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Posted on: November 27, 2019

Temple and Belton Parks & Recreation win Conservation Award

Temple and Belton Parks & Recreation win Conservation Award
Re-opening of Miller Springs Nature Center honored by Texas Recreation and Park Society



Due to the cooperation between the Cities of Belton and Temple in re-opening Miller Springs Nature Center, the Texas Recreation and Park Society (TRAPS) honored the two municipalities with a Conservation Award at their Central Region Conference in Pflugerville this month. The award recognizes the two Parks & Recreation departments and their efforts to re-open the important and historically significant amenity to the public.
 
In August 2017, Miller Springs, a sprawling 265-acre nature preserve with miles of serene hiking trails, abruptly closed when the non-profit that maintained the facility for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) was unable to continue to do so. When the USACE acknowledged that it would be unable to re-open the facility, the Cities of Belton & Temple formed a partnership that allowed the preserve to re-open.
 
Under the terms of the partnership, Temple agreed to dedicate staff to address any daily maintenance needs at the facility, and Belton agreed to coordinate and manage multiple volunteer events each year. The initial cleanup at the dormant facility required extensive staff hours and included initiatives that revised maps and repaired various locations at the facility. Miller Springs Nature Center re-opened to the public in July 2018.
 
“The leadership teams in Belton and Temple worked out a simple solution to a unique challenge,” said Matt Bates, Belton Director of Parks and Recreation. “That’s the way people want government to work, and we feel a lot of pride whenever we see families using the park or volunteers giving of their time to make sure it is maintained.”
 
Over the past year, more than 250 volunteers have provided more than 760 hours of labor to help maintain the beauty of the facility. Two Eagle Scout projects have taken place on the land, and City of Temple staff have quickly addressed maintenance items such as fallen trees to make sure that the Nature Center remains clean and accessible.
 
“People appreciate Miller Springs again. More people are using the park, and volunteer efforts have been substantial,” said Kevin Beavers, City of Temple Parks and Recreation Director. “Two local governments came together for the betterment of the community, and people have responded in an impressive way.”
 
Media Contacts:

Laurie Simmons
Public Relations Manager
City of Temple
(O) 254.298.5617
(C) 254.217.5853
lsimmons@templetx.gov


Paul Romer
Public Information Officer
City of Belton
(O) 254.933.5889
promer@beltontexas.gov

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