Johnson Park


Meat cute: A quest for brisket perfection

Lew K. Cohn is the managing editor for Highland Lakes Newspapers, comprised of The Highlander and Burnet Bulletin. He also covers Burnet County Commissioners, the city of Horseshoe Bay, political news and general features. To offer a comment, column idea, news or feature tip email





By Lew K. Cohn
Managing Editor

You may call me Ahab or Galahad, because I defied the odds and hunted down my white whale and Holy Grail. However, unlike them, I have lived to tell the tasty tale myself.


Girl Scout house reopens in Marble Falls

Contributed/Girl Scouts of Central Texas
Flooding in the Highland Lakes in October 2018 made the Girl Scout Huber House hut unusable on Pecan Valley Drive, but thanks to community assistance, the hut is celebrating its reopening this weekend.





Special to The Highlander

When the Highland Lakes flooded in October, the Marble Falls Girl Scout Huber House was rendered unusable. Thanks to local citizens who stepped up in a time of need, however, the building was renovated and is ready to reopen just three months later.


City eyes house as hazard, Property owner asks for direction

Connie Swinney/The Highlander
During a Town Hall post flood event review Jan. 29, city officials addressed concerns by Marble Falls resident Nancy Dunnam, who lives on Buena Vista Drive, where a number of homes adjacent to Backbone Creek experienced property erosion.





By Connie Swinney
Staff Writer

In the aftermath of the October flood event, Marble Falls resident Nancy Dunnam, who has a home on Buena Vista Drive, believes her family has faced a tough climb towards recovery.

“I can't get any information on how to get back in my home. I have a fence that was literally put around my house, no communication,” she said. “How many of you guys that had this happen to you had a fence put around your home? Anybody? Or is it just Buena Vista.”

Dunnam shared her concerns during the Marble Falls Town Hall meeting on Jan. 29, which assessed and gathered citizen input about response and recovery since the flood event.


Recommendation on Marble Falls boat ramp fees launch council debate

Connie Swinney/The Highlander
The city of Marble Falls boat ramp area on Lakeshore Drive in the so-called Hays Addition on Lake Marble Falls is undergoing several thousands of dollars in upgrades and improvements, including expanded parking and ramp improvements. At the request of some council members, city officials are researching the expense and possible gain of invoking boat ramp fees.






By Connie Swinney
Staff Writer

City officials debated the possible merits Jan. 15 of passing proposed fees for the public using two city-maintained boat launch locations to access Lake Marble Falls.

Within the city limits, boaters can access Lake Marble Falls using a ramp on Lakeshore Drive in the Hays Addition and a boat ramp in Johnson Park on Backbone Creek.

The city, opting to expand the two existing ramps, has closed a third ramp in Lakeside Park, to help clear the way for a planned hotel/conference center on Marble Falls Economic Development Corporation property adjacent to the park at Buena Vista Drive and Yett Street.

Councilman Dave Rhodes said the city's parks improvements efforts which are underway and the potential for “user wear and tear” of the amenities prompted him to request consideration of fees.


Parks and Recs board member resigns amid parks planning criticism

Connie Swinney/The Highlander
Developer and Attorney Steve Hurst resigned his position with the Marble Falls Parks and Recreation Commission recently, citing his concerns about the city's direction on a planned parks improvement package which he believes does not adequately address flood mitigation or bridge and roads in the aftermath of the Oct. 16 flood event.







By Connie Swinney
Staff Writer

Marble Falls-based developer and lawyer Steve Hurst says he has witnessed a few missteps by city governments in planning and preparing for development in flood prone areas.

“I've watched this for years, representing clients in and around Austin and this area. I've lived on Lake Travis, Inks Lake, and I've had property on Lake Marble Falls,” Hurst said. “Shoal Creek and Waller Creek in Austin – the millions of dollars the city of Austin is having to spend right now in those flood plains.

“Development continued, but the cost of remediation and the damage to properties when those flood events occurred was stunning, and they're still spending money trying to address it,” he added. “We're not learning those lessons.”


