Plano gathering data on park trails

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Plano TX Skate Park opening Aug. 11 on Coit Road #PlanoParksRec

Skate boarders gather ’round: Are you a skateboarder or do you have one in the family? Plano’s opening its first skate park. Be a part of the grand opening celebration at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 11 on the southeast corner of Carpenter Park (6701 Coit Road between Spring Creek Parkway and Legacy)
Planned since 2005, Carpenter Park Skate Park was designed by Newline Skate Parks and built by Dean Construction with SPA Skate Parks. The site includes some of the most extensive and unique skate features in the Collin County and Dallas-Fort Worth area. Skaters can drop in to one of the largest bowls in the area as well as various sized ramps, rails, stair sets and ledges. The Plano skate park is in a “P” shape resembling the official Plano logo.
Admission is free. Hours of operation, along with rules, are available on the Carpenter Park Skate Park webpage. Skateboards, scooters and roller blades are allowed but no bikes.
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Top 10 reasons and more to move to Plano TX

Check out Plano TX from the air, courtesy of Plano TV.

Find plenty of reasons to move to Plano, Collin County and North Texas.

Special thanks to Steve Stoler.

Outdoors: Get outside on the Preston Ridge Trail in Plano TX

The Preston Ridge Trail is a part of the City of Plano trail system. This north-south trail though the City of Plano connects a number of other trails, including the Bluebonnet Trail, the Preston Meadow Trail, and the Legacy Trail. The trail also connects to Daffron Elementary, Preston Meadow Park, Carpenter Park and Recreation Center, and Borchardt Elementary School.

Check out Plano Trail Maps

Ready to zip line? Oak Point Park in Plano opens up new adventures

Ready to Zipline?

Check out this info from GO APE TREETOP ADVENTURES:

What is Go Ape Treetop Adventure?

A Go Ape Treetop Adventure Course is an outdoor experience that provides participants 2-3 hours of outdoor fun and exercise.  The result is spectacular. The course allows participants to explore the park from an otherwise unobtainable vantage point while navigating through the treetops using zip lines, obstacles and Tarzan swings.

Go Ape Treetop Adventures says: “We start by equipping participants with harnesses, pulleys and carabiners, give them a 30-minute safety briefing and training and let them loose into the forest canopy, free to fly on zip lines, swing through the trees, and observe the surroundings. Of course, instructors are always on hand, regularly patrolling the forests.  The Go Ape Treetop Adventure course gets the adrenalin pumping, gets people out of their comfort zones and above all, it’s a great outdoor activity for families, friends, and corporate groups.”

To learn more about Go Ape and what we do for the environment and community click here.

Can I participate?   Age, Height, & Weight Requirements

The Go Ape Treetop Adventure Course does require a degree of physical fitness but if you can climb up a rope ladder you should be fine.  Although, we do have some participant restrictions we created to ensure you have a fun safe experience on the course.

The restrictions for an individual and the supervision ratio are:

Minimum age: 10 years old
Minimum height: 4ft 7in (55 inches)
Maximum weight: 285 lbs (subject to harness fit)

Supervision:  One participating adult (18+) is required to supervise up to two 10-15 year olds. 16-17 year olds do not require a supervising adult, but do require a waiver signed by their legal guardian or an adult (18+) who has obtained permission from the 16-17 year olds legal guardian.

For 16-17 year olds, we recommend printing the waiver at home and bringing a signed copy to Go Ape.

Harnesses: At Go Ape we use harnesses to make sure you’re nice and safe throughout your time on the course. The maximum waist measurement of the harness is 43 inches and the leg loops (which go around the top of your thighs) is 28 inches. If you’re unsure about the fit of the harness, feel free to come by the cabin before your booking time and we’ll help you try one on.

Can we watch our friends and family Go Ape from the forest ground?

Yes, we encourage Go Ape guests and other park users to view the course activity from the ground.  There are trails below the course that all are welcome use and to watch their friends and family swing through the trees.

Can I zip line without going through other obstacles?

