Rose City's park hours to remain unchanged

Published on Monday, 27 January 2014 13:56 - Written by Kelly Gooch, kgooch@tylerpaper.com

City park hours will remain the same for now.

During a city of Tyler Parks Board meeting today, the board took no action on recommending changes in the city park hours to the Tyler City Council.

The decision came after receiving crime statistics for parks from the Tyler Police Department and hearing from Tyler police Lt. Robert Barrentine.

In October, the Tyler City Council passed an ordinance to designate the hours of P.T. Cole Park from dawn to dusk after a police request to do so because of a summer gang-related killing there.

Today, the Parks Board was considering hours for all city parks.

Barrentine said the parks are safe, and police are not seeing the same gang activity that they used to see there. He said they don't see a lot of children congregating at parks, and there is a curfew that police can enforce for those who are underage. He said the Noble E. Young Park receives a lot of activity, but people leave once it gets dark. He said there also have been less calls on Rose Rudman Trail than there have been in years.

"We’re not getting complaints on park hours right now. I don't see any reason ... to change park hours," he said.

When asked about the number of auto burglaries at Faulkner Park - 16 in 2013 and 11 in 2012, according to police data - Barrentine referenced the various sports events that take place there, and said many times, it's "a crime of opportunity."

Additionally, he commended the city on the job it has done with the upkeep of parks.

According to the City of Tyler Code of Ordinances, public parks, with the exception of Bergfeld Park, Hillside Park, Children's Park, P. T. Cole Park and the Tyler Rose Garden, are open from 6 a.m. to midnight. Bergfeld Park is closed “from sunset to sunrise,” although people can play tennis in the lighted tennis area until 10 p.m., according to the ordinance.

Hillside Park, P. T. Cole Park and the Tyler Rose Garden are closed “from sunset to sunrise”; Children's Park is closed from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.; and Goodman/LeGrand is closed from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., according to information from the city.

Also on Monday, Keep Tyler Beautiful Liaison Gary Lynch also made a presentation about the proposed Native Plant Garden at Glass Recreation Center.

He said the goal with the garden is “to show visitors how they can use native and natural plants in their own garden.” He said the project will include a walking trail "with decomposed granite down the center," and they will try to have labels for each species. A groundbreaking is scheduled for next month.