EARLY, Texas – The City of Early will be able to construct a trail with educational signs and an outdoor classroom thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority.
The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $54,000 in matching contributions, will construct a trailhead with lighting, a walkway, educational signage and an outdoor classroom in the new Early Town Center Park and Pond recreation area.
“Everyone is excited about having this great amenity that will encourage people to get outside and into nature,” said Tony Aaron, Early city administrator. “It will provide a beautiful, educational outdoor setting for social groups, and the 1-mile trail will comply with Americans with Disabilities Act standards so everyone can enjoy it.”
The educational signage will include information about natural resources in the Pecan Bayou watershed and the lower Colorado River, Aaron said, adding that members of local organizations, clubs and schools already have expressed interest in using the outdoor classroom.
“Representatives from the school district said they will use the area to help reinforce their study of Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills standards for topics on natural resources and the water cycle,” Aaron said. “Our site on Pecan Bayou makes it a perfect place for educational information about the water it provides for us and wildlife.”
LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson said the project’s location along a major tributary of the lower Colorado River also helps connect it with LCRA’s mission to “enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service.”
“Giving the community a place to enjoy, experience and learn about Pecan Bayou reinforces the need for being good stewards of this important natural resource,” Wilson said. “I grew up in Brownwood, so this area is very special to me. I’m so proud of this project – with its water conservation education, outdoor meeting area and a trail that can be used by everyone in the community.”
The community grant is one of 36 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves.
Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.
LCRA representatives present a $50,000 grant to the City of Early for park renovations. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured standing, from left to right, are: Fisher Reynolds, LCRA chief of staff; Dylan Sanders, Rep. August Pfluger’s office; Jimmy Paris, Early Chamber of Commerce ambassador; Bobby Martin, chamber board member; David Denos, MC Bank chief credit officer; Benny Alcorn, Early Municipal Development District board president and city council member; Wayne Shaw, Brown County commissioner; Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter, LCRA Board member; Cooper Hogg, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; Phil Wilson, LCRA general manager; Justin Riggan, chamber board member; Tony Aaron, city administrator; Dr. Robert Mangrum, mayor; Larry McConn, assistant city administrator and director of economic development; Jeremy Essary, city code enforcement; Joy Grubbs, chamber ambassador; Carol Freeman, LCRA Board member; Jeffery Rogers, chamber ambassador; Denise Hudson-Brian, city tourism director; Harry Gibbs, Keller Williams developer; Dottie Layman, chamber ambassador; Jennifer Urias, chamber board member; Cindee Goodwin, chamber board secretary; Stephanie Johnston, chamber board vice president; Dr. Kalie Lowrie, Dr. Shannon Sims, Hunter Sims, Jason Bachtel and Troy Drummond, Howard Payne University. Seated, from left to right, are: John Allen, Brown County Water Improvement District superintendent; Gary Smith, grant writer; Amanda Chapman, chamber membership coordinator; and Helen Tatum, Victoria Estes and Jackie Randle, chamber ambassadors.