The Santa Fe Plaza and Market Trail were recognized as a Great Place in Texas by the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association.
The Great Places in Texas program recognizes unique and exemplary streets, neighborhoods, and public spaces – three essential components of all communities – and celebrates how planning has played a vital role where we live, work, and play. The program promotes and recognizes great places while celebrating stories of exemplary planning that have resulted in stronger and healthier communities.
The recently completed Santa Fe Plaza and Market Trail were the product of innovative City and Community leaders identifying a vision for the Downtown Temple Strategic Plan in 2013. As a result of the planning and collaboration, the new multi-functional plaza and trail are at the center of downtown Temple’s continuing transformation.
The Santa Fe Plaza and Market Trail were designated as a Great Public Space. Great Public Spaces help promote social interaction and create a sense of community.
The Santa Fe Plaza is a public space with functional design elements that also pays tribute to the most significant symbol of Temple’s railroad heritage, the Santa Fe Depot. The Santa Fe Depot is the backdrop to the Plaza which is flanked by the Santa Fe Business Center and the Temple ISD Administrative building.
The Plaza’s design allows for booth space for events, and the food truck park alongside the Plaza provides space for entrepreneurs to promote their businesses. The design also recognizes the value of nature with a water feature and green space.
The Santa Fe Market Trail is a pedestrian path that connects Whistle Stop Park to the east via improvements under the 3rd Street Bridge to the new MLK Festival Fields. The MLK Festival fields are located between Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and South Fourth Street and are the home of festivals and events to enhance the quality of life in Temple.
Learn more about the Great Places in Texas at texas.planning.org/community-outreach/great-places-texas/explore-great-places-texas.
With COVID-19 hitting Bell County in March, businesses have been scrambling to keep up with new regulations and restrictions. The City of Temple declared a state of disaster and required all restaurants to close their inside dining but allowing them to still serve through curbside, drive-thru, or takeout.
Matt Serna, manager of the Pizza Hut on W Adams, sent complimentary pizzas to the Temple High and Lamar Middle School staff. “It’s everyone’s responsibility to do their part, and If I can relieve an ounce of stress, one pizza at a time, that’s what I’m going to do!” The school was released for spring break on March 9 and has not reopened due to COVID-19’s presence in Bell County. Serna said, “It is important to give back to the community during hard times.”
Pizza Hut is not the only restaurant to support the community by providing their services. Bird Creek Burgers provided 40 grab and go meals for the 411 House, a youth empowerment house in East Temple. Chick-Fil-A packaged hundreds of meals for the HEB Distribution Center employees who are working extended hours. And La Riv Kitchen & Bar is offering free pasta meals to local families in need.
Subway is donating sandwiches and cookies weekly to the ER, Pulmonary & Surgery departments at Baylor Scott & White. John Guthrie, manager of Subway Sandwiches in Temple, spoke on why they decided to donate, “Due to the virus we had to shut down our location inside the hospital, but we didn’t want to abandon the staff. We wanted to give back and we’re a restaurant, so it made sense. It also gives hours to our employees, so it felt good to help everyone involved.”
There are multiple ways you can support local restaurants during this challenging time. Take advantage of their curbside, drive-thru, or takeout options. If takeout is not in the budget, be sure to like their social media pages, leave positive reviews, and share their content. Gift cards are also a great way to show support, you can buy now and use later. This is a challenging time, but we will overcome it together being Temple Strong.
Visit templechamber.com/templestrong-restaurants for a listing of Temple Chamber Member restaurants here to serve.
The Coronavirus pandemic is forcing many businesses to close or modify operations in order to slow the spread of the disease. Temple Chamber Members continue to inspire by stepping up to support the community.
They have provided healthcare workers vital equipment in short supply, helped community nonprofits with donations, and supported the community with various services.
Here is how Temple Chamber Members are helping amid the Coronavirus: