Security issues at the horse stables in Deer Ridge Park were the main focus for the Kingwood Parks Committee at their December meeting.
Paula Manthei of the Kingwood Horsemen’s Association (KHA) reported increasingly frequent incidents at the Trail’s End Stables in Deer Ridge Park. She also requested immediate approval for the Horseman’s Association to take a specific corrective action.
“We’ve had some issues with safety at the barn. I have a list two pages long of things going on since September. The most recent one was that a horse trailer was actually stolen while we were there. There has been a lot of golf cart/ATV traffic, and they are speeding through the place where the horses gather, especially around feeding time and they are ripping up our roads. There was almost a collision with a golf cart with a person who was taking their horse out into the pasture,” Manthei said. All the horses are very docile and well trained but are also potentially excitable so it could end up badly if this kind of activity is allowed to continue.
“We would like permission from KSA to go ahead and put in an electric gate. We would use the current gate that we have but we would have ‘clickers’ for the members of KHA to come and go and we would have a side place where the strollers and the walkers and pedestrians and bikers can still come in and enjoy the barn. We love them and they eat their lunches on the picnic tables and we would like to let the pedestrians come in but restrict the vehicular traffic,” Manthei said. In addition, she expressed fear that if they do nothing it could be just a matter of time before someone comes in, loads up a horse and steals it.
Claw Lawson, steward of Deer Ridge Park, strongly agreed and noted the entrance gates into the park are also being improved which should help make both the stables and the general park area safer and more secure. A committee member stipulated, and all agreed, the gate system would be one the fire department is equipped to have emergency access through with a standard emergency access key which is what is done in most situations such as this. The committee unanimously approved the request.
Dee Price, steward for River Grove Park, reported a sports group is discontinuing its lease arrangement for use of an athletic field.
“Kingwood Rugby has canceled their lease at River Grove Park. The impact of that is they have been paying a share of the maintenance fee for that field,” Price said. The discontinuance was due to a recent lack of participation and anticipated inactivity in the upcoming winter months. Price recommended the committee plan to absorb the cost rather than reapportioning it into the Soccer Alliance sports group which uses the rest of the athletic fields at River Grove. The committee agreed and approved handling the cost in that manner.
Ethyl McCormick of Kingwood Association Management reported the recent emphasis on enforcement of the existing K sticker parking requirement at Deer Ridge Park has highlighted the need for Kingwood residents to understand the “K” sticker requirement applies to parking their vehicles at Deer Ridge Park. Apparently not realizing the requirement at Deer Ridge resulted in a number of vehicles about to be towed recently before the owners identified themselves to the tow truck drivers as residents.
McCormick asked the committee to emphasize through their community associations the requirement for K stickers to park in Deer Ridge Park and the reason behind the current enforcement effort, i.e., in order to minimize abuse and damage in the park, especially at the basketball courts, that has been caused by nonresidents of Kingwood.
In other business, Price reported the new boat dock reconstruction at River Grove is now complete. She provided photos to the committee and encouraged everyone to come to the park and enjoy it.
KSA Parks Committee meetings are open to the public and are normally held on the first Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the South Woodland Hills Community Room. However, due to COVID-19 it is expected to be conducted until further notice as a Zoom conference. Contact KSA at 281-358-5192 the day before planning to attend to confirm it is a Zoom meeting and arrange for joining it.