Plans to renovate Veterans Memorial Park in Falls City got a significant boost recently, as the Karnes County Commissioners Court voted to award $45,000 to the effort.
Falls City Mayor Brent Houdmann approached the commissioners court on Sept. 30 and asked the county to consider donating whatever it could for the park.
“We’ve proposed a couple of new ideas – a walking trail, restrooms and a possible covering for the children’s playground that has been a great addition to the park,” he said. “One problem we experienced was the previous area for the restrooms and a pavilion was washed out.
“The trail we are considering would allow adults to walk while keeping an eye on their children.”
Houdmann said a barbecue cookoff fundraiser for the park is scheduled for this month, and funds for the park will be sought from different potential donors.
“Anything y’all can do for us, we’d gratefully appreciate it,” he said.
County Judge Wade Hedtke said he is among those who enjoy the park’s amenities and he appreciates what it offers for local residents and visitors alike.
“I’ve used that park many times and it’s a pretty place,” he said. “We’ve helped with Karnes City Park and Escondido (Creek Parkway in Kenedy). We should do the same for Falls City.”
Commissioner Benny Lyssy made a motion for the commissioners court to donate $45,000 for the park, which was seconded by commissioner James Rosales and unanimously approved.
Restoring the park has been an ongoing project. In May 2019, former Karnes Countywide editor Bruce Harper wrote about plans to give the park “an overdue facelift,” and about the Falls City Lions Club working to secure donations for park improvements.
At that time, Lions Club president Kristen Jendrusch said, “We want to put in new playground equipment and make the park accessible to everyone. It can be made into a beautiful property.”
The club partnered with the San Antonio River Authority on development, in part because the park offers access to the river.
Flooding problems over the years took their toll on some areas and equipment at the park, but Houdmann said the new equipment was placed in areas that should not be endangered by floodwaters.
One flood which hit the area in 2002 significantly damaged buildings and equipment at the park, and destroyed some picnic tables.
While the Lions Club participates in many efforts to improve and serve the community, a major focal point for the group has been to improve the park.
“Our main goal has been to restore our local park,” Jendrusch said. “This goal is very important to our club because the children of Falls City are the heart of the community. We want our kids to be able to gather together to play in a safe space outdoors.”
For more information on upcoming fundraisers or to make a donation to the nonprofit Lions Club on behalf of the park restoration efforts, or to ask questions, contact the Falls City Lions Club at email@example.com.