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New Harker Heights park grand opening is Wednesday

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Posted: Monday, October 14, 2013 4:30 am

HARKER HEIGHTS  — The city will unveil its newest recreation area, Goode-Connell Park, during a grand opening ceremony at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The park, at 110 E. Beeline, will be the sixth addition to the Harker Heights parks system.

The 14-acre park features a playground, trails, multiple climbing boulders, and practice areas for soccer and baseball.

The Goode and Connell families will attend the ceremony to officially open this park to the city. The families donated the land to the city in 2005, in honor of Paul Goode and Ted Connell.

“We just wanted to do something in their honor,” said Paula Lohse, Goode’s daughter. “They both were community-minded and my dad loved to see kids playing outside.”

Lohse said her family is thrilled about what the park will mean to the community.

“It’s important to have places where people can relax and enjoy the outdoors. I am tickled to death with how the park turned out and I know both of them are smiling down on us.”

Heather Cox, activities coordinator for the Parks and Recreation Department, said the community has been exploring the trails, but all features of the park are usable now that construction is complete.

“This is another space for the community to come out and enjoy the leisure services we offer,” Cox said.

Connell and Goode came to Killeen as young businessmen in the early 1950s. They became close friends and later business partners.

Diane Connell said her husband, Ted, valued parks and the outdoors as much as Goode did, so when it came to deciding what to do with the land, donating it and creating a park was a natural fit.

“The land in that area was perfectly suited for a park because it had some drainage issues,” she said. “This is what my husband would have wanted us to do with the land and we are very happy with what the city has chosen to do with the land.”

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