Due to the design of our course, we’re unable to provide an experience of only riding zip lines.  Participants must climb a rope ladder into the trees and cross multiple obstacles before reaching the zip line.  This ensures the experience will be a rewarding adventure through the forest canopy.  Part of what makes Go Ape unique from other zip line experiences is the feeling that you’re on a giant obstacle course up in the trees!

How do I book my adventure?

We highly recommend that you book your treetop adventure in advance as our courses tend to fill up especially during weekends and holidays.  You can book online or by phone at 1-800-971-8271.  You will need to pay the full amount at the time of booking.

What are the opening times?

Opening times vary depending on daylight hours and the time of year, so please check in advance using the calendar on the top right.  Generally our days of operation throughout the year are:

March to May: Weekends, and select weekdays
June to August: Everyday
September to December: Weekends and select weekdays

How much does it cost?

Our ticket prices are:

Age 18+ (Gorillas): $49-58
Age 16-17 (Orangutans): $49-58
Age 10-15 (Baboons): $29-38

*These prices do not include local taxes which are added when booking.

Is there a time limit to complete the course?

No. You can go at your own pace and let people ‘pass’ if you want to take your time. If you want to reduce the chance of being held up by people in front of you, we recommend that you book on a weekday or an early morning slot, as there will be fewer people ahead of you on the course.

When do I need to arrive?

Please arrive 10 – 15 minutes prior to your session time.

Factor in extra time for driving through the park, parking, getting to the cabin and filling out forms, especially on busy days when you’re more likely to get stuck in traffic.  If you arrive late and miss your session, or cancel on the day, you are still charged for your session, so come early.

What do I wear?

The Go Ape Treetop Adventure Course is an outdoor activity so come in clothes you don’t mind getting a little dirty. We recommend participants check the weather before arriving and dress appropriately for the conditions. Closed toe and closed heel shoes are required. We recommend ankle-supporting boots, but sneakers are fine too. We do not allow participants to wear sandals, open-toed or slip-on shoes. Some participants like to wear gloves, especially if it’s cold or your hands are sensitive. Gloves are available for purchase at Go Ape.  Long hair has to be tied back, waists covered and body piercings and jewelry removed or taped over.  You may want to bring a change of clothing for the journey home.

Are there storage or changing facilities?

We can store small items such as keys and phones in our cabin, but recommend that you leave larger items at home or safely in your car.  There are restrooms on site where you can change before and/or after you swing from the zip lines and Tarzan swings.

What can I bring with me?

You may take cameras, phones, or any other device on the course as long as they are secured to you and tucked away to prevent them from getting caught or falling to the ground.  If you don’t bring your own lanyard, we do have them available for purchase in the cabin.  Water is available on the course, but you may also bring a watter bottle if it can be carabineered to your harness.  We don’t recommend you bring a bag with you into the trees because they are bulky, but if you must bring a bag, it should fit closely to your body.

After you’ve captured your experience, share it on our social pages @GoApeUSA to be entered in cool contests and win prizes!

Is it safe?

We take safety seriously and we ensure that everyone who comes to Go Ape knows what they’re doing and has the skills to complete a course without putting themselves or anyone else in danger. For the safety of everyone on the course, we require all participants to read and sign our waiver before going ape.  Learn more about waivers here.

Is there an instructor with you on the course?

You will receive a 30 minute safety briefing and training from a qualified instructor before you start the course. After that you’re on your own, free to swing through the trees. Of course, instructors are always on hand, regularly patrolling the forest.

Can I participate if I am afraid of heights?

If you are worried about your knees knocking and your arms trembling, do not worry.  We are proud to have helped lots of people to conquer their fear of heights. Why not give it a try? You might surprise yourself!

What if I have a pre-existing medical condition? (Handicap & Disabilities)

Our staff is not in a position to assess the implications of the Go Ape activity on your pre-existing condition. It remains your responsibility to undertake such an assessment prior to taking part in the activity. We advise you to visit the course prior to booking or contact your doctor to undertake a personal risk assessment.

Handicap Access: Participants:  The Go Ape course requires upper body strength and the ability to climb a rope ladder into the trees.  We encourage all physical abilities to participate on the course.  However, if a participant arrives to Go Ape and finds they are physically unable to participate due to a disability, we are happy to provide a full refund.  We also recommend visiting the course prior to your adventure, if possible, to take a tour and speak with our staff about any concerns.

