How often do you visit a Windcrest City Park? (Please Circle One)

Never                                       Rarely                                    Occasionally                                                  Frequently                              Very Frequently

 

 

Please tell us how satisfied or dissatisfied you are with each of the following:

 

Please rate on a scale from 1-5, where 1 is the least satisfied and 5 is the most satisfied.(Please Circle One)

 

  • 3) How satisfied are you with the walking trails/greenways?

1

2

3

4

5

  • 4) Biking trails?

1

2

3

4

5

  • 5) How satisfied are you with the playground facilities?

1

2

3

4

5

  • 6) Picnic Facilities?

1

2

3

4

5

  • 7) Restrooms?

1

2

3

4

5

  • 8) Protection of Natural Resources?

1

2

3

4

5

  • 9) Ball Fields?

1

2

3

4

5

  • 10) Fitness Areas?

1

2

3

4

5

  • 11) Swimming Facilities?

1

2

3

4

5

  • 12) Park Facility Parking?

1

2

3

4

5

  • 13) How safe do you feel when visiting a city park?

1

2

3

4

5

  • 14) How satisfied are you with the Parks and Recreation organized activities?

1

2

3

4

5

  • 15) How satisfied are you with the City’s Park facilities, in general?

1

2

3

4

5

 

 

Which of the following would you like to see more of in Windcrest?

 

 

Please rate on a scale of 1-5, where 1 is the least and 5 is the most. (Please Circle One)

 

  • 16) Baseball / Softball Fields

1

2

3

4

5

  • 17) Soccer / Football Fields

1

2

3

4

5

  • 18) Picnic Areas

1

2

3

4

5

  • 19) Walking/jogging trails

1

2

3

4

5

  • 20) Biking trails

1

2

3

4

5

  • 21) Playgrounds

1

2

3

4

5

  • 22) Dog Parks

1

2

3

4

5

  • 23) Natural Areas

1

2

3

4

5

  • 24) Swimming Pools

1

2

3

4

5

  • 25) Shuffleboard/ Pickleball Facilities

1

2

3

4

5

  • 26) Skating/skateboarding facility

1

2

3

4

5

  • 27) Outdoor Basketball / Volleyball Courts

1

2

3

4

5

 

  • Other:

________                                                                                                                                                                   1                     2                      3                      4                      5

 

  • 28) Which of the following categories describe your age? (Please Circle One) Under 18          18-24                          25-44         45-64         65 and Older
  • 29) Do you have children/grandchildren/dependents livingwith you under the age of 15? (Please Circle One) Yes        No
  • 30) Do you have children/grandchildren/dependents who regularly visit you under the age of 15? (Please Circle One) Yes        No

 

Thank you~

 

 

Windcrest Parks and Recreation Commission

 

Results of this survey have been compiled as follows:

    Formula Placeholder

PARK ADDITIONS/IMPROVEMENT ASSESSMENT

 

Individual needs assessments of different cities vary widely according to many of the previously mentioned demographic and cultural diversities obtained in varying locations. Local governments must assess a cross-cultural, gender, age, and attitudinal sampling of their populace to meet with current needs and desires. Windcrest is unique in that it has a large cross-sampling of families and individuals with change as the ever-present common denominator with respect to this diversity, giving a wide-spread socio-economic canvas of colors, styles, and textures. The city of Windcrest works closely with schools, as exemplified by the assistance given in preparing this Plan from the High School in providing Plant and open-space inventories, and also with business partners, as evidenced by the efforts and commitments by Rackspace U S, Inc. to Park development south of Walzem Road.  This local cooperation is both recognized and lauded as public involvement representing strong values and beliefs.

 

Windcrest continues to develop current Parks and to determine suitability of existing City lands for development into new parks and linear greenways. Rackspace, US, Inc. has proven to be an exemplary model of Corporate citizenship by proposing a large private park in Windcrest built upon it’s own Headquarters complex lands. Additionally, an existing plot of land adjacent to the existing Takas Park land is in the process of being built up and leveled by the City for an anticipated soccer field complex for a youth league. Landscaping added to the primary thoroughfare in Windcrest has added color and aesthetics in an upgrade provided by a joint Task force with the City of San Antonio. Seven different Monument sign entries have had capital money budgeted and are in the process of being renovated and upgraded through efforts by a Texas Landscape Architect.

 

Several existing greenways have been targeted for upgrades by development into walkways and/or hike & bike trails for both exercise and recreational purposes. An existing park in east Windcrest has also been chosen for immediate preliminary upgrades which will be provided by the City of Windcrest. This park had land (2 ½ acres) set aside for a park by the original developer and some basic landscaping with 4 parking places and roadside only landscaping. The City of Windcrest is in the process assuming deeding, then of providing benches, picnic tables, added parking, and a walkway per a survey of residents.

