El Paso’s San Jacinto Plaza has been named one of the premier public spaces in the State of Texas.

The Texas Parks and Recreation Society has named San Jacinto Plaza as a 2015 Lone Star Legacy Park. A Lone Star Legacy Park is a park that holds special prominence in the local community and the state of Texas. A designation as a Lone Star Legacy is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on a park. The Lone Star Legacy designation further underscores the community’s high expectations for the renovation of the plaza which is presently underway.

Other 2015 recipients include the Main Plaza in New Braunfels and Travis Park in San Antonio. Previous recipients include Zilker Park in Austin, Sam Houston Park in Houston, and Central Park in Garland.

The $6 million renovation presently underway at San Jacinto Plaza includes a splash pad, huacha court, game tables, and enhanced landscaping. The recently restored Los Lagartos sculpture will return to the center of the plaza and will be protected by a new shade canopy.

San Jacinto Plaza was purchased back in 1881 from William T. Smith by the City of El Paso. However, prior to Smith owning the property it had been the land of a prominent El Paso figure, Juan Maria Ponce de Leon, who owned the property since 1827. Then in 1903, the City Council at the time cleaned up the area and named the park in honor of the battle of Texas’ independence.