Non-Participants:  There are forest trails that follow our course from the ground, which are open to the public and free of charge.  These are natural, unpaved trails, which may or may not be suitable for wheelchair access depending on the durability of the wheelchair.  ADA viewing areas are available as well.

Other Disabilities: We have had a number of guests participate on Go Ape courses with disabilities, including those who are deaf, blind, amputees or have learning disabilities.   We recommend that these participants book with a guide who will assist them through the course.  For children, the normal supervision ratios apply, and a one adult to one child ratio is strongly recommended for any children with disabilities.  Sign language interpreters will be provided for the training brief to deaf participants, provided two weeks notice is given to Go Ape before their adventure.  If a participant arrives to Go Ape and finds they are physically unable to participate due to a disability, we are happy to provide a full refund.  We also recommend visiting the course prior to your adventure, if possible, to take a tour and speak with our staff about any concerns.

Can I do the course if I am pregnant?

Go Ape recommends that pregnant women do not take part on the course. However, we are not medical experts, so we suggest that any pregnant participants seek their doctor’s advice before booking.

What happens in bad weather?

Go Ape is an excellent all weather activity! Rain makes the course muddier than usual – which all adds to the fun! Don’t be scared of going ape when it’s hot either. The course is shaded by the forest canopy and is several degrees cooler and drier than you’d expect. Plus, there are water stations throughout the course to keep you hydrated!

The course remains open in all weather conditions, except when it is icy, thundering, or during lightning. See cancellation policy below for more details regarding weather cancellations.

Hot Weather: Go Ape is a highly physical activity. Prepare yourself by eating well beforehand and make sure you’re hydrated. Water is provided on the course, so drink up!

Oak Point new home to Plano TX Parks – Recreation offices

The Plano Parks and Recreation administrative offices will be moving to a new location at the Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve on Friday, July 3.

The new administrative offices will be located at 5901 Los Rios Blvd., Plano, TX 75074 and will open at 8 a.m. on Monday, July 6. The telephone numbers and post office box for the department will remain the same.

Plano TX – Fire, smoke will be rising from Arbor Hills Nature Preserve through March as part of prescribed burn

Starting Monday afternoon, Plano Fire-Rescue and the Plano Parks & Recreation Department will team up for a prescribed burn at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve. The burn will be carefully controlled by the Fire Department’s Wildland Firefighters.

FIRE ALERT – You may see a lot of smoke in the park. The burn will only be conducted under ideal weather conditions. If the weather changes today, the burn will be postponed.

The prescribed burns at the city’s Arbor Hills Nature Preserve will take place throughout February and March between noon and 6 p.m.

Kym Hughes, Superintendent of Natural Resources for the Plano Parks Department, said: “The burns are the most effective and efficient way to conserve the endangered blackland prairie ecosystem as the fire not only gets rid of accumulated thatch, it also helps reduce woody plant invasion, stimulates the growth of many native grasses and wildflowers, and exposes bare soil so the area can be successfully planted with prairie grass and prairie flower seeds. Prescribed fire will help to maintain the viability and health of the blackland prairie ecosystem in Arbor Hills.”

Arbor Hills Nature Preserve consists of three ecological areas:

Blackland prairie,
upland forests
and riparian zones.

Management of the Blackland prairie areas has consisted of large tractor mowing twice a year. This has resulted in a thick layer of thatch that reduces the amount of exposed soil necessary for prairie grass and flower seeds to germinate and perpetuate their species. It also allows invasive plant species to come in and take over the natural prairie ecosystems.

While benefitting the park property, Capt. Peggy Harrell of Plano Fire-Rescue stated that the burns in Plano will also provide real-life training opportunities for the city’s Wildland firefighters who have been trained in wildfire suppression meeting the National Wildfire Coordinating Group’s standards.

The park will remain open to the public during the burns but the concrete trail on the west side of the nature preserve will be closed.

The burns will take place on a Monday through Friday schedule between noon and 6 p.m. to minimize the impact of the public’s use of the park.

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