By Heather Regula, Correspondent
Dozens of supporters attended the first of two Miller Springs Nature Center public meetings, hosted jointly by the Belton and Temple Parks and Recreation Departments, at the Mayborn Center in Temple, on Tuesday evening. At the helm of the meeting were Matt Bates (Belton Director of Parks and Recreation), Kevin Beavers (Temple Director of Parks and Recreation), and Ranger Arty Johnson (Corps of Engineers).
“We have a lot of parks in our parks system, but Miller Springs is one of a kind! We intend to work on the trails and get the park open as quickly as we can. The month of May is a timeframe we are aiming for, but there isn’t any guarantee. Safety is always a priority,” stated Beavers.
Community members in attendance were relieved to hear that there are no plans to make drastic changes to Miller Springs Nature Center – the plans are to get it open again as quickly as possible. The collaborative efforts of the entities are apparent – the strategic planning is a joint effort.
“This public meeting is a chance for the public to hear about what we have planned, clear up any misunderstandings, and give the people an opportunity to be heard,” explained Bates. “We have become passionate about this beautiful area and the remarkable natural resource it is. We don’t have a set re-opening date. If you are interested in getting into Miller Springs earlier, then sign up as a volunteer!”
Audience members included representatives from special interest groups, municipal government personnel, boy scout troop leaders, and members of the Miller Springs Alliance. The overall feel of the forum was positive as people in attendance spoke up – sharing their thoughts, questions, and concerns.
“From the Corps (of Engineers) side, we are pleased with how everything is going. The whole experience has been positive, and everyone is working together to get Miller Springs open as soon as possible,” remarked Johnson.