Celina officials approve $22.5 million to create downtown park

January 19, 2024

City Council members in the North Texas town of Celina have signed off on developing a 9-acre urban park, called Ousley Park. The project has an estimated $22.5 million cost, with $14 million allocated to building the park and $8.5 million for restoring a nearby stream, called Doe Branch Creek.

Ousley Park’s master plan calls for a basketball pavilion, pickleball courts and an outdoor fitness center. The design also features a splash pad and an all-abilities playground, both covered by shade canopies, and a large fountain placed at the park’s main entry point. The park includes an open-air performance pavilion and a pair of separated spaces for large and small dogs.

The park also will feature art, athletics history and memorial walks, pedestrian bridges and a treehouse observation deck. The city will invest in the park’s greenspace by building community and pollinator gardens, preserving and adding riparian areas, incorporating open space and creating a nature playground.

Plans also include restrooms, pavilions and signage scattered throughout the park as well as multiple parking lots, perimeter fencing and a dedicated food truck area.

Plans call for incorporating the existing Bobcat Stadium and Ralph O’Dell Senior Citizen Park into the park’s design. The project also includes developing a 12-foot-wide regional trail system that loops Doe Branch Creek.

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Photo courtesy of the city of Celina

Paul Stinson

Paul Stinson has more than 15 years of journalism experience, including a decade covering the legislative and regulatory affairs of Texas, South Africa, and Germany for an affiliate of Bloomberg, L.P. His experience includes covering voting rights and the sectors of environment, energy, labor, healthcare, and taxes. Stinson joined the team in October as a reporter for SPI’s news publications, which include Government Contracting Pipeline, Texas Government Insider, and the newly-launched Government Market News. He is also a Fulbright Scholar to Germany, and an Arthur F. Burns Fellow. He holds a master’s in journalism from Indiana University.   

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