Willow Fork Park opens to public in southwestern Katy

The Willow Fork Park playground includes a swing set.

The Willow Fork Park playground includes a swing set.

Willow Fork Park, at the Grand Parkway and Cinco Ranch Boulevard, opened Nov. 6. The park, a joint venture between Willow Fork Drainage District and Katy ISD, was expected to open in July.Construction, however, was delayed due to flooding last spring, said Richard Ward, Willow Fork Drainage District Board President.


The park includes a walking trail, pavilion and playground as well as a 4-acre lake, which Ward said area residents and visitors can use for catch-and-release fishing, paddle boarding and kayaking, Ward said. It will be open from dawn to dusk and will be monitored 24 hours a day with security cameras and an on-site security guard.


Willow Fork Park differs from the drainage district’s other parks—Central Green at La Centerra and Exploration Park at 15020 Cinco Park Road—because it is “passive-use,” Ward said.


“Central Green is more of an activity-driven park,” he said. “Exploration has a lot of [play structures] for little kids. This park is open for general use.”


Ward said he already has received requests, but the park will not accept reservations for the pavilion—at least for the first year. However, since Katy ISD owns the land for the park, he said the school district will be allowed to schedule events.


KISD Superintendent Lance Hindt said the school district plans to use the park for cross-country track practices, and meets and class lessons.


“Our science teachers can’t wait to get their classes out here,” he said.


KISD signed a 50-year lease with WFDD to build and operate the park. Construction for the park was funded through a 2011 WFDD bond, said WFFD general Council Member Patti Hopper. WFDD residents approved a master parks plan, which also included the development of Central Green and Exploration Park.


Hopper said the drainage district’s next step is to continue working on an interlocking trail system to connect the parks.


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