Rockwall County contracts for countywide Open Space Master Plan

Multi-purpose trails can provide bike/walk options and open up new types of economic development. Courtesy photo by SRA Group.

ROCKWALL COUNTY, TX (Dec. 19, 2014) Work will begin in January 2015 to prepare an Open Space Master Plan for Rockwall County. The Commissioners Court approved a contract with the consulting team of VERDUNITY and WRT for a master plan that will consolidate the plans from each of the cities into a countywide master plan. The plan will also have an Implementation Guide.

Upon completion the county and cities will use the OSMP as a guide to designate open spaces and identify corridors for future recreational areas and trail connections. This will be a valuable tool for planners as land inside and outside city boundaries develops.

The Rockwall County Open Space Alliance (RCOA) is the driving force behind this project. Formed in 2012, RCOSA was created to lead an open space planning and preservation initiative.

The Connemara Meadow Preserve in Allen illustrates how open space enhances residential development. Courtesy photo by Connemara Conservancy.

“We bring all the cities together for discussions and planning to ensure that parks, open spaces, greenways, and trails connect across city boundaries,” said Nell Welborn, Vice-Chair and RCOSA co-founder. The group also wants to preserve quality storm water corridors and investigate the need for a large open space amenity that would be available to all Rockwall County residents.

According to Kevin Shepherd, principal of VERDUNITY, “While other communities in North Texas are spending significant dollars to acquire more park land and retrofit existing development with open space and trails, Rockwall County has a unique opportunity to leverage its natural assets and open space into new development in a manner that positions each of our communities for a long-term, fiscally sustainable future, while continuing to preserve the natural environment and quality of life residents and businesses have come to expect.“

The project kicks off the week of Jan. 19 with stakeholder interviews and a public meeting from 6 to 8pm on Jan. 22 (location TBA). Citizens, local businesses and other interested parties will have the opportunity to provide input throughout the process using online surveys, public meetings, social media and various websites.

For more information or to volunteer for a committee or stakeholder group, contact RCOSA Vice-Chair Nell Welborn at or the consultant’s project manager, Kevin Shepherd at . Details will also be posted at 

Story and photos submitted by RCOSA.

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