Flash flooding sweeps through Backbone Creek in Marble Falls

Phil Reynolds/The Highlander

Torrential rain and thunderstorms sent runoff down Backbone Creek, resulting in flash flooding in Johnson Park in Marble Falls.




From staff reports •

Storm runoff caused a scare among some Pecan Valley and Meadowlakes residents Sept.8 and 9, as motorists were temporarily blocked from leaving their neighborhoods to avoid a flooded low-water crossing on Avenue N and a rain-swollen Backbone Creek crossing in Johnson Park in Marble Falls.

Residents reported the rise of the creek starting Saturday and subsiding throughout the day until another round of of storms swept through the area on Sunday.

“Avenue N on Saturday and Sunday was closed for some time because of water over the road,” Marble Falls Fire Rescue Chief Russell Sander said. “Johnson Park did have water over the bridge on Sunday.

Everything was temporary,” he added.

From more than 5 inches of rain in Marble Falls to nearly 4 inches in Spicewood were reported due to torrential thunderstorms and steady rain.


MayFest continues through Saturday

Richard Zowie/The Highlander
Shivani Damico and her son Jimmy, both of Kingsland, enjoy time on the Merry-Go-Round during the first day of the Marble Falls Mayfest Carnival at Johnson Park on Wednesday, May 9.






Music, carnival rides, shopping, games and fun for the whole family — all of it can be found this weekend at MayFest 2018 in Marble Falls, which continues to midnight Saturday at Johnson Park, 230 Avenue J in Marble Falls.

The MayFest Carnival is a large draw each year and brings out fans of people who love rolling, spinning, whirling, playing games of fun and chance and eating all of the great food on the midway. The fun at the Carnival begins at 5 p.m. and continues to midnight both Friday and Saturday nights.


McDermott to perform at Children's Day

This year, a national star of the world of kids — Joe McDermott – will take the Johnson Park amphitheater during Children's Day Saturday, April 15.

The 17th annual Marble Falls event will be going on from 10 a.m. with opening ceremonies and the balloon release to 3 p.m. when prize drawings should be complete.

McDermott is scheduled for 11 a.m., compliments of the Marble Falls Library.

“We have tried to get him for a performance for years,” said Misty Smith, Youth Services librarian. “He is just so popular. His songs for children are catchy and funny. You can see him on YouTube and he has a fifth CD coming out with its own coloring book.”

For the unitiated, a person can tap in to a taste of McDermott's work on YouTube where the video for his all-time kid favorite, “Kitty Fight Song,” plays. That is, if you haven't heard the tune already on XM Radio where it is loved.


City to cut ribbon for new Johnson Park playscape Saturday

Children have been enjoying the new playscape in Johnson Park for about a month now. The formal ribbon cutting will be at noon Saturday.

By Glynis Crawford Smith/The Highlander

Children have been scrambling over a new playscape in Marble Falls Johnson Park, but the maze of new playground equipment will be officially opened with a ribbon cutting at noon Saturday, March 4.

“It is wonderful to see children enjoying the new feature,” said Parks & Recreation Director Robert Moss. “We want to invite the public to share in the ribbon cutting.”

In 2016 Johnson Park was designated a Lone Star Legacy Park by the Texas Recreation and Parks Society (TRAPS), in part for its heritage of serving the whole community since 1888.

“The new playscape will continue to offer park visitors an opportunity to make memories under the iconic pecan trees,” said Moss.


Marble Falls to host National Night Out

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

The year 2016 has been on full of community outreach to support first responders, but at National Night Out, local police, fire and emergency medical personnel cement their bridge to the community with pure fun.

Tuesday night, Oct. 4, is that night. From 5-7 p.m. Johnson Park in Marble Falls will be filled with a fleet of emergency vehicles, free food and goodie bags and events just for kids.

It is a night that makes a family event of meeting the first responders they might never see outside an emergency and to get a look inside a helicopter, ambulance or fire truck that inspires awe or excitement in the park but might be terrifying at an accident scene.

Youngsters can even get an idea of what might be going on at one of those scenes.


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