Grand Prairie is Growing in the Right Direction
Oct 02, 2015 10:52AM
● By By Hannah Cook
Indeed, the growing city of Grand Prairie offers everything necessary to be active and healthy, but it is still able to retain its small-town feel and strong sense of community. Grand Prairie really is a hidden gem in the Metroplex for those seeking a green lifestyle. The city takes a hands-on approach to encouraging residents to lead green, active lives. With a top-ranked farmers’ market, world-class parks and Get Fit GP initiative, Grand Prairie has something to offer everyone interested in holistic living and healthy lifestyles.
The market, housed in a quaint barnlike structure surrounded by a lawn in the heart of downtown, is a family-friendly, fun environment that also promotes local, clean eating and a healthy lifestyle, offering locally grown fruits and vegetables, meats, honey, pasta, spices, tamales, candles, soaps and more. “The farmers’ market is really a community park,” says Manager Ray Kunze. “This is someplace for the community to come every Saturday morning to hang out with friends, get vegetables and talk to the farmers. It is a great meeting spot to enjoy downtown Grand Prairie.”
The sense of community and friendly nature of the city is evident in the events that are hosted at farmers’ market every week. From car shows and live performances to Mrs. Ruthe’s Fig and Fudge Day and the annual Hatch Chile Fest, the market offers a variety of activities to bring residents from all walks of life together.
The city’s fun, active environment extends beyond downtown as home to numerous award-winning parks, trails, lakes and state-of-the-art recreation centers. With 58 park sites and more than 5,000 acres of parkland throughout the city, recreational activities in Grand Prairie are limitless. Outdoor attractions include the four-mile long Lone Star Trail, numerous playgrounds, a soccer complex, baseball and softball fields, golf courses and Splash Factory, an interactive water park. Indoor facilities include numerous recreation centers that feature courts, camps, gyms and group activities.
On hot summer days, Grand Prairie’s biggest draw is Joe Pool Lake. The parks on the lake boast camping grounds, picnic tables, sandy beaches and prime access to the waterfront, where children and adults alike can swim, boat, waterski and more.
To tie it all together, Grand Prairie created a unique Get Fit GP health initiative, which aims to connect residents to local resources for improving health through physical fitness and healthy food options. The Get Fit GP program, which began in January 2014, presents tools, tips and local resources online at gptx.org/GetFitGP, to help residents become more involved. The website highlights specific topics each month, encouraging residents to participate in activities hosted by the city and its partners.
According to Get Fit GP Coordinator, Echo Rexroad, the initiative is designed to “get residents outside, get them moving, get them working out.” With events such as the monthly Cyclin’ with the Mayor community bike rides, wellness fairs, free fitness classes and annual runs, Grand Prairie has activities for people of all ages, abilities and fitness levels.
"With our lakes, parks and trails, our award-winning recreation venues and programming, farmers’ market, health clinics, community gardens and libraries, Grand Prairie offers more healthy lifestyle opportunities than residents may realize," says Mayor Ron Jensen.
For more information, visit gptx.org.