Marble Falls parks director sees potential of city’s hike-and-bike trail system

MARBLE FALLS — As he drove to the different parts of the city of Marble Falls’ trail system, Parks and Recreation Director Robert Moss smiled.

He recalled seeing the area that would become Westside Park before it was cleaned up.

“When I first saw this land, it had 13 feet of vegetation,” he said. “When I interviewed for the job, they talked about getting Westside Park built.”

Today, it has picnic tables, a playground, a full-court outdoor basketball court and a nine-hole disc-golf course.

So, creating and developing a trail system that links the seven square miles of the city isn’t a task that puts fear into Moss.

In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Because where others see high vegetation and low-water areas, Moss sees people walking on the trails and getting fit, runners checking their heart rates and staying in shape and bikers ducking their heads for speed and hugging curves.

And members of the Marble Falls Economic Development Corp. have the same vision. It’s why members approved allocating about $100,000 to the city’s Parks and Recreation Department on June 3.

The allocated funds are the result of the EDC reviewing its list of approved projects, said EDC Executive Director Christian Fletcher.

“It had items on it along Backbone Creek, specifically,” Fletcher said. “That was in 2009 when the EDC board listed that as a potential project along with a dozen others.”

By working closely with the Parks and Recreation Department on this project, Fletcher said it accomplished two objectives.

First, a trail system is an attractive asset to the city and can be used as a big draw to entice owners to bring their businesses here.

And second, a trail system is always a great addition for local citizens.

The allocated money will go to no more than three areas.

One is the expansion of the hike-and-bike system along Backbone Creek to connect Johnson and Westside parks. The cost is $50,000, Fletcher said.

Another is ribbon curbing, which is a safety issue, Moss said. Parts of the trail are near water elements and vegetation. So the curbing helps keep athletes on the trail, Moss said. The cost is $42,000. The trail will be a made of decomposed granite.

And lastly, $10,000-15,000 is for irrigation and landscaping.

As Moss looked at parts of the trail at Johnson and Westside parks, he reflected on the responsibility he feels for ensuring the city’s parks and recreation areas are at their best.

“When I wake up every day,” he said, “I think about the people who use our facilities and the enjoyment they get. And that makes me smile.”