Media Center
  • Thursday, April 13, 2017
    Input given on Henderson Park master plan
    A “wish list” of improvements to Brenham’s historic Henderson Park includes more playground equipment, covered basketball courts, a larger barbecue and perimeter fencing.
    Brenham officials held a public forum Wednesday evening at the park’s outdoor pavilion, seeking input from citizens on a “master plan” being developed.
    The park was once home to a large pavilion that hosted dances featuring legendary musicians such as B.B. King, Joe Turner and Little Richard.
    The Black Lions and Brenham Merchants, semi-professional black baseball teams, also played their games on a field at the park.
    Dane Rau, the city’s public works director, said revitalization of the park is one of the priorities in the city’s five-year capital plan.
    “It’s time for that,” Rau told about 25 people who attended Wednesday’s session. “We don’t want any of our parks to become dormant.”
    Some improvements have already been made; workers were finishing construction of a new entrance sign Wednesday.
    Work has also been done to upgrade restrooms, the basketball court and baseball fields at the park.
    The city has about 200 acres of developed parks, and Rau said the city wants to ensure that Henderson Park “is revitalized in a good fashion.”
    Park connectivity “is very important to the city,” said Wende Ragonis, the city’s director of community services.
    Henderson Park is directly across the street from Fireman’s Park, and there were some concerns aired Wednesday about the safety of children in Henderson Park having to cross a busy North Park Street to use the more elaborate playground at Fireman’s Park.
    Ragonis said the city wants to preserve Henderson Park’s history.
    The park was originally called North End Park but was later renamed in honor of Ed “Daddy Ed” Henderson, a longtime resident of the city who owned the property and later sold it to the city of Brenham in segments to form the park as it is today.
    Henderson had planted pecan trees on his property, many of which remain today.
    “One thing we don’t want to lose is the unique history of this park,” said Ragonis. “We want to honor that and we want to preserve the rich history of this park.”
    Ragonis said the city wants “a two-way conversation” with residents of that area and park users.