Katy, Texas – August 19, 2019. Public parks are a benefit to any community, and Rick Rice Park is no exception. The beautiful 8.5 acre park in Katy is celebrating its 10th anniversary this summer. A beloved local spot, an average of 4,200 people come to visit every month.
“This park gives local residents a place to step away from their screens and take in nature’s beauty,” says Clark Glickman, a member of the board of directors for Interstate Municipal Utility District (MUD), the government entity that created the park. “I visit the park myself several times a week. I always meet other regulars — this is a community space where the people who live around here can get to know each other.”
The park was created after legislation in 2004 gave Municipal Utility Districts the power to finance, construct and maintain recreational amenities. “We set out to create a park that was unlike any other public park in design and maintenance, and we are pleased that so many people are enjoying it,” said Barry Kaplan, president of the Interstate MUD board. A detention basin was turned into the pond that is the center of the park, and it is surrounded by a walking trail, benches and water fountains for people and pets. One corner features a Veterans Memorial Plaza.
In 2012, a pedestrian bridge was built connecting the park to the Mason Creek Hike and Bike Trail. In 2014, the CanCare Overlook was added — it’s an elevated seating area with views of the entire park. Francesca’s Garden opened at the south end of the park in 2015. The garden has a covered pavilion with picnic tables and is a popular spot for weekly yoga classes, boot camps, play groups, music concerts and other get-togethers.
Local residents have been grateful for the serene escape in the middle of their community and many pop by almost every day. “Rick Rice Park is an absolute beauty,” says Oluwatoyin Miranda, a local Google guide. “It has lots of places to sit, walk and have family time.”
Others come to enjoy the beautiful songs of the sparrows and mockingbirds, or to view the majestic Great Blue Herons. Still others are looking for Pokémon, of which there are also plenty, or geocaches.
“It’s beautiful and safe,” said Eileen Vasquez in her Google review of the park. “You can enjoy walking, running or riding your bike. Go enjoy the birds and turtles while getting healthy.”
About Interstate MUD
Founded in 1974, Interstate Municipal Utility District (MUD) provides water and wastewater services to district residents; its boundaries are from I-10 to Kingsland and from Westgreen to Mason. Rick Rice Park is located just south of I-10 off Westgreen Blvd. Please visit Interstate MUD’s newly updated website for additional information: interstatemud.com.