Rapid Response

Henderson has received national recognition for its excellence in park planning, so it was a surprise when its latest offering opened in January with a potential safety hazard. But the city is taking quick steps to improve the layout of Hidden Falls Park.

Nearby residents had told the city during planning that they wanted amenities for older kids, such as basketball courts and a skate park—but that they didn’t want them near play areas for younger children. So that’s just how the park, which is nestled against Black Mountain near U.S. 95 and Horizon Ridge Parkway, was designed.

But there is no trail for pedestrians and bikers to get from one part of the long, narrow 60-acre park to the other. The only way to do so is to share the same driveway as motorists—a problem Henderson spokeswoman Kim Becker says was immediately evident when the park opened.

“When we had our grand opening, we had well over 500 people there,” she says. “And it was clear that there needed to be something connecting the elements, regardless of what neighbors had said a few years ago.”

To address the problem, the city is about to begin construction on a trail that will extend through the park. Hidden Falls was funded by an $8.5 million grant from the Bureau of Land Management to be used specifically for that park, and Becker says the city had spent $6.8 million, leaving more than enough to pay for the trail addition.

Construction is expected to take a couple of months, with portions of the park possibly closed during that time. And renovations might not stop there, as tennis courts and a 250-seat natural amphitheater are slated for future phases. At the very least, the park will soon be safer to visit.

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