Director's Column

Director of Parks & Recreation  

McKinney Courier Gazette, February 18, 2018

Stewards of a Living Legacy

We are fortunate as a community to have a parks system that has served generations of families in McKinney. We have employees on staff who played ball in McKinney as children, worked as lifeguards during the summer as teens and now have careers in Parks and Recreation. Lasting memories are made daily in the parks and centers throughout McKinney, and my team and I are proud to act as stewards of this great history.

Michael Kowski

Michael Kowski

Upgrading Our Parks & Centers

During this coming year, we will commence with renovations to Old Settlers Recreation Center and begin design work to deliver a considerably larger Senior Recreation Center. Cottonwood Park, one of the earliest neighborhood parks, will also be rebuilt entirely, and we have already begun replacing aging playground equipment throughout the community including Towne Lake Park and Katherine B. Winniford Park. Furthermore, new drinking fountains have been installed at Wattley Park, Old Settler’s Park, Horizon Park and Fitzhugh Park.

Improving Play for Years to Come

This year also marks the start of a multiyear comprehensive enhancement program to improve the playability, durability and aesthetics of various existing athletic fields throughout the city. The first phase will include refurbishing 21 baseball and softball fields at Gabe Nesbitt Community Park, and the Craig Ranch Soccer Complex will undergo renovations. As a part of the program, to date, we have planted more than 200 trees around our fields to provide additional shade for spectators.

Building Toward the Future

As we continue to reinvest in our heritage, we will also aim to move forward visionary ideas to ensure the vitality of our parks system for future generations. Tactics in the near future include completing more elements of the Gabe Nesbitt Community Park master plan, opening the second phase of Bonnie Wenk Park this summer, and kicking-off master planning efforts for the next signature park near Lake Forest Drive and U.S. 380, a 212-acre property commonly known as Gray Branch.

Join the Parks Department!

With all these new projects and developments, we need more staff. We are looking for awesome people just like you to work at our city aquatic and fitness facilities. On Feb. 24, please join us for our seasonal job fair at Old Settler's Recreation Center, 1201 E. Louisiana St. We will be conducting interviews onsite from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and hope to see you there.