BIG SPRING, Texas (Nexstar) – Golf, green grass, grilling burgers, and of course… how about a water gun fight?
At Comanche Trail Park in Big Spring, it’s family time for the Rawls.
“We’re having a birthday party for my daughter,” said Tina Rawls, moments before soap bubbles flew past her face.
There’s every reason to be outside for the kids on their summer break.
“It feels good. No more stress, except for my brothers,” said one boy, water gun still in hand.
What is there to be stressed about?
Well, for some locals, the appearance of one part of the park is vexing. Just up the road from the Rawls’ birthday bonanza is a historically renovated spring area of Comanche Trail Park. It appears to be overgrown, filled with knee-high vegetation, some weeds, and pockets of wildflowers.
The appearance of the park sort of ignited a small firestorm on social media. People are asking: why hasn’t the vegetation been cleaned up?
I met with Big Spring Mayor Shannon D. Thomason at the spring to talk about it.
“Well, with the major rains we’ve had here lately, everything has exploded,” Thomason said. “You see how green West Texas is right now.”
Mayor Thomason says ever since the renovations at this part of the park wrapped up a little more than two years ago, the seeds of native grasses and wildflowers were planted.
“It’s a planned and ongoing process to get that seeded in,” he said.
Thomason says the architectural firm behind the project recommended mowing the grass in December – 6 months down the road. That’s when everything is expected to die naturally from the frost. That means the spring is going to look like ovrgrown for a while. But, what happens if they mow it now?
“We actually kill off the development of the grasses and flowers that we seeded here,” Thomason said.
He says come December, when the seeds are grown and developed, the city will weed-eat and shred the vegetation. Those wildflower and grass seeds will be further distributed; and that’s the plan.
Off-camera, I spoke to two people who had some concern about the area. Similar to those commenting online, the concern was over snakes and what else could be hiding in the tall grass.
“In any deep vegetation like this, I wouldn’t recommend anyone trodding off in it, in the first place… but this is not designed to be a lawn. We got lawn grassy areas in the park. That’s not what this is. It was never intended to be,” Thomason said.
Back at the Rawl’s birthday bash, it is well understood that the outdoors can carry the risk of being in the wild.
“Of course, you have to be careful of snakes,” Tina Rawls said. “But, that’s the part of being out in nature.”