Improvements have begun at a staple venue within the Bullard community. What started out as a project for the Bullard Rotary Club has now grown into a venue for young and old, as a new facelift in the form of Phase II improvements have begun at Bullard Kids’ Park.
“With all of the families moving into the city of Bullard because of the draw from Bullard Independent School District and The Brook Hill School, it’s great to see the Phase II improvements taking place at Bullard Kids’ Park,” said Jay Abercrombie, Bullard City Manager and member of Bullard Rotary Club. “We’re very proud of our parks in Bullard. However, with the heavy use of the park by residents and local schools and groups, we’ve decided to make a few changes that will hopefully last us a while.”
Thanks to an inter-local agreement between the City of Bullard and Smith County, workers from the Smith County Road and Bridge Department were able to expand the park’s old parking lot to its current size, which includes the location of the old tennis courts.
The parking lot was recently transformed from a gravel parking lot to a paved lot by the Smith County Road and Bridge Department, and subsequently striped for car and truck parking, as well as parking for school buses and large vehicles.
“The parking lot is now paved and striped, which makes it safer for park visitors who were used to parking on Rather St.,” said Abercrombie. “There’s a lot of traffic at the park, especially during the spring and summer season, and we needed to make some quality improvements in that area to keep everyone safe. The old tennis court area was actually more valuable as parking space because now, there are established driveway entrances to both Bullard Kids’ Park and O.L. Ferrell Park.”
Abercrombie said with the new parking lot finished, the process of implementing the remainder of the Phase II improvements can now get underway.
According to information from the Bullard Rotary Club, Phase II project will include two new walking and jogging trails, as well as exercise stations for those who look to stay fit while visiting the park.
Also featured in Bullard Kid’s Park’s Phase II will be new event pavilions and a trail of sponsorship bricks that will be a part of the new walkways recognizing those who have contributed to the new improvements.
In a unanimous vote during the April meeting of the Bullard City Council, council members approved a donation of $12,500 to go toward the new improvements. Mayor Pam Frederick praised the Bullard Rotary Club and called the plans for new improvements at Bullard Kids Park “the next step” for the park.
Originally built in 2013, Bullard Kids’ Park became an icon to the city of Bullard thanks to the efforts of fundraisers and volunteers who helped to build the park in less than a week’s time.
“Bullard Kids’ Park was built in just five days by over 1,200 volunteers from the community at a cost of $350,000, not including labor,” said John Jones, former Bullard Rotary Club President. “The park has almost been utilized by the school and the community since it was built, as well as other school districts and guests to the city. The park has definitely added a new facet to tourism to Bullard and has generated business income.”
Bullard Rotary Club is looking for financial support for the new park improvements from local residents and business, according to Jones, who said the park is an investment for everyone that calls Bullard home.
“Without the financial support and personal time donated by the people of Bullard and the surrounding areas four years ago, we would not have been able to build the original park in five days,” said Jones. “The Rotary Club of Bullard would like to thank in advance each and every donor to Phase II of the Bullard Kids’ Park, and for helping to make Bullard, Texas an amazing community to live, work and play in.”
Sponsor opportunities for Phase II of Bullard Kid’s Park include general donations, as well as sponsor bricks inlaid into a 10-foot section of the walking loop for $125 each, exercise station sponsorships for $8,000 each, and pavilion sponsorships for $10,000 each.
According to Bullard Rotary Park, the club’s fundraiser goal for the project is set at approximately $125,000.
Donations to the Phase II project at Bullard Kids’ Park are tax deductable, while the organization will allow community members to see the improvements planned on the club’s social media page
Donations by check for Bullard Kids’ Park Phase II should be made payable to “ETCF - Bullard Kids’ Park” and mailed to 315 North Broadway, Suite 210, Tyler, TX 75702, with a note directing the same.
For more information about the Phase II improvements at Bullard Kid’s Park, visit the Bullard Rotary Club Facebook page or www.bullardrotary.org.