Construction at San Saba River Nature Park is under way following a brief ceremony Nov. 5 with local elected officials, the Burnet contractor performing the park work and LCRA Board and staff members. LCRA is partnering with the City of San Saba on the new park. LCRA will develop it and the city will operate and maintain it. The project is scheduled to be completed in fall of 2011.
"We are not going to be like any other town; we are going to be unique," said San Saba Mayor Ken Jordan. "Very few communities can tie together three parks, with each being a little different, and come together as one." The San Saba River Nature Park also will link to existing Risien Park and Mill Pond Park.
In 2009, the LCRA Board of Directors approved the park purchase in San Saba County to help achieve LCRA’s long-term goal of having an LCRA park in each of its 10 statutory counties. That original vision of the Colorado River Trail will be achieved with the completion of this park and the Pedernales River Nature Park in Blanco, which currently is in the planning stage.
"Local officials and community leaders are really the inspiration that got this done," said LCRA Board Member Ida A. Carter, also chair of the Land and Community Resources Committee. "They helped get public input on the design and the concept for how the park should be designed."
When construction is completed, the park will have a variety of amenities, including hike and bike trails, fishing areas, an archeological interpretive area, wildlife viewing sites, primitive camping, parking and restroom facilities. The new 40-acre park property includes a large pecan orchard with some centuries-old trees and frontage on Mill Creek and the San Saba River.
"I get the benefit of joining a project that was well out of the gate when I got here, thanks to all of these people and LCRA for having the foresight and vision that LCRA had 20 years ago when it first developed the Colorado River Trail," said LCRA Board Member Michael G. McHenry. "After seeing the plans that were first presented to us and the idea of linking these beautiful parks together, it is a great opportunity and a privilege to be part of that."
Prior to selecting a construction company for the park project, LCRA hosted a vendor open house in San Saba in June. Out of the nine proposals submitted by general contractors for consideration, LCRA selected Zimmerman Construction based out of Burnet. Zimmerman already has secured two San Saba subcontractors to assist in the project and continues to pursue additional local business partnerships.