Harrell Clary, one of the founders of the park, gives attendees a tour after the groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday. 

Contributed

LAMPASAS — About 130 residents attended a groundbreaking ceremony at Cooper Spring Nature Park on Tuesday afternoon. 

The event highlighted future construction slated for the area, as well as the upcoming Spring Ho Barbecue event that will take place at the park July 12.

At the 25-acre park along Hackberry Street near the city’s sculpture garden, members of the Cooper Spring Nature Park Foundation unveiled a design for a small, new pavilion and deer-proof fencing that will allow more wildflowers and foliage to grow, said Amy McDaniel, spokeswoman for the Lampasas Center for Higher Education and the foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises money for the park.

The foundation received about $100,000

in donations to put toward the construction.

“We were really happy with the turnout. It seemed crowded, so that was good,” McDaniel said, reflecting on the event.

Park founders Harrell Clary and Rex and Linda Johnson spoke, as well as Lampasas Mayor Jerry Grayson.

Clary said construction on the new 24-by-40-foot pavilion will begin in the next six months near the entrance of the park.

Fencing construction will start immediately to accommodate the Spring Ho barbecue, and will extend around the entire park within six months.

In the future, an observation deck also will be constructed on the abandonment railroad trestle in the park.

As part of the groundbreaking ceremony, participants helped spread mulch around a newly planted bald cypress tree.

Bald cypress trees originally were prevalent in the area, although they are rare now, McDaniel said.

Planting and mulching the tree is a part of the park’s efforts to preserve the wildlife that grows, or once grew, naturally in the area and provide a protected area for wildlife.

Contact Courtney Griffin at cgriffin@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7559

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