Another local government doing development right

OpenspaceA few weeks ago we highlighted a couple of forward thinking cities that are making protection of open space a part of their development strategy. Now we’d like to recognize another.

The Town of Prosper has received three major grants that will translate into additional park space as the region plans for the development heading north.

Under the Collin County Parks and Open Space Strategic Plan, the county sets aside funding for parkland acquisition projects that meet certain criteria. Cities and towns apply for these funds by proposing to use the funds for specific parks, trails and open spaces that will be used for the common good.

Prosper requested funding for the acquisition of more than 18 acres of land adjacent to the as-yet-undeveloped Cockrell Park on the Town’s northeast side.

Local officials recognized  the value of increasing the existing park by more than twice its current size and, as a result, the county agreed to award $450,000 toward the purchase of the land. Since the grant represents a little less than half the total cost of the tract, bond funds and other sources will make up the difference.

According to Hulon Webb, Prosper’s Executive Director of Development and Community Services, “The land is virtually pristine. There is a running creek within the acreage and it remains essentially in its natural state. There is still some wildlife residing in it and native plants flourish throughout the space.”

Plans for the parkland are still being developed, but a connection to Cockrell Park as well as a trail leading to Whitley Place are already envisioned.

Hopefully other communities will take Prosper’s lead in recognizing the importance of protecting open space in the face of development so their citizens can enjoy a better quality of life.



Connemara hosting free screening of “Green Fire” Thursday at Allen library


If you missed our April screening of Green Fire, you have another chance to experience the beautiful film about legendary environmentalist Aldo Leopold on Thursday at the Allen Public Library.

Connemara is sponsoring a free screening of Green Fire: Aldo Leopold And A Land Ethic For Our Time on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the Library Auditorium.

Prior to the movie will be an airing of Whatever Befalls The Earth, a short documentary made three decades ago that looks at concern about the potential loss of open space as Collin County began to grow and how a group of forward-thinking citizens put a plan in place to make sure that land preservation was a part of future development.

Green Fire is a full-length film about Leopold, author of The Sand County Almanac whose legendary environmental work shaped and influenced current U.S. National Parks environmental policy.

Connemara board member and Allen councilman Ross Obermeyer said that decades later, Leopold’s ideas of thoughtful conservation are reflected in the way cities such as Allen have taken care to make sure that open space plays an important role in development.

“As a member of the community of Allen, I feel that access to open space is a key function of our parks and recreation programs,” he said. “Open space provides children a place to run, families a place to roam, and our community a place to gather.  The City of Allen has done a tremendous job of giving our community access to open space and recreational programing.”

Robert and Kacy Lyford of Patina Green, who have provided food and decorations for Connemara’s Into The Meadow cocktail receptions, will provide appetizers, and Pure Land Organics, a family farm run by Jack and Megan Neubauer, will have organic produce for sale.

The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr.  For more information, call 214-509-4911.


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