WHAT: Brackenridge Recreation Complex
Texana Park and Campgrounds
WHERE: 46 Park Road 1, Edna
MORE INFO: brackenridgepark.com
EDNA - Since Easter, Beverly and Gus Pilcik, of Ganado, have lived at the new Brackenridge Recreation Complex Texana Park and Campgrounds.
It's cheaper than an apartment, and the park amenities are vast.
In a quaint, one-room recreation vehicle, complete with satellite TV, parkwide wireless Internet and air conditioning, the pair spends their days lakeside, taking advantage of the many upgrades the former state-run park has to offer.
"I like the wildlife - the armadillos, the coons, the opossums," said Beverly Pilcik, who was sitting outside her camper under a canopy preparing breakfast on an electric griddle. "We love it here. Everyone is real nice, so it's easy to make friends."
The park grounds encompass a wide area on Lake Texana, stretching from the camping side of the park grounds where temporary and long-term campers are welcome to set up for a low rental fee, to the opposite end of the park where boating, picnicking and nature trails are available to the public.
"It's cheap to stay here, and we're right on the water," she said. "We relax or use the park. Sometime, we go fishing and boating."
The original park, formerly Texana State Park, was built in 1981.
Upgrades have been underway since the Lavaca Navidad River Authority took over management of the park in September - an attempt to keep the grounds open when the state was no longer able to sustain it.
LNRA Recreation Manager Cammie Pearson said some of the upgrades include installing wireless hot spots, adding full hook-ups to each camping site, remodeling and adding air conditioning to comfort stations, lengthening camper sites to accommodate larger campers and expanding 51 tent-only sites to accommodate campers. There are now 141 camper sites at the park.
"We've made a lot of improvements to the park and done a lot of general clean up and removal of dead trees," Pearson said.
Improvements have also been made to the Nature Center, where seasonal educational programs are offered to children and area schools.
Pearson said some families are temporarily lodging at the park, either because they're on vacation or because they're in the area as a temporary oil-field worker.
Others, like the Pilciks, have chosen residency at the park because of the lack of affordable housing in the Crossroads.
Last year, the park attracted about 28,000 people, of which 4,000 were day visitors. There's about 34 percent occupancy at the park, Pearson said.
The Pilciks have reserved their camping space until December.
The park is across the street from the Brackenridge Park and Brackenridge Main Event Center, where additional amenities, such as volleyball, paintball, horse trails and community events are regularly hosted.
The city of Edna, where restaurants, boutiques and grocery stores can be found, is a short drive away.
"This is a great park. It has everything we need," she said.
© Advocate Digital Media 2012. All rights reserved.