Project planned to transform NE Houston park

February 11, 2013 5:47:34 PM PST
An area park is about to get a makeover and community leaders are hoping for a much larger transformation.

There's a lot of money going into transforming Shady Lane Park in northeast Houston. We're talking hundreds of thousands of dollars, but the city says it's about more than drastically changing the face of this park. This project is about changing lives.

The nearly two decade old playground equipment at Shady Lane Park tells part of its story -- the swings worn, the slide tagged, and nearby a weathered picnic table. But despite all that, this is the beloved neighborhood park.

"I've been in this neighborhood for 20 years already," said park visitor Yuri Esquivel. "Ever since I lived here, this is the park I've been coming to. Now that I have my kids, I bring them to this park also."

For parents, it's convenient and in some ways comforting.

"It's great for the community, because instead of all the kids being out there doing what they are not supposed to, they'll have a safe place to be," said park visitor Celia Palacios.

Soon they'll have even more as the old Shady Lane Park is set to be transformed. The Houston Parks and Recreation department, with the help of the Texas Parks and Wildlife department, is putting nearly half a million dollars into redeveloping this 12.4 acre family park. It will mean new equipment, more green space and a lesson in conservation.

"This is going to be an amazing park for this community and they deserve a park like this to be built," said Joe Turner, Houston Parks and Recreation director. "Our kids are our future and we need to give our kids and opportunity to enjoy nature, be healthy and to be the next leaders of our community."

The park is set to be completed in early October.

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