Frequently Asked Questions


1. – Does the Parks and Recreation Department have a list of handicap accessible playgrounds throughout the City of Mesquite?

Answer – Yes. The City of Mesquite has several handicap accessible playgrounds located throughout the City. One of the playgrounds that is specifically designed for total access by wheelchair patrons is the Discovery Playground at City Lake Park. The KidsQuest playground also has areas that are accessible for wheelchair patrons. Other City handicap accessible playgrounds with wheelchair transfer stations are located at: Rugel, Tosch, Galloway, Blackwood, Shands, Florence, Lawrence, Motley, Range, Brandy Station, Hanby, McWhorter, Rutherford and Seabourn Parks. Also, there is a handicap accessible playground at the Girls’ Softball Complex. See locations and addresses on the City’s web site,, and on the playgrounds brochure that is also on the Parks and Recreation Web Site.

2. – Why are some of the park drinking fountains turned off during the winter months although the winter weather is warm?

Answer – Most of the drinking fountains on the various parks do not have plumbing parts that are freeze proof. Therefore, to guard against pipes and fixtures bursting in freezing weather, the Park Services staff winterizes (drains the lines and shuts off the water source) from approximately December 1 st through March 15 th each year. The newer freeze proof fountains are left on throughout the year regardless of the weather.

3. – How many Hike and Bike Trails does the Parks and Recreation Department have, and what is the length of each?

Answer – The Parks and Recreation Department has twenty-three (23) Hike and Bike Trails located throughout the City. The present list includes the following locations and distances:

    1. City Lake Park - .48 mile
    2. Debusk/KidsQuest Park - 1.76 miles
    3. Valley Creek Park – 1.22 mile
    4. Brandy Station Park – .54 mile
    5. Cayman Estates – .55 mile
    6. Clay Mathis Greenbelt Park – .25 mile
    7. Palos Verdes – .58 mile
    8. Porter Park – .24 mile
    9. Gentry School-Park – .50 mile
    10. Beasley School-Park – .49 mile
    11. McWhorter School-Park – .31 mile
    12. Paschall Park – .38 mile
    13. Hodges Park – .11mile
    14. Pirrung School-Park – .25 mile
    15. Austin School-Park – .13 mile
    16. Blackwood Park – .66 mile
    17. Town East Park – 1.20 miles
    18. Bruton Park – .34 mile
    19. Cannaday School-Park – .29 mile
    20. Westlake Park – .18 mile
    21. Westover Extension – .93 mile
    22. Westover Greenbelt Park – .16 mile
    23. Travis Williams Athletic Complex – .44 mile
4. – How many fishing ponds/lakes does the Parks and Recreation Department have? How many of these locations are catch and release sites?

Answer – There are five (5) ponds/lakes throughout the City. All of the ponds/lakes are typically stocked with various game fish such as crappie, black bass, perch and catfish. The ponds/lakes are located at Palos Verdes Park, Beasley School-Park, City Lake Park, Valley Creek Park, Bruton Park, Rorie Galloway Day Camp and Wildflower Park. The only catch and release site is at the Rorie Galloway Day Camp.

5. – Can a person use a seine or net to catch fish in City-owned ponds/lakes?

Answer No. It is against the law as set forth by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission. Violators should be reported to the Parks and Recreation Department at 972-216-8192 for appropriate action to be taken.

6. – Do any of the ponds/lakes have fishing piers?

Answer – Yes. There are fishing piers at City Lake, Valley Creek and Palos Verdes Parks.

7. – Do residents or park patrons have to have a Fishing License in order to fish in the City lakes and ponds?

Answer – Yes and no. If a fisherman is under the age of 17, or was born before September 1, 1930, you do not have to have a license to fish. All others must possess a proper Fishing License or be subject to a fine by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

8. – Why is a coloring agent occasionally put in the various ponds/lakes located throughout the City?

Answer – The coloring agent, which is blue-green in color and non-chemical based, is put into the pond/lake to help deter the formation of algae. The coloring agent helps deflect the sunlight, which is instrumental in helping algae grow. The dye also helps keep the water clear.

9. – Can residents use boats in the lakes at City Lake Park and Palos Verdes Park?

Answer – No. Boats cannot be put into any of the City’s ponds or lakes. Only authorized personnel are allowed to put a boat into the ponds/lakes from time-to-time to remove debris or work on the aerators that cannot be reached from the shore.

10. – Who picks up dead animals in the parks or in the ponds/lakes?

Answer – Residents can contact the Parks and Recreation Department with information regarding dead animals, but removal and disposal of the animals is taken care of by staff from the Animal Control Division.

