Director's Column

Michael KowskiDirector of Parks & Recreation, Mike Kowski

McKinney Courier-Gazette, June 16, 2019


A Grand Opening for a Grand Park

The City of McKinney Parks and Recreation Department recently celebrated the grand opening of Phase II of Bonnie Wenk Park, the 170-acre park located along the Wilson Creek greenbelt. Phase II of the community park includes new concrete hike and bike trails, two additional parking lots, two multi-purpose sports fields, restrooms and two playgrounds. 


One of the playgrounds has been a dream shared by residents for years and through the joint support of the Rotary Clubs of McKinney, an all-abilities playground specially designed to accommodate children of all ages, needs and abilities has been completed. Bonnie Wenk Park is truly a community park with something to offer everyone.


Parks Bingo is Back!

Also as a part of the grand opening celebration, we launched our annual Parks Bingo program for the summer. The citywide bingo game encourages residents to discover new ways to explore, get fit and stay healthy while fostering new relationships and forging a connection with nature. The game includes a variety of fun activities such as tennis, pool games, popsicles in the park, concerts and movie nights.


An Upgrade for Old Settler's Recreation Center

The summer isn’t just filled with fun and games. We’re also hard at work on a $4 million renovation project for Old Settler’s Recreation Center as a part of our Parks Master Plan. Funded in large part by the McKinney Community Development Corporation (MCDC), the facility renovations will include refurbishing the existing restrooms, updating office spaces, renovating the two gyms and refreshing all of the multipurpose spaces and corridors. 


The project will also deliver more parking spaces, add a new covered patio space attached to the building, and enclose the existing outdoor pavilion to create additional interior space for a fitness area, meeting rooms, bathrooms with showers, lounge and game areas, as well as establishing a new main entrance with a control desk. The facility will remain open during the renovation project.


These efforts are part of a multi-year master plan using a combination of MCDC funding and recently approved bond proceeds to renovate all of Old Settler’s Park and the facilities situated within it, including Mouzon Fields. To date, we’ve added drinking fountains in the park and started refreshing Old Settler’s Aquatic Center, and the Parks & Recreation Department will soon commence with design efforts to renovate the park itself to include new play equipment, pavilions and potentially covered court areas to replace the existing outdoor sports pavilion.


Revitalizing the Old, Building the New

As we continue to breathe new life into some of our oldest and most cherished parks, we also aim to move forward visionary ideas to ensure the vitality of our parks system and recreation facilities for future generations. This includes upgrading each of our existing sports complexes to include adding some synthetic turf fields, refreshing our historic community parks, and continuing to renovate, expand and build new recreation space for our community.


Red, White & Boom! Is Coming July 4th

I welcome you to visit a park, explore a trail route or participate in a recreation program today. And do be sure to join us at Red, White & Boom! on July 4th at the McKinney Soccer Complex at Craig Ranch for live entertainment, food and activities. This annual family-favorite evening will conclude with an amazing fireworks show. I look forward to seeing you there!