Last month the city of Mansfield celebrated the grand opening of three parks in one exciting day of festivities. Watson Branch Park, Gertie Barrett Park, and McClendon Park West were all officially opened to the public, with city officials and park officials in attendance to celebrate.
Watson Branch Park, located at 1420 Watson Branch Road, is a new neighborhood park that is nearly 11 acres in size. The park features a paved linear trail that runs throughout the Watson Branch neighborhood, two playgrounds, a pavilion, and picnic tables for families to enjoy.
Gertie Barrett Park, located at 2121 Gertie Barrett Road, is an eight-acre park and was the highest priority for northwest Mansfield in the 2020 Master Plan. The park features two playgrounds, two pavilions, a looped walking trail, natural areas, a restroom, and a splash pad.
McClendon Park West, located at 799 W. Broad Street, had been closed since June 2022 for major renovations that replaced the unused softball field with two lighted basketball courts, a new restroom, and a splash pad. The park had also expanded its parking areas to accommodate the new visitors expected with the enhanced amenities.
All three parks will operate on standard neighborhood park hours, open daily from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. The splash pads at Gertie Barrett Park and McClendon Park West will operate from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, starting with the park opening and through the end of the summer. There is no cost to attend the parks or the splash pads.
The Mansfield Parks and Recreation Master Plan was adopted in 2020 and included detailed evaluation and analysis of the inventory, demographics, current trends in parks and recreation, comparisons to benchmark communities, as well as a review of progress since the last master plan was adopted in 2010.
Park officials emphasized public feedback during development of the plan.
“Our goal from the beginning was to create a citizen-driven plan,” Ann Beck, marketing and communications manager, said in a City of Mansfield press announcement in 2020. “The whole campaign was called ‘My Mansfield Parks’ because we truly believe the parks belong to the people they serve, and our plans should reflect the needs and desires of those residents.”
According to the City of Mansfield, the 2020 Mansfield Parks and Recreation Master Plan includes over 50 projects, divided into large-scale, citywide projects and smaller, park-specific projects in each city quadrant.