After three years of waiting, the city of Denison has received a $200,000 grant through the Department of Texas Parks and Wildlife for improvements to trails throughout Waterloo Lake Park. The city originally voted to apply for the grants in late 2014, but it was only recently that the city received approval.


“This project was started to fund improvements to Waterloo Lake,” Community and Development Services Director Kimberly Murray said. “Over the years, the trails have eroded to the point of needing to revitalize those.”


Under the terms of the matching grant, the city needed to contribute 20 percent of the project’s budget. In order to increase its odds of receiving the grant and to get more work done, Murray said the city elected to contribute $100,000 toward the project, bringing the total project funding to about $300,000.


The project will include several improvements to the park trail system including the slope stabilization, work on footbridges, signage and retaining wall repair. As a new feature, the improvements will add a 12-foot wide, half-mile long paved trail within the park, Murray said.


Murray said that there is not a set time frame for the project design and construction, and the project has yet to go out for bid. The grant agreement between Denison and TPWD lists the project period as from August 2018 until June 30, 2022.


The design phase for the project will likely wait until the city has recruited a new parks and recreation director. Past Parks and Recreation Director Chris Mobley left the city earlier this fall.


The move to restore the trail system surrounding the regional park comes as the city prepares to launch other improvements to the park’s amenities. Murray said Denison plans to open the city’s first dog park within Waterloo Lake Park in the next few weeks. The dog park, located on the far end of the regional park, will feature two fenced areas designed to separate small and large dogs.


The city has also entered into the design phase for the proposed Katy Trail project, which will see the construction of a four-mile walking trail along what was once the right-of-way for the former Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad. Once completed, the trail will connect to existing trails across the city, including at Waterloo Lake Park.


“There is a lot of things going on at Waterloo, and we are really excited about that,” Murray said.