Several days a week, I take my 11-month old grandson for walks around town. This experience has been eye-opening. It has made me aware that Gonzales has many positive aspects and some negative aspects as well.
First and foremost, Gonzales is important to the history of our state and country. I’ve told many people that Gonzales is the most historical town in Texas, a fact that makes me very proud. The historical homes, churches and squares, shops and restaurants are assets that bring numerous visitors. Many of Gonzales’ residents work hard to make our community thrive because they love our little town.
Because I push a large stroller, I’ve really noticed the condition of sidewalks around town. Work has been done in several areas to make sidewalks ADA compliant. However, many areas of downtown are in disrepair or not accessible to people pushing strollers or those reliant on wheelchairs or mobility scooters.
My grandson and I have been to the splash pad at Lions Park dozens of times this summer. We are fortunate to have activities like the splash pad for our children and grandchildren to enjoy. However, it is already in poor condition. Many parts are broken after only two summers of use. Previous visitors have left remnants of their presence behind. I spend much of my time picking up rocks, burst balloons, water bottle caps and Styrofoam cups so my grandson isn’t tempted to put choking hazards in his mouth.
Sometimes we go to the playground next to the splash pad. We’ve encountered yellow jacket nests, gum in the slides and broken bottles in the nearby grass. Some of the equipment has sharp or rusted areas where children climb. These objects and areas are not safe for children. Trash cans are provided, but park visitors rarely use them, so litter is scattered everywhere.
Another area of concern is the number of truant children who wander around town or hang out in the park during school hours. School just started last week, and I often see school-age children who are obviously not in school.
I don’t have solutions to these issues; my purpose is to alert others who may be able to help correct the negatives and focus on the positives.
As citizens of this historic town, let’s work toward making Gonzales safe and beautiful and a place of which we can be proud.