You say you're looking for a park? You just want a nice place to spend part of your leisure time without having to leave Victoria? Just a place to take the family for an afternoon of fun and relaxation? Is there anywhere like this available in our fair city? You bet there is. You may be surprised just how parks are available to you absolutely free of charge!

Have you ever found it amazing that you can live in a particular place for a long while, maybe all your life, and one day realize there are places you didn't know about or realize even existed within the community that you live? How could this happen right under our noses? There are numerous impediments within our daily lives that keep us from stopping and smelling the roses.

The Parks and Recreation Department often gets calls related to questions or concerns dealing with Victoria's lack of facilities with regards to sports and leisure, says the Victoria Advocate. The typical call will sound similar to "why can't we have facilities like the other surrounding towns?" or "They have 10 basketball courts and Victoria has only one." Obviously, this is information that is false and offers a great opportunity to educate the caller on all the facilities available around the city. All of the facilities in the Parks and Recreation Department may be found in one place - the Parks 2025 Master Plan. I want to take this opportunity to share them with you:• Boulevard Park, 2204 Rose Drive,  Brownson Park, 202 N. Laurent St., Community Center Park, 111 N. Ben Wilson St., De Leon Plaza, 101 N. Main St., Ethel Lee Tracy Park, 701 E. Larkspur St., Greenbelt Park, 109 Harpers Ferry, Hopkins Park, 505 S. Laurent St., Lone Tree Creek Park, 4009 E. Airline Road, Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, 3808 Callis St., Meadowlane Park, 3202 Meadowlane, Memorial Square, 402 N. DeLeon St., Pine Street Community Park, 802 E. Pine St., Queen City Park, 2202 N. Cameron St., Riverside Park, 405 Memorial Drive, Ted B. Reed Park, 1201 Salem Road, Will Rogers Park, 1108 E. Warren St.

 The information above does not include facilities owned and managed by other organizations, but that information is included in the complete version of the 2025 Parks Master Plan.

As you can see, Victoria has a lot to offer and we invite you to view the 2025 Parks Master Plan online at to learn more about our vision for the future of Parks and Recreation in Victoria.

Shane Simon is the recreation services manager for the Victoria Parks and Recreation Department. Contact him at 361-485-3200 or or follow us on Facebook at Victoria Parks Recreation.