It won’t be long now before the public will have access from a city park to waters of the Laguna Madre for fishing, boating and more.

Plans for the renovation of Washington Park and phase two of Galvan Park should begin in the fall.

The city is the recipient of two Texas Parks and Wildlife Grants worth $575,000 to fix its city parks.

City Administrator Jared Hockema said following a meeting with Texas Parks and Wildlife the projects should be complete in about nine to 12 months.

The Texas Wildlife Department announced the grant recipients last Thursday.

“If the Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation had not given us $500,000 in matching funds, we could not have got this done,” Hockema said.

Port Isabel was the recipient of a TPW $500,000 non-urban outdoor grant for its Arturo Galvan Coastal Park project.

The proposed development includes habitat restoration, a nature trail, benches, interpretive signs, picnic tables with grills, a birding blind, a playground, a renovated paddling launch and parking.

The Arturo Galvan Coastal Park project will give residents access to the water for fishing and paddle boats.

Phase one of the Galvan Coastal Park was started with the initial $500,000 grant from the Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation to promote health and wellness in the community.

“We are certainly looking forward to this project,” Hockema said. “It’s going to be a big addition to our park system and the community.”

The city will also receive a $75,000 small community grant for its Washington Park project.

Proposed developments include renovation of the existing basketball court with a pavilion and exercise equipment area, fencing, landscaping, interpretive signs and a barbecue pit.

“We are very excited and certainly looking forward to these projects,” Hockema said.

By RAUL GARCIA Staff Writer