Vernon reveals new upgrades made to Orbison Park

VERNON - Vernon residents can now spend their days at the newly renovated Orbison Park. 
The park rests in the hometown of the famous musician, Roy Orbison. City officials held a ribbon cutting to reveal the park's upgrades, including a few amenities honoring the late rock and roll star.

"All of it is handicap accessible," Mayor Joe Rogers said. "The new play structure is, the new swings, a mommy and me swing, new park benches, new trash, just new equipment."

The renovations came from a $60,000 match grant from Texas Parks and Wildlife, with the help from local donors including American Electric Power, Leadership Vernon class of 2016 and the city of Vernon.

"It gives people a place to go and be with their family and stuff and gives the kids things to do," Vernon city manager Marty Magnum said.

Community director Monica Wilkinson says over time, she's had a vision for the area in hopes of adding new amenities to the park.

"After we added the aquatics center to that area several years ago we definitely saw an increase in traffic to that park," Wilkinson said. Then we realized pretty quick that we needed some upgraded facilities."

Some of the biggest upgrades include a 9-hole disc golf course, a native interpretive garden, even an outdoor music center, honoring the late rock and roll star.

"The name of the park is Orbison Park and so that's the cool thing," Rogers said. "And then now we actually have drums. You know, things to make music out there and it's kind of cool."

Rogers says it's one of many amenities kids and their families are sure to get a kick out of.

"Kids can go out there and really where the park is located it's excellent. So you can make all the noise you want."

"It's all around a good facility for the community," Magnum said.

City leaders say in the future, they hope to add more upgrades for the community to enjoy at parks across Vernon.

The last time the city applied for a small community grant match through TPWD was for upgrades that were brought to Allingham Park more than 10 years ago. Those funds were used to add a trail, volleyball courts, a fitness center and bathroom upgrades.

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