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20111007_MISSION_PARKS_HollisRutledge_BannworthPark_JB_0057MISSION — The addition of the new Hollis Rutledge Sr. Park located on Inspiration Road just north of the Mile 2 Line Road, provides even more outdoor space to assure that residents are all able to enjoy a higher quality of life no matter where in the city they live.

Scheduled to open in December, construction on the eight-acre tract is underway with restrooms and lighting already built and installed. Parks Director Julian Gonzalez said Rutledge Park would be a zone park, meaning it will have more facilities than a neighborhood park, but less than the new regional park located at 1801 S. Inspiration Rd.  The park will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Plans for the park include two lighted Little League fields and a perimeter lighted walking trail. A medium-sized pavilion is planned for parties and gatherings. City leaders said children from 3 to 12 years old will be entertained on a new playscape, which has a variety of exercise stations.

When phase two of construction begins in 2012, two junior soccer fields will be added along with five picnic shelters. A junior age mountain bike course that takes riders through a small pond and over jumping mounds will be constructed.

Gonzalez said the quality of Mission’s parks was improving since the city floated a $5 million bond to build and renovate parks. The outdoor pool at Catholic War Veteran’s Park located at 115 S. Mayberry Ave. is getting a complete renovation and will reopen in December. A new gym is being built for the Mission Boys & Girls Club to expand activities from its current location.

But one of the most exciting facilities for the youth at that location is the renovation of the skateboard park. When completed, the park will have a 140-foot concrete slab with six to seven stations, including ramps, grind posts and concrete jumping mounds. The skateboard park will be located between the pool and the new gym.

At Bannworth Park, the pool will be an enclosed 25-meter pool. It will have an adjacent diving well. The pools will open at 5:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday and Saturday from 8-11 a.m. for lap swimming. The cost for swimming is $1.50 for adults, and $1 for senior citizens.

New amenities are also being planned for Bentsen Palm Regional Park, including shade covers over the bleachers on the four baseball fields.

Gonzalez also plans to organize a catch and release stock pond filled with game fish such as bass, perch and catfish. He hopes to hold contests between area youth in the future.

While no new parks are being planned for the immediate future, Gonzalez said a number of additional amenities and renovations are being considered for existing parks.

Gonzalez said he’s proud of the new facilities the city has provided for its citizens and for Winter Texans who spend call Mission home. He said the new additions would add to the quality of life here.

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