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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

City to develop new park

The largest regional park in the city will take place of Quail Creek Golf Course.
The+Quail+Creek+Country+Club+sign+is+overtaken+by+weeds+and+trees%2C+Friday+April+19%2C+2024%2C+in+San+Marcos.
Maya Contreras
The Quail Creek Country Club sign is overtaken by weeds and trees, Friday April 19, 2024, in San Marcos.

The city of San Marcos is planning to build its largest regional park on the site of the former Quail Creek Golf Course, following the property’s annexation.

At its April 2 meeting, San Marcos City Council approved the second reading of Ordinance 2024-13, a proposal to annex approximately 176 acres of the city-owned, east-side Quail Creek land to turn into a park with amenities.

Director of Parks and Recreation Jamie Lee Case said the city’s current largest parkland is the riverfront parks along the San Marcos River, totaling about 120 acres. However, these parks are spread out, while the Quail Creek park will be a single property that will offer amenities to people who live in East San Marcos.

“Parks just bring joy to people’s lives,” Case said. “We’re hoping this project [will] just bring some additional joy to our community and allow people to ‘park and rec.’”

According to Case, the city purchased Quail Creek in October 2022 for $8.5 million, with the Hays County Parks and Open Space bond providing $6.6 million.

“Annexing city-owned property into the city limits just makes sense,” Mayor Jane Hughson said at the April 2 city council meeting.

According to Case and the city of San Marcos’ press release, the park will “generally be located north of the intersection of State Highway 21 and the railroad and south of the Blanco River.”

Park amenities will be determined when the master plan process starts in January 2025, according to Case. The plan could take six to 12 months to develop before being adopted by the city council. City council is also discussing a 2028 bond election, and Case said funding for the Quail Creek park will likely require voter approval at that time.

Director of Operations for the San Marcos River Foundation Rachel Sanborn said Quail Creek is prone to flooding from the Blanco River and she is relieved it will become parkland, as any housing or business development on that much acreage would increase flooding risks.

“Having that kind of green space there to absorb some water and slow some of the runoff down is beneficial for the whole community and the river communities downstream as well,” Sanborn said.

According to Case, there are approximately 12 acres of Quail Creek outside of the Blanco River’s floodplain and if Parks and Recreation decide to add a community gathering building it would have to be on those 12 acres.

Case said her department does not plan on adding structures that water cannot absorb or flow through aside from parking lots and tennis courts.

“[Parks and Recreation] is focused on sustainability and mitigation as an organization, so as we make plans to develop this park, those are definitely at the forefront of our mind,” Case said. “There are flood mitigation measures that could benefit neighboring neighborhoods with the development of this park.”

Case said a few amenities likely to be in the new park include permanent pickleball facilities for the growing pickleball community and a multi-use sports field.

“We have some adult softball fields, but [we want to be] able to provide additional adult fields because that is something we’ve heard over the years as being desirable from folks interested in adult baseball, kickball, lacrosse or rugby,” Case said.

Sanborn said more park space is essential for the San Marcos community, especially with the city’s population growth of approximately 13,500 in the last decade.

“We need to take into account that more people having access to more green spaces is good for our mental health, our physical health,” Sanborn said.

Melanie Camara
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