Decades of misuse and neglect have taken their toll on Fowler Park. Once one of Guymon’s most popular parks, weather extremes and vandalism have lessened the popularity of the park at the north end of Ellison Street, north of NE 16th.
But that’s all about to change thanks to the City of Guymon, which budgeted more than $100,000 for park improvements. Grant money may also be available to make even more improvements.
“I have been trying to get some money there for quite some time,” said Public Works Director Ivan Clark. “If you see the city leaders here, the council members, give them a pat on the back because they’ve directed us at the city and myself to go make a difference in Fowler Park. Enough is enough.”
Clark said there will be numerous improvements made to the park, including:
•a sprinkler system upgrade, including new sprinkler heads. The underground piping is in remarkably good shape, according to Clark;
•new valves. Clark said the current valves are antiques;
•an 8-foot-wide walking trail. There was an 1,800 feet and 4-foot-wide walking trail originally, which has mostly been covered up over the years. The new walking trail will be wider and consist of concrete;
•a new roof for the picnic table pavilion;
•new doors and roof for the bathroom. Clark said the piping for the bathroom is also in good shape.
•new guardrails similar to what was placed at Sunset Lake.
Clark said that the current tennis court — which has not been used as such for years — could become a soccer field.
Clark also said Tri-County Electric will help in replacing lighting.
Community Development Director Vicki McCune said that an annual grant for land and water conservation is available in the amount of $25,000.
“It’s a federal program that filters down through the Department of Tourism,” McCune said. “There’s a trail grant for motorized and non-motorized trails. Because the council had already focused on Fowler, we obviously want to apply for the non-motorized trail.”
The grant is 80/20, which means the grant pays for 80 percent of the project, including renovation of the trail, lighting of the trail (which currently does not exist), bathroom renovations and the guardrails.
There’s also a $25,000 grant that the Texas County Health Department got — which the city has to apply for — for healthy living. The health department tried to get approval from the city for a similar grant at Cross Park, but the city council rejected it.
“It closed the door on a $150,000 program (at Cross Park),” McCune said. “But we were able to get the community considered as a healthy community. So that allowed us access to another $25,000 grant. So we might be able to think about this and decide how we would like that utilized, as well.”