11. – Does the Parks and Recreation Department have any trees available for the residents of Mesquite to purchase for planting in residential lawns?

Answer – No. The Parks and Recreation Department had a “Free Tree Program” for many years, whereby tree seedlings were given to nonprofit organizations for their use to sell for fund-raisers. Over the years the demand for these tree seedlings declined and this program is no longer available.

12. – Does the Parks and Recreation Department allow residents to gather fallen wood to use as firewood?

Answer – No. Due to liability issues the Parks and Recreation Department does not allow residents to gather fallen trees or wood from parks for use as firewood. Also, fallen trees provide badly needed habitat for animals that frequent these wooded areas.

13. – Will the Park Services Division chemically treat to control Poison Ivy/Poison Oak on city properties?

Answer – The Park Services staff will chemically treat Poison Ivy/Poison Oak only in developed parks or designated usage areas. Poison Ivy/Poison Oak will not be sprayed in the flood plain, greenbelts or any other undeveloped City-owned properties.

14. – Does the Parks and Recreation Department cut and remove hazardous or dead trees in flood plains, green belts or other undeveloped City-owned property?

Answer – The Parks and Recreation Department treats the above referenced properties as nature areas, and fallen trees and logs are left in place for wildlife habitat or refuge. If a hazardous tree is on the outer edge of a wooded area, near areas where children play, the tree would be cut down to lessen the safety risk, but the tree would remain for wildlife habitat.

15. – Does a resident have to get a permit or permission from the City to remove a tree on their lot?

Answer – No. On a standard residential lot, the property owner does not have to get permission or a permit to remove a tree on their property. If the residential lot abuts a creek or drainage channel, a typical property line extends to the center of the creek or channel. In this case the property owner must receive approval from the Drainage Division of the Engineering Department in order to clear underbrush or remove trees.

16. – Is there free mulch available to residents of Mesquite?

Answer – Yes, mulch is available to residents of Mesquite, free of charge. A resident can get up to 2 cubic yards of mulch each month by going to the Compost Facility located at 3550 Lawson Road. Mulch is also available to non-residents for a nominal fee. If you have further questions please call Solid Waste Division, at 972-216-6285 .

17. – Are portable volleyball standards/poles available for use in the parks?

Answer – Yes and no. Most of the sites with Picnic Pavilions have a set of volleyball standards available for use with pavilion reservations. In some instances, by special request, the portable volleyball standards can be moved to a site for a large group outing.

18. – What is the Parks and Recreation Department’s policy regarding various sports teams practicing on neighborhood parks?

Answer – The City allows each sports association to determine and coordinate practice locations and times for use. These associations also coordinate this usage among themselves. The City does not schedule practice fields.

19. – Are neighborhood park tennis courts available to be reserved for exclusive use?

Answer – No. They are for use by residents on a “first come, first serve” basis.

20. – Are the sand volleyball courts at Town East Park, Evans Park and Clay Mathis Greenbelt Park on a reservation system?

Answer No. The courts are on a “first come, first serve basis”.

21. – Are alcoholic beverages permitted in the parks?

Answer – Yes, alcoholic beverages are permitted in the parks, but cannot be consumed within 150’ of an athletic facility. Alcoholic beverages cannot be consumed in parks during the hours of 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. because the parks are closed to the public during those hours.

22. – Can motorized vehicles such as dirt bikes and All Terrain Vehicles (ATV’s) be ridden on City or park property?

Answer – No. City and park properties are marked with signage prohibiting motorized vehicles in the parks because they are dangerous to pedestrians, and they damage turf and can cause erosion.

23. – Who is responsible for mowing the 3’ grass strip behind each residential fence along alleyways?

Answer – Each property owner is responsible for the mowing and upkeep of this area. Even though these areas are typically designated as Utility Easements, the property owner is responsible for mowing them. Also, should the property owner have a vacant area across the alley from them, that property owner is responsible for any mowing in an area 30’ from their back fence line. This is referred to as the “30’ Mow Rule” and can be read on the City of Mesquite Web Site, under Ordinances, Ordinance 1816.

24. – Who is responsible for the maintenance of trees planted outside backyard fences, between the fence and the alley in residential areas? Also, who is responsible for the maintenance of trees in grass alley easements between two residences?

Answer – The maintenance of any tree planted in the 3’ grass area between fences and alleys or growing in an alley easement is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner

25. – Who picks up doggie poop in parks?

Answer – It is unlawful for any person owning or having control or custody of any animal to permit or allow the animal to defecate within City parks (Section 4-10c of the City Code). It is the responsibility of the person owning or the person having control of the animal, to dispose of the animal’s feces. Residents can report violators to the Animal Control Division.