Cotton Belt Crossing Parklet



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Gate to be installed at entrance of parklet

Keep Tyler Beautiful is a recent recipient of the Keep America Beautiful/Lowe's Community Partners Grant Program. Lowe's donated $1 million to support more than 40 local community service projects. The City of Tyler was selected and awarded $20,000 to transform a blighted and neglected parcel of land into a destination point for the community.

Keep Tyler Beautiful partnered with the Cotton Belt Railroad Historical Society and to transform a lot that is across the street from the Cotton Belt museum off of East Oakwood Street. This lot, located in the heart of the Downtown area, was overgrown and needed immediate attention.

"Our vision was to create a small parklet that not only honored railroad history but also created a green space in Downtown," said Leanne Robinette, manager of tourism facilities and community beautification.

Upon completion, the parklet will showcase a restored 90-foot railway car from San Antonio, TX, on tracks as the focal point surrounded by greenery and landscaping. This will provide a unique greenspace for Downtown and provide a fun, family-friendly destination for the public.

Phase one of this project included clearing a blighted lot, cleaning up items that had been illegally dumped and leveling it. The lot was graded by a landscape company, mulch was put down and two small flower beds planted at the entrance of the parklet. Three picnic tables have been installed for the public to enjoy the space. 

In addition to grant funds, a donation from the Heart of Tyler board paid for a welcome sign and gate that reads "Cotton Belt Crossing." The entrance gate was designed by a local artist. Upon installation of the gate, phase one will be completed.

The Cotton Belt Railroad Historical Society laid railroad tracks in preparation for phase two of the project, which will be completed at a later time upon additional funding. Additionally, phase two will see the installation of irrigation, more benches for seating and the railway car.

This parklet has been placed next to the new Innovation Pipeline building, located at 217 E. Oakwood St. The Innovation Pipeline will bring those together to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in the City of Tyler. The location on this parklet is unique by bringing history next to the future.

For more information, please contact Leanne Robinette at lrobinette@tylertexas.com or at (903) 531-1349.

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