 

Efforts to provide continuing community input through ‘Town Hall’ public meetings with recognition and action toward individual communications from local citizens includes ongoing improvements at several local Parks. These meetings and communications have indicated a noticeable appreciation for walking and biking opportunities, as well as a desire for outdoor recreation and exercise. Children’s and Grandchildren’s play and exercise availability was also noted as a popular choice. Existing interaction with soccer and baseball leagues has also been a source of requests and opportunities for upgrades. Trails for varying use has been a quite popular request, along with interest in local natural resources and wildlife. Landscaping and beautification opportunities have also been brought up repeatedly, along with a noted desire to be more pro-active with xeriscape and water conservation issues.

 

A current effort to complete a community survey is also under way to bring more citizens into our community’s efforts to make our City a leader in proactive involvement. This will

 

keep our residents a source of inspiration for new opportunities to improve our community in a direction which will benefit more of our older and younger populace by keeping healthy and fit through low-stress exercising running, biking, and walking. Development of the recently added subdivision will also be at the forefront of our continued efforts, along with additional business and residential development as occurs.

 

An attempt is underway to provide an added park in West Windcrest, along with an opportunity to create an open space ‘Doggie Park’, which have both been widely requested choices by members of the public. Both of these areas require land acquisition or permission for access. Coordination of linear greenways and access routes will be inter-woven with attempts to adhere to Texas ‘Safe Routes to School’ standards.

Picture Placeholder

Proposed Takas Park Lake and Trails Accessibility upgrade

 

PARKS/OPEN SPACE AND TRAILS CLASSIFICATIONS

 

Hike & bike

 

Table 2: Multi-Use Trail Design Features and Recommended Guidelines for Construction of New Trails

Trail Design Feature

Alignment Grade

Clearing (Vegetation) Tread

Line of Sight

Bench Construction/ Sideslopes

Outslope Climbing Turn Switchbacks

Turnouts/Passing Sections Vista Points

Rolling Grade Dip

Recommended Guideline

Layout should fit to the terrain. Trail should follow the contours of the area. (curvilinear) (2,3, 4)

Max. Pitch - 10% slope; Max. Sustained Pitch - 12% slope; 15% slope may be allowed for short sections depending on the physical and environmental constraints. Percentage of slope is expressed in vertical rise per 100 feet of

run.) (2, 4)

Min. Width - 8 ft.; Height - 10 ft.; for 48" to 60" tread (1, 2, 3, 7, IO,11)

Min. - 48"; Max. - 60" for multi-use classification. (1, 2, 3, 8, I I)

  1. Min. +/- 85 feet for trail grades of 5-10%
  2. 2.  Min. +/- 50 feet for trail grades of 10-12% and at blind turns (2, 4, 5)
  3. 1.  Sideslopes between 10 to 30 percent, excavation of the trail bed shall be constructed with a balance section of 1/2 cut and 1/2 fill.
  4. 2.  Sideslopes between 30 to 50 percent, will require a 3/4 bench cut with 1/4 fill construction to accommodate the trail bed.
  5. 3.  Sideslopes above 50 percent, the entire trail shall be full bench cut construction. (2, 4, 7, 8, 9)

2%-5% from uphill (inside) edge to outside edge of trail (1, 2)

Constructed on sideslopes less than 30 percent (4)

Curve constructed on sideslopes from 30% to 45%. Switchback curve is established with a 6-foot radius at the inside of the turn. The maximum grade entering the turn shall be 5% maximum for 15 feet. The turn should be flat if possible (1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 1O, 11)

  1. Trail grades between 5%- 10% placement at +/- 500 ft.
  2. 2.  Trail grades between 10%- 12% placement at +/- 100 feet. (2, 6)

Vista points should be developed at significant outlook areas that will allow for rest and an aesthetic visual experience (2)

A cross drainage swale that is placed at 45" to the trail with a flow line of 4% from uphill to downhill with rock rip-rap outfall. This provides a smooth transition for trail runners and mountain bicyclists (1, 2, 3, 8)

from Nat. Park Service    http://www.nps.gov/samo/parkmgmt/upload/SmmartMultiUse.pdf

 

 

Walking

Per Texas Accessibility Standards where possible

 

Roads w/bike lane

Per Texas Department of Transportation (DOT) standards

 

Sidewalk

Per Texas DOT standards and Texas Accessibility Standards where possible Cart access

Under the ordinance, golf carts can be operated on public roadways within the City of Windcrest per City of Windcrest regulations and ordinances:

Sim http://www.galvestonpolice.net/official/?page_id=224 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE   Forest Service    RIN 0596–AC47

National Trail Classification System,    FSM 2350 and FSH 2309.18

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA

 

Trail Class

The current Trail Classes range from Minimal/Undeveloped (Trail Class 1) to Fully Developed (Trail Class 5):

Trail Class 1: Minimal/Undeveloped Trail

Trail Class 2: Simple/Minor Development Trail Trail Class 3: Developed/Improved Trail

Trail Class 4: Highly Developed Trail Trail Class 5: Fully Developed Trail

 

Each Trail Class has descriptors for the physical characteristics of trails, including tread and traffic flow, obstacles, constructed features and tread elements, signs, and typical recreational environment and experience.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Greenways

What are Greenways?

