Anyone who helps youngsters toward a better life sure deserves congratulations.

Earlier this month, we offered our recognition of the town of Houlka and Chickasaw supervisors teaming up to looking to build a basketball court in the town park at Houlka.

Well, we’ve got some more congratulations coming to some more folks.

Meeting last month, the Houston Board of Aldermen chose a design for a new town park to replace the venerable one at Joe Brigance Memorial Park.

We think that’s a great idea, and we hope the dream will soon become a reality.

The new park is estimated to cost about $200,000, with $150,000 of that to come from tourism money designated for Houston parks and recreation. The balance will likely come from the City Park and Rec budget, aldermen said.

Choosing the design by Moonshot Recreation of Jackson, Miss., is the latest -- and hopefully close to the last -- step in a planning process that began about two years ago. The company designs and builds playgrounds and splash parks for parks and schools.

The future park will feature several things people wanted: A see-through characteristic that lets anyone drive by the park and see who’s on the playground, and two zip lines. Also, most of the equipment will be handicapped accessible.

The proposed layout is age specific. There’ll be areas for ages 2-5, 6-12, and an all age area which will include swings and the two zip lines.

According to park and Moonshot officials, tentative plans call for the park to be completed by this Thanksgiving.

Parks are more than just places where kids, or grown-ups, go to play. A quality, well-cared for, inclusive park or parks says something good about a municipality. It says the community cares about its youngsters and anyone else looking to spend quality leisure time. It says good things to people looking to locate in a town, or industrial recruiters looking to locate there, with the increased economic vitality jobs and paychecks bring.

“Build it, and they will come,” to quote the tagline from the hit movie about a baseball field several years ago. The “they” in this town park plan, however, are town and area youngsters -- the area’s most valuable natural resource -- and adults as well.

Build this park, and the area youngsters, and their caregivers, will come.

It’s fitting that the park may be completed by Thanksgiving. If it is, lots of kids and grown-ups alike will have a lot to give thanks for…

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