Johnson Park


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.


Marble Falls park survey offers prize drawing

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

No matter where you are from, the Marble Falls Parks & Recreation Department wants your ideas for their facilities and programs.

An online survey is being conducted to collect the information that will make its way into the process going on to update the city's Park, Recreation & Open Space Master Plan. The document will help Marble Falls set priorities for parks, recreation facilities, trails and open spaces for the next 10 years.

As an incentive for the effort, those who complete the survey by Aug. 31 will be able to enter a drawing for a chance to win two VIP tickets to FiestaJAM 2016 to be held Sept. 23-24 at Lakeside Park and Pavilion or a 16GB Verizon iPhone 5s.

“Anyone who works or shops here or who just enjoys coming to Marble Falls is invited to take the survey,” said Monique Breaux, administrative assistant for Parks & Recreation. “The city takes everyone's views seriously.”


LakeFest honors Fry as competition begins

By Lew K. Cohn

and Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

Water will be spraying hard and fast when drag boats zip across Lake Marble Falls this weekend during the 25th annual LakeFest, but it will be hard for pilots not to be reminded the tragic accident that claimed the life of veteran racer Mike Fry last year.

A tribute was held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, to remember Fry and honor his fellow drivers. The festival kicks off in earnest today, Friday, Aug. 12, with qualifying rounds starting at 9 a.m. and continuing into the afternoon.

Competitors and fans alike especially will miss that one entry not in this year's field. Fry, pilot of the Meanstreak II, a Top Alcohol Hydro (TAH) boat, died around 10:30 a.m on Aug. 9, 2015, after his boat disintegrated at the end of a run.


MayFest promises fun for all at Johnson Park

 By Lew K. Cohn

The Highlander

Managing Editor


The countdown is on for the annual MayFest, to be held at historic Johnson Park in Marble Falls from May 11-14.

This year's MayFest promises to be better than ever as there are a number of fun events for children and adults alike as well as music, contests and the MayFest carnival.


Johnson Park honored as Lone Star Legacy Park

Mayor John Packer accepts an award naming Johnson Park in Marble Falls a Lone Star Legacy Park on Friday. The city hosted a ceremony and reception to mark the occasion.


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