Relics of old fitness stations remain, but it’s not always clear what you were supposed to do there.
story and photo by Ann Fowler
OAK HILL – District 8 City Council representative Ellen Troxclair has donated $30,000—representing 10 percent of her office budget—to repairs needed for Dick Nichols District Park at 8011 Beckett Road.
The 150-acre park is a favorite of many, with basketball, tennis and volleyball courts, a swimming pool, barbecue pits and exercise stations along a mile-long walking trail.
Troxclair said her family and dogs are frequent visitors to Dick Nichols Park. She told the Gazette, “We spend a lot of time there. It’s a great asset to the community.”
She said the deterioration of the equipment at the park’s fitness stations was brought to her attention. “I had been saving money in my personal office budget specifically to give back to the district in some way and thought this would be the perfect project,” said Troxclair. “I immediately called the Parks Department to inquire about the cost to replace the trail stations and brought a resolution to council in order to transfer the money.”
Oak Hill resident Rich DePalma who is co-founder and former co-chair of Friends of Dick Nichols Park, and also serves as secretary for the Oak Hill Association of Neighborhoods, said, “The broken 15-year-old trail fitness system at Dick Nichols Park has long been a thorn for the many Southwest Austin residents who routinely use the park.”
DePalma said the new equipment will help local park users stay fit and healthy while enhancing a beloved park.
Local individuals and organizations that have rented the park’s facilities for events may be surprised to find that money they thought would go to maintain the park instead has been diverted to other uses in the general fund. Councilmember Troxclair plans to address this issue to make sure that money for park use stays in that park’s coffers.
Many Oak Hill residents have long held that the city fails to spend a fair share of its budget in the Oak Hill area. Troxclair said that complaint is not unique to our area. She said, “Many parts of the city, including Southwest Austin, have felt underserved for a long time. The new Council with district representatives has gone a long way to address imbalances, as we each are able to advocate for our unique communities with first-hand experience. There is certainly more focus on making sure resources are distributed in a more equitable manner.”