I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).
Willow Fork Drainage District Park
Freedom Park Katy, Texas, in Fort Bend County, is a 20-acre park containing a baseball complex. There is a memorial tower dedicated to men and women serving in our armed forces, plus those who perished on September 11, 2001. It also has a small children’s playground. The address is 18050 Westheimer Parkway, Houston, Texas 77082.
This park connects to a paved trail system joining with miles of trails throughout the Willow Fork Drainage District (WFDD).
Freedom Park Memorial
The Freedom Park memorial is a 52-foot tall structure with a massive stainless steel star adorning the top. David Baker created that crowning piece. Artifacts from all three of the 9/11 crash sites, plus other items of importance such as a Bible, Purple Heart medal, Fort Bend County flag, and others, are in the pentagon-shaped base of the tower.
Each side of the tower has a medallion installed on each side representing different entities, one of which is the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. Memorial pavers honor those who contributed in one way or another to the making of this touching monument.
Some beautiful mosaic murals depict the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard, bordering both sides of a sidewalk near the memorial tower. The video below shows the elegance of this memorial tower before the addition of the mosaic murals.
While we were interested in learning about the memorial, most people who come to this park do so because of the baseball fields when the season is active. There are four baseball fields plus shaded seating available for viewers. An excellent-looking concession venue with restroom facilities is on site.
Informative Signs in The Park
There is a sign near a children’s playground in Freedom Park. On it is the following information:
“The Importance of Buffalo Bayou
Water is a component of life: it has many functions. We use it to drink, to wash, to entertain, and to regulate temperatures. Within the infrastructure of cities, man has learned to use water to his advantage, but the demand for co-existing with the elements and having buildings to live in those elements has created a need to control where water goes. Water always goes to the lowest point first, but this rule is challenged by the physical obstacles that nature or man imposes to control the direction it takes.
Houston is home to several bayous, which through manmade design or nature, provide an outlet for water to flow. Bayous may run only a few inches deep in some sections and several feet deep in other areas. As an area continues to be further refined for industry and the population surges, the bayous are adjusted to accommodate the increased amount of surface water that is not absorbed by the soil.
To alleviate the large volume of water experienced during a storm, wetlands, retention, and detention ponds are utilized next to the bayou. Some of those methods are constantly submerged with water, while others are meant to be temporary holding spots, but all three allow for a safe release of surface runoff into the bayou. As urbanization occurs, bayous and their adjacent overflow facilities provide opportunities for recreation development. Parks and trails can provide local activities as well as community-wide linkages.”
“Birds of the Bayou
Texas is home to more to more species of birds than any other state in the country, and Buffalo Bayou is a natural habitat to many of them. A large array of native and migratory birds use the bayou system for shelter and food. They serve an integral part in the balance of nature. Some birds consume insects, while others eat small animals. Pollination and seed propagation are also aided by the birds that depend on plant consumption for survival. In return, birds and their eggs are food for larger animals. Their existence is part of a delicate cycle in nature that keeps an ecological population control among many different species.”
The photos of birds shown included the following: Snowy Egret, American Kestrel, Cattle Egret, Northern Harrier, Belted Kingfisher, Green Backed Heron, Yellow-Crowned Night Heron, White Ibis, Great Blue Heron, Black-Bellied Whistling Duck, and the Red-Tailed Hawk.
To the back of the baseball complex in the park is a concrete paved trail that extends for many miles. It interconnects with other parks within the Willow Fork Drainage District. Thus far, there are about 30 miles of trails along thousands of acres. Most of them are alongside drainage channels and easements, according to the WFDD website.
There are only a few picnic tables at this site, but many exist nearby in George Bush Park. One family sat at one of them on the day of our visit. Most people we saw that day were using the trail to exercise and have fun. When baseball is in season, this park is undoubtedly a beehive of activity.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Peggy Woods
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 10, 2020:
That freedom tower does make this park extraordinary. Thanks for your visit and comment.
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 10, 2020:
This particular park is a little different from the majority of them, and we found it interesting. Glad you liked reading about it.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 09, 2020:
Great space for life outdoors. Extremely impressive to a small island resident. It demonstrates the theme of freedom alright! Thanks for the details.
Liz Westwood from UK on April 09, 2020:
You have described the versatility of this park very well. It has a lot to offer.
Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 08, 2020:
The freedom park seems a very interesting place to visit and know things about history as well as entertain oneself. A great place to be in. Thanks for sharing.
manatita44 from london on April 08, 2020:
Extremely beautiful! David Baker's work is quite impressive and must have required much thought. The history of the Bayou is interesting.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 08, 2020:
I love me some baseball. I suspect I would enjoy this park quite a bit.
Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 08, 2020:
Freedom Park was a fascinating discovery for us as well. Most people who go there probably do so because of the baseball fields. We found the other attractions to be of equal interest, if not more so.
FlourishAnyway from USA on April 08, 2020:
I’m sure lots of families congregate here during springtime for picnics and wholesome fun. It’s nice that this exists for the community to enjoy.
Ann Carr from SW England on April 08, 2020:
What a wonderful place, and so many diverse attractions within it. Thanks for another peep at your local area, Peggy.