Over the past few years we have had the pleasure of being the lead designer in developing the public spaces of the largest planned unit development in South Texas. Tres Lagos is a 2,500 acre development that features parks, green-ways, hike and bike trails, community centers, homes, businesses, schools, churches, and universities. The park space is a series of three interconnected parks that offer a wide variety of recreational amenities. These include an amphitheater, picnicking pavilions, restrooms, walking trails, fishing pier, kayak launch, beach volleyball court, tennis courts, basketball courts, over sized playgrounds, tumble hill, soccer field, outdoor fitness equipment, and dog parks. The parks and bike trails feature live oak, cedar elm, Mexican fan palms, Texas sabal palms, bur oak, Mexican orchid shrubs, Texas ebony, Mexican olive, Huisache, fiddlewood, anaqua, Texas ash, tepeguaje, retama, guamuchil, mesquite, monterrey oak, Texas mountain laurel, Hong Kong orchid, jacaranda, and Montezuma bald cypress.
We worked tirelessly under an extremely tight deadline to develop the plans and specifications that met the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department requirements and the developer and City’s needs. The grant monies included U.S. Fish and Wildlife federal funds. We were able to successfully incorporate the federal fund grant requirements into the design and the contract documents. Our process is so thorough that the review by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department resulted in zero changes and an expedited notice to proceed. The result of the intense coordination between all project partners is a beautiful and highly functional series of outdoor spaces that is teeming with families and sports enthusiasts.
The City of Mercedes has tasked us to complete the site planning, and the landscape and irrigation design of work for a 5-acre park portion of a 46-acre park. The Park is located on the northside of the city adjacent to the community center. This project is funded by the City and by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. This is phase one of a larger park development project. The goal for this development is to promote a healthy way of living for the residents of Mercedes and provide premiere park amenities. Featured elements include a covered basketball court, soccer fields, irrigation system, playgrounds, picnic facilities, native shade trees, nature conservation area, and rainwater harvesting system. Additional elements for future phases include walking trails, baseball/softball fields, soccer fields, and native gardens.
Andrew Heffner is a registered landscape architect in Michigan and Texas. He earned his Bachelors of Landscape Architecture from Michigan State University.