Lakeway, TX, USA: Parks & Trails
April 9, 2019
25 Year Anniversary of the opening of Lakeway City Park!
This website is maintained by George H Blume. Born March 29, 1944 in Seguin, Tx, George graduated from the University of Texas in 1967 with a BS in Aero-Space Engineering. Following graduation, George served in the US Navy as a Naval Flight Officer flying E2B aircraft. George works as a self employed inventor, his work includes significant design contributions and major improvements to the performance of oilfield mud and fracturing pumps. George holds 38 US Patents; 4 additional Patent Applications are pending.
George, his wife Faye, and son George III first moved to Lakeway in 1986 moving into their original Lakeway homestead in 1987 and residing continuously in this home until the present.
In 1990 George, working through a Lake Travis Chamber of Commerce committee to study projects to improve the quality of life in the area, started a project to bring a community park to the area. The Lake Travis Youth Association, LTYA, who had identified a need for additional baseball fields to expand their youth baseball programs, was a major player in this project initially.
In April 1991, George found the land that would become the Lakeway City Park. George then worked with City Administer Sam Huser, Mayor Cole Rowland, Council Member Veronica Bennett, Alan Williams, and others to pass a bond election to purchase this property. On the eve of the election George, his wife Faye, and son George III went door-to-door in the Lohmans Estates area to pass out flyers supporting the purchase of the property. The bond election passed in June 1991 by 19 votes. Had it not been for George, Faye, and George III going door-to-door in support of the Park bond proposal, the election would have failed, and we would not enjoy the beautiful natural park today! Subsequent to the election, LTYA, and the City of Lakeway signed an agreement wherein 3 baseball fields would be constructed in City Park to be utilized by LTYA. Further subsequently, LTYA reached a separate agreement with Jeff Sandefer, an adjacent property owner, in which Mr Sandefer donated $100,000 to LTYA to purchase the current Field of Dreams property in Bee Cave; in return LTYA abdicated its contract with the City. The LTYA baseball fields in Bee Cave today are the direct result of George's work to establish a City Park and the perseverance of Lakeway citizens in enduring 2 years of bitter feuding within the community over the establishment of City Park. In 1992, an effort arose by disgruntled citizens to sell City Park, Donna Schmidt stepped forward to assist and quickly organized the Park supporters. Donna was so successful that in the subsequent election, the ballot proposal to sell City Park failed by 550 votes; City Park was saved!
In the development of City Park, George was a major contributor, including planning, assisting with grant writing, clearing cedar, building rock erosion fences, building trails, and preparing maps. Over the years George contributed 1000's of volunteer hours in molding City Park into the beautiful nature park we all enjoy today. Many of the erosion fences George built are still visible today. These erosion fences revegetated the eroded, barren soil, resulting in the healthy variety of native grasses in the park today. George assisted Peg and Marv Hein in the establishment of a parks volunteer organization, responsible for maintaining much of the beauty seen in City Park today.
George continued to work on other park projects within the City; planning and constructing, with other volunteers, the vast nature and primitive trail network in the Hamilton Greenbelts, Smith Greenbelts, Canyonlands, and Mt Lakeway tract. George designed and lead volunteers in building the Canyonlands Bridges, Activity Center Arbor, and the Overlook in Hamilton Greenbelt II. In accomplishing these major projects George was assisted by many volunteers, significantly: Fred Hazen, Jesse Gutierrez, Jim Dunn, and George Ferrie who served as crew leaders on the many projects.
In 2010 George and his son, George III, were the first climb and survey MT Lakeway. George planned the original trail routes to the top of Mt Lakeway and beyond. Trail building crews of hiking and Mountain Bike enthusiasts led by Ken Parmerter, Michael Smith, and others built the Mt Lakeway Trails originally planned by George.
In 2018 successfully advocated for the reestablishment of the City of Lakeway Parks & Recreation Committee. Sadly, this very important committee was disestablished in 2012 for political and other unknown reasons; citizen participation in park issues and improvements was lost until George was able to reestablish the Parks & Recreation Committee in 2018!
George also assisted John Brodnax in the Swim Center and Lakeway Blvd Median Trail projects. For his work on many numerous park projects within the City of Lakeway, George is widely regarded as the Father of Lakeway's parks.
George also contributed to other Lake Travis/Lakeway endeavors; serving as President of the Lake Travis Arts League for 3 years and the first Chairman of the City of Lakeway Arts Committee. George worked with Fred Newton and Janet Wright in establishing Lakeway's current Arts Program.
George also worked on road projects with Travis County and TXDOT including: the widening of RR 620 from 2 to 4 lanes, widening of Lohmans Crossing Rd from 2 to 4 lanes, and adding a fifth turning lane to TX 71.
For a detailed history and personal recollections of the founding of City Park click on the link below: