The Water Oriented Recreation District of Comal County has accomplished a long-term goal — control of both of Canyon Lake’s major parks.
WORD and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Tuesday announced the district’s 25-year lease of Canyon Park, which mirrors the lease of Comal Park a year ago.
“Together, they represent over 600 acres of parkland on the lakeshore,” said Mike Dussere, WORD general manager. “Our goal in doing this is to continue being able to provide affordable lake access and recreation to residents and visitors. As (numbers of both) continue to explode, there is more and more of a need for these facilities.”
WORD provided the funding to get both parks up and running, spending $275,000 for Comal Park and $575,000 for Canyon Park, with the expectation that both will become revenue neutral and fully support themselves, Dussere said, adding revenues from park entry fees will provide upkeep and development at both sites.
“We are working on many facility and amenity upgrades at both parks,” Dussere said. “We have formed a parks department, which will be wholly separate from WORD taxes and operations for purposes of funding.”
Corps of Engineers Manager Javier Perez Ortiz deferred comment to WORD, which announced the newest lease on its Facebook site.
“Effective April 1, WORD of Comal County will be leasing Canyon Park from the Corps of Engineers,” it said. “We ask that you bear with us as we work to bring this Park up to its full potential.”
Canyon Park will be open each day between April 1 and Sept. 30. Park hours are 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on weekends; the swim beach is open from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on weekdays. Both areas are first-come, first-served; no reservations.
Park entry fees are $10 per vehicle. Gatehouses close at 6 p.m., with no further entries allowed after that time. The Madrone Trail will remain free, but no overnight camping will be allowed and Corps of Engineers discounts and passes will not be honored until further notice.
WORD said information on pavilion rentals and rules will be posted on its website next week.
Dussere said camping, discounts/passes and other measures will be revisited after WORD reviews visits and expenses. He said the park plans a series of improvements – adding a sand section at the current swim beach and possibly adding another; adding grills, replacing canopies and renovating restrooms throughout the park.
“Canyon Park is over 500 acres and multiple areas have not been usable in years,” WORD said. “It will take time to renovate and repair the amenities, and we thank you for your patience as we make that happen.”