Residents in the Cinco Ranch area of Katy will have a new park for a variety of outdoor activities when the Willow Fork Park opens to the public in late summer.
The 32-acre park, which is part of a $29 million bond package approved in 2011 by voters in the Willow Fork Drainage District, will have a 4-acre lake, an 18-hole disc golf course, a playground, walking trail, bathrooms for the public and an events pavilion with a lawn.
“This is the first large park we’re opening. It’s designed to be a passive use park, where people can go with their families or friends,” said April Renberg, a director on the WFDD board. “We are hopeful to complete the park by the end of the summer, end of August. We’re targeting Labor Day for an opening ceremony.”
“We are getting a lot of requests from people wanting to hold events in the park,” Renberg said.
The park is located on land owned by Katy ISD, and Renberg said the WFDD has a 50-year lease with KISD to operate the park and maintain the land.
Denisse Cantu Coffman, director of communications for KISD, said the land is being leased at the cost of $1 per year to WFDD. The park will be used by students from various schools in KISD, and the cross-country course will be the site of running competitions.
The $29 million bond package was used to renovate several other parks in the WFDD—some owned by KISD—and Renberg said the WFDD believes partnering with KISD is beneficial to the community as a whole.
“KISD has had some input on the [park’s] design,” Renberg said. “It’s a valuable use of taxpayer money to provide facilities that everyone can use.”
Matt Klein, a landscape architect and senior associate with TBF Partners—the firm designing and building the park, said construction on the park is more than 50 percent complete.
“It’s a very native [plant] palette that is mean to re-naturalize the area,” Klein said. There will be Katy Prairie grasses and native pines.”
Renberg said the WFDD directors sought input from local residents about the park and one of the goals of the WFDD in planning the park was to find low-cost amenities that the community wanted.
“Doing the disc golf is an inexpensive feature. It doesn’t require a lot of maintenance,” she said. “This piece of property, it’s perfect for a park.”