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Galveston Island State Park Redevelopment Public Meeting Set
AUSTIN – The second of three scheduled public meetings on the master plan design for redeveloping hurricane-damaged Galveston Island State Park will be held Tuesday, Dec. 7 on the Texas A&M Galveston campus.
The meeting will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Lecture Theater & Foyer of the Ocean and Coastal Studies Building #3029 on the university campus at 200 Seawolf Parkway. For more information about the meeting, contact Galveston Island State Park superintendent Trey Goodman at (409) 737-1222.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will be presenting the initial master plan design concept for Galveston Island State Park and will provide an update on how public input was received and incorporated into the plan.
At the public meeting, members of the community will have an opportunity to view aerial maps and review preliminary design concepts developed by MESA Design Group and the Dallas firm’s partners, and provide additional input. All Galveston area residents, business owners and anyone else with an interest in one of Texas’ most popular state parks are invited to attend.
MESA and its team of consultants have been charged with creating a design that will transform the island park severely damaged in 2008 by Hurricane Ike into a premiere destination within the Texas state park system, in part by utilizing such sustainable elements as alternative energy sources and rainwater harvesting.
The public was given an opportunity recently to provide input into the redevelopment design plan through an online survey that ended Oct. 4. It was the first time TPWD had surveyed the public to gather input about what users would like to see included in state park design and development.
Barring any environmental or cultural resource issues, the Galveston Island State Park master plan is expected to be completed by next spring. The park development timetable calls for the submission of architectural drawings and the design plan by January of 2012. Depending on the availability of funds, the earliest construction would begin is spring of 2012, according to Tony Bettis, regional project manager for TPWD’s Infrastructure Division.
Galveston Island State Park is open seven days a week and offers full services on the bay side and limited camping and day use facilities on the beach side until a master plan is developed, environmental assessment completed and permanent facilities rebuilt. To facilitate the reopening of the beach side, electrical power and water have been restored, and a structure has been moved in to serve as temporary headquarters. The original headquarters building and all other beachside facilities were destroyed by Hurricane Ike. Dozens of volunteers from The Friends of Galveston Island State Park and other interested individuals pitched in after the storm to clean up the park to help it reopen way ahead of schedule.
Galveston Island State Park occupies a sliver of land at the midway point of the barrier island about six miles southwest of the western tip of the popular sea wall. The bay side provides public access to about 600 acres of grasslands with coastal scrub and scattered oak mottes, as well as hundreds of additional acres of saltwater sloughs, wildlife-rich wetlands and tidal bayous.
Galveston Island State Park hours are from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The park office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. The park entry fee for persons 13 and older is $5.
Visitors can reach Galveston Island State Park from FM 3005 (Seawall Boulevard). For more information, call the park at (409) 737-1222.
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