Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Always within Reach

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Always within Reach

Article excerpt

The basic advantages of living in a place like The Colony (pop. 34,000) are clear at a glance. Situated on the eastern shores of Lake Lewisville in the fastest growing area of the Dallies/Fort Worth metro area, the city is 35 minutes north of downtown Dallas, less than 25 minutes from DFW International Airport, and within a half hour of the corporate headquarters of a number of major companies. But the real quality-of-life boost lies in The Colony's endless sports and leisure opportunities.

The Colony Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) takes its job seriously, a fact reflected in its receiving the 2002 Gold Medal Award from the Texas Recreation and Parks Society. Accolades aside, a tour of the area's recreational offerings is a further testament to the department's efforts.

In September, PARD held a dedication ceremony for the soon-to-open The Colony Five Star Complex, a spectacular 81-acre facility that features seven baseball fields, six soccer fields, two football fields, 1.3 miles of hiking and biking trails, pavilions and playgrounds. Built at a cost of $6.4 million, the complex not only offers every recreational opportunity under the considerable sun, but demonstrates community spirit through measures such as specially designed field lights and a 75-foot-wide, well-landscaped "buffer zone" that minimize light spillage into adjacent residential areas.

Even without this juggernaut, the city has long had plenty to offer. The Colony Recreation Center includes a full-size gymnasium, racquetball courts, a game room and a fitness center with state-of-the-art workout machines. Older residents can take advantage of the Dick Weaver Senior Center, where wellness, education and socializing blend together. Daily activities, from walking groups to pinochle, are always on the schedule. The center boats regular speakers for purposes of education, motivation and entertainment, and field trips are frequent. There's also a fully equipped computer laboratory as well as a library.

The Colony Aquatic Park is primarily an outdoor venue, but has a heated indoor pool during the winter and spring months to complement its four outdoor pools. The park is heavily involved in many areas of aquatic education, offering classes in fitness, kayaking, competitive swimming, scuba diving and lap swimming 12 months of the year and teaching more than 700 youngsters how to swim every summer. …

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