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Lasara community to get park, nature trail

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Posted: Friday, November 21, 2014 10:01 pm

LASARA — This tiny farm town’s first park will become a community hub near a proposed nature trail, Lasara schools Superintendent Sara Alvarado said Friday.

“It’s going to be a first for the community,” Alvarado said as she peeked out her window to gaze at the proposed site off FM 1015.

Willacy County commissioners have earmarked $60,000 worth of Magic Valley franchise tax money to develop the park on school property, County Judge John F. Gonzales Jr. said.

Gonzales said Commissioner Eliberto Guerra, who oversees the Lasara area, pushed for the park.

“There’s a lack of places for youths to go for recreation,” Gonzales said.

Alvarado said the park will feature a covered pavilion, picnic tables and basketball courts.

“It’s going to be a place where the community — parents and students — can gather,” Alvarado said.

So far, Gonzales said, officials have worked to develop parks in communities such as Lyford and Sebastian.

“We’ve been supporting parks throughout the county,” Gonzales said.

Commissioner Dora Perez, who oversees the Sebastian area, said the community’s park helped bring new life to that area.

“Here in Sebastian, it’s helped a lot,” Perez said. “Parents take kids there to have basketball tournaments and barbecues. I’m for anything that will help the kids be safe and involved.”

Now, Lasara school officials are using a $121,000 grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to develop a 1-mile nature trail near the district’s campuses, Alvarado said.

In school, Alvarado said, science teachers could use the trail to help teach students about nature.

The project will feature park benches, a bridge and a wildlife observation platform, she said.

Volunteers with the Austin-based AmeriCorps program Texas Conservation Corps will launch construction in March, camping out at the site, Alvarado said.

She said local students and community members will help build the trail.

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