“A linear open space; a corridor composed of natural vegetation. Greenways can be used to create connected networks of open space that include traditional parks and natural

areas.” http://www.smartgrowth.org

“A linear open space established along a corridor, such as a river or railroad right-of way, and usually developed for non-vehicular public use. Examples include the Platte River Greenway in Denver, the Capital Area Greenway in Raleigh, North Carolina, and the Willamette Greenway in Portland, Oregon.” http://www.ci.norman.ok.us/planning/greenbelt/glossary.htm

Also see these links for more definitions: http://www.umass.edu/greenway/Greenways/2GR-def.html http://www.aevv-egwa.org

 

http://www.lospatios.com/pdfs/SA%20Greenways%20FAQ.pdf

 

NEEDS ASSESSMENT AND PRIORITIES

 

The Windcrest Park/Open Space Master Plan is receiving direction toward needs assessment and setting of priorities through a combination of open public ‘Town Hall’ meetings and a questionnaire recently sent to residents. These meeting have begun with the intention of holding them on a regular basis to seek input, answer questions, and establish timelines for Park priorities and actions. The public questionnaire was developed to help determine varying needs and requests as provided by different areas of the city.

Priorities are established by assessment of a balanced combination of public requests and available capital as provided by the City of Windcrest Administration. This project capital can be supplemented by matching grants from the State of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, which often allow a project to be greatly enhanced by funding a major improvement not made available through city funding alone.

Picture Placeholder

Proposed Autumn Sunset Greenway Walking Trail Site

 

Several Locations in Windcrest are available for health/fitness focus. Walking Trails for all ages have been identified by City Administration as having required physical characteristics and right-of-way/availability. These Trails are proposed for fitness and well-being with conservation of existing natural resources in mind.

 

FUTURE PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION

 

Windcrest Parks and greenways have been targeted by the Mayor and City Manager for immediate attention and given definite financial support throughout the coming 5 years. This funding is to be dispensed on an annual basis through the City’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP). This program receives monies through a variety of municipal sources including the Hotel Occupancy Tax and other various funds. Projects not in prioritized order:

 

Windcrest Entrances Landscaping 8 entries

Fourwinds entry

 

Autumn Sunset Greenway Walking Trail Benches

Small Playscape @ Bolder Falls Park Interpretive Wildlife signs

 Picture Placeholder

Autumn Sunset Lake Existing Walkway near proposed Walking Trail Tie-in Takas Park Trail Full TAS (Texas Accessibility Standards) Upgrade

Walking surface replacement x 8’ width 3 additional TAS bridges

Restrooms Landscape

 

Soccer field Crestway

Fields (3?) Parking Landscape Water

 

 Picture Placeholder

Proposed Takas Park and Windcrest Civic Center Walking Trail Accessibility Upgrade

 

11.72 acre West Windcrest Park Land Acquisition Development

Baseball field rebuild Walking trail

Picnic tables Playscape Landscape

 

Midcrown to Walzem Greenway Walking Trail

Benches Landscape Lighting

Business area showcase

 

Winnbrook Park

Picnic Tables/walkway Benches

Added Parking Walking Trail

Landscape/sprinkler extension

Winnbrook Retention Pond Backstop/small soccer field Crestway to Winfield Greenway

Walking Trail Benches Landscape

 

 

North & West sides of golf course Walking trail

 

Rackspace Park

Privately Developed

 

Crestway Dog Park

CPS access Parking Fencing

Takas to Autumn Sunset Parks Hike/Bike access Brook Falls greenway

Trail

Benches Landscaping

 Picture Placeholder

Proposed Brook Falls Greenway location Crestwind Greenway

Trail Benches Landscaping Lighting

Business area showcase Future Eisenhauer Rd Park Lands Lighting

 

 

RESOLUTION NUMBER 2012-385 (R)

 

A RESOLUTION APPROVING A PRELIMINARY OPEN SPACE MASTER PLAN FOR THE CITY OF WINDCREST, TEXAS FOR SUBMISSION TO THE TEXAS PARKS & WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT  IN  CONNECTION  WITH  A LOCAL PARK GRANT PROGRAM APPLICATION

 

WHEREAS, the Windcrest City Council has determined that it would promote the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the City of Windcrest to develop an Open Space  Master  Plan as part of its local park grant program application and to submit a preliminary version  of such plan to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department for consideration prior to final adoption of said plan.

 

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF WINDCREST

that the preliminary Open Space Master Plan attached hereto shall be submitted to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department for consideration for a local park grant. A final version of the Open Space Master Plan shall be adopted in the future after public input and analysis by the City Council.

 

Passed and approved this 25th day of July, 2012.

 

Alan E. Baxter, Mayor

 

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