Council adopts city parks and recreation plan

By George Slaughter, News Editor
Posted 10/20/22

The Katy City Council Oct. 13 adopted a parks and recreation plan for the city as part of an ongoing comprehensive plan update.

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Council adopts city parks and recreation plan


The Katy City Council Oct. 13 adopted a parks and recreation plan for the city as part of an ongoing comprehensive plan update.

Gary Mitchell is president of Kendig Keast Collaborative. The city is working with Kendig Keast to update the city’s comprehensive plan. Part of that update includes the parks and recreation plan that the council approved.

In presenting the plan for approval, Mitchell said creating it provided a chance to assess the state of and the outlook for the city’s parks. It also enabled officials to consider both national guidelines and local input for how best to move forward.

Officials expect the plan to improve Katy’s position when applying for state-level grants for parks. Mitchell said there is money available, and the process for getting it is very competitive.

The plan covers land both within the city limits and the city’s extraterritorial area.

The plan features a 38-page appendix of documented hopes, needs, concerns and ideas. Kendig Keast officials held six meetings with Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, which led to a unanimous recommendation to adopt the plan the council approved.

Mitchell said the plan shares good insights on Katy in general, and what people appreciate about the city. He said the online survey received over 1,200 responses.

“Nowadays, we're lucky to get 500 responses,” Mitchell said.

He said there were similarities between national criteria and what local citizens wanted. Priorities included:

  • Increasing or improving amenities and existing parks.
  • Ensuring safer access to parks and recreation facilities by bicycling and walking.
  • Ensuring quiet places to connect with nature.
  • Developing a trail system.
  • Incorporating safety measures.

Other items cited by residents included having more trees and tree preservation, having places/activities for families, and opportunities for exercise and fitness.

Mitchell said the plan had six goals:

  • Developing a trails and pathways network, with an emphasis on user safety and comfort.
  • Upgrading city park equipment and amenities, with the amenities to be consistent, durable and cost-effective.
  • Incorporating targeted upgrades to the off-leash dog park, looking at a potential connection to neighborhoods north of the park.
  • Incorporating a multi-objective site design for storm water management and conservation.
  • Meeting the needs of youth/adult sports, passive recreation, and community gathering spaces.
  • Including more recreational and leisure programming, promoting broader health and wellness.

The plan includes an inventory and aerial photos of the existing city parks. It also features a needs assessment that includes metrics published in the 2022 National Parks and Recreation Association Performance Review. Mitchell said the city is good on three of those metrics:

  • 2,182 residents per park.
  • 2 acres of parkland per 1000 a,cres.
  • Geographic coverage of parks.

Mitchell said the city is low on the number of trails maintained.

City leaders will be looking at expanding the trails around Katy, and in doing so look at possibilities for connectivity. Mitchell said that a trail network spine along Cane Island Branch is at the core of these considerations. The goal would be to link destinations from that core trail. Existing local streets, sidewalks, and HOA pathways might be used towards that goal.

Officials expect to identify where bridges are needed and explore easement links. They also expect to consider ways to get over and under busy roadways in developing those trails.

“There are opportunities to make some nice connections,” Mitchell said.

Ward A Council Member Dan Smith said it was exciting to see that the plan, which he described as high-level, lists funding sources for future parks projects.

Ward A Council Member Janet Corte said the plan had lots of information.

“I had to go through it a couple of times to absorb it,” Corte said.

The plan is on the city website at

City of Katy, Katy City Council, parks