Thomas Manor area welcomes renovated park-pond

Thomas Manor area welcomes renovated park-pond
Posted on 08/24/2020
Completed Thomas Manor park-pond

Residents of a Lower Valley community are once again welcoming the feel and smell of freshly watered grass at Thomas Manor Park after a recent transformation that will benefit the surrounding neighborhoods.

“I’ve been here my whole life and to see this park rebuilt, it’s pretty nice,” said Eric Lopez, a senior at Riverside High School.

The Thomas Manor Park Pond and Pump Station was designed to capture and retain water during heavy rain events, but many times residents had to deal with stagnant water that would linger for days. A recently completed $6.8 million project from El Paso Water increased the capacity of the retaining pond to 14.4 million gallons, the equivalent of 21 Olympic swimming pools.

“I’m very proud of this project,” said Gisela Dagnino, EPWater Stormwater Engineering Manager. “I’m very happy and excited for the community.”

Prior to the construction, the retaining pond could only hold about 3 million gallons of water. Now the pond will collect more stormwater from the surrounding neighborhoods and streets, increasing public safety.

“We have to remember that this is not only a park, but it’s also a pond, and the water will collect,” Dagnino said. “Residents should take precaution when using the park’s amenities after heavy rainfall.”

EPWater relocated the retaining pond to another area of the park and improved the pump station, preserving the popular walking trail. The water collected after heavy rainfall will be pushed through a force main and carried to the Playa Drain, where it will eventually make its way to the Rio Grande. Aging wastewater and water pipes were also replaced to minimize future service disruptions.

A true collaboration

Thomas Manor Park-Pond walking pathThe project was made possible through a collaboration between the utility, Ysleta Independent School District and the City of El Paso Parks and Recreation to complete a functional park.

“This is fantastic,” said Henry Rivera, District 7 City Representative. “This speaks volumes for all three organizations and what they can do for one community.”

For decades, the park provided a place for families to gather and students from nearby Thomas Manor Elementary to enjoy, but the park’s amenities were in need of a facelift. The city’s parks and recreation department and YISD funded improvements to the walking trail, tennis courts, basketball courts and play area.

Rivera continued the work of his predecessors, former representatives Lily Limón and Eddie Holguin, to keep residents informed on the process of the project. Rivera said he joined some of his constituents to visit the newly renovated park immediately after he learned it was reopened.

“Now this really looks like a park that belongs to this community,” Rivera said.

The design of the park-pond area will improve quality of life for residents so they can take advantage of the outdoor green spaces and participate in physical activities, all while improving flood control.

YISD Board Trustee Charlie Bustillos, who represents the Riverside High School area, said he was out for walk with his wife when community members told him the park had reopened.

“It was awesome to see the pride of our neighbors admiring their new park,” Bustillos said.

“This is a very active community, and they are proud of their community,” Dagnino said. “It was great to work with them, to know what they wanted and to bring it to fruition.”

The completion of Thomas Manor Park is the latest of several major projects by EPWater to strategically address flood control around the city.


El Paso Water | All Rights Reserved | Powered by CivicLive | © PowerSchool Corporation