A popular park adjacent to Alvin Community College will become a safer, more inviting space this fall thanks to a $10,000 grant announced this week by Texas-New Mexico Power.
The grant, from the TNMP Fund, will be used to purchase solar lighting systems for the five-acre park. The park is popular among students between classes, as well as joggers, bird-watchers and senior citizens. It currently has no lighting, but it does get used at night.
“The park is only as bright as the moon will allow,” said Gayland Capps, a work force training specialist at the college and a member of the Alvin Community College Foundation team that submitted the grant proposal. “We want it to be easier for emergency responders to help anyone who has a health issue, and we want to make it more advantageous for our neighbors who go to tracks or parks further away.”
Original plans to light the area involved running electricity underground through the park. Prospective costs and environmental impact discouraged that effort.
“We very much wanted to find a way to do some conservation on that lighting,” Capps said. “We felt that solar would be the way to go.”
The TNMP Fund grant, designated for environmental and community improvements, will cover most of the costs of the lighting. The college will purchase some additional equipment, while outside labor provided as an in-kind donation will be used to install the equipment.
“We look forward to it being completed this fall,” Capps said. “We’re very thankful to the fund for the opportunity.”
The grant is from the non-profit foundation of TNMP’s parent company and no customer dollars are used to fund grants, according to a company press release.