By Brad Meyer, Posted: Monday, November 26, 2007 12:00 am | Updated: 7:24 pm, Sun Nov 21, 2010.
Organizers behind a proposed historical park in Conroe to honor Texas history are launching a campaign to make their vision a reality – if they can find a site to build it.
When completed, the Lone Star Monument and Historical Flag Park will feature a life-size bronze sculpture of a Texian – the term applied to residents when Texas was independent – and a collection of more than a dozen historical flags that flew over Texas before it became a state.
“Montgomery County is the birthplace of the Texas flag,” said John Homman, president of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sons of the Republic of Texas, an organization supporting efforts to create the park. “We want to create a unique park that will serve to honor and educate residents and visitors about Texas history.”
The concept for the park was developed by Craig Campobella, an award-winning sculptor from Conroe. Many of his artistic creations have featured historical figures from Texas’ multi-cultural past.
“Texas is the only state that was an independent nation at one time,” Campobella said. “The history and culture of our area are inspirational factors that attract tourists from around the world, and we want to provide a place to showcase that history.”
Finding a suitable location, however, is a challenge for the coalition of groups hoping to sponsor the park. A wooded area at the southeast corner of Interstate 45 and Texas 105 was originally targeted, but has since been identified by the Texas Department of Transportation as the site of a future drainage project for the thoroughfare’s expansion through Conroe.
“We’re looking at other locations along I-45 and talking to city officials to try and determine an appropriate location,” added Homman. “We’re confident we’ll be able to move forward on this.”
Homman estimates the cost of construction for the park as it is currently designed will be approximately $250,000. If the group has to pay for land, the price tag will be considerably higher.
Also supporting the proposed park project is the Friends of Conroe, a civic group that supports the Conroe Cajun Catfish Festival and other tourism-related efforts. Homman hopes more community-minded organizations will get involved with the project.
“It’s a great educational and tourism project,” he said. “We want it to honor our heritage and serve as an inspiration to both visitors and residents.”