In 2004, SRA prepared a park, recreation and open space master plan for the City of Forney including a current, five-year and ten-year land and facilities needs assessment. From this plan, a new community park was scheduled to be built on a recently purchased 127-acre tract of land. The City Staff and Parks Board wanted to create a park that contained a wide variety of amenities for the community that reflected the unique heritage of Forney. In March of 2009, Phase I of Forney Community Park had its grand opening.
The design team was challenged with providing a top notch park that would meet the needs of a rapidly growing community. During design development, certain challenges presented themselves (storm water drainage, preservation of the wetland area, incorporation of the many design elements into the budget), but each of these were turned into creative opportunities that enhanced the value of the park.
At the beginning of the project it was determined that the large natural area that divided the softball and soccer complexes was a USACE wetland and that minimal disturbance of this area was desired. It was determined that the soccer fields and wetland area could be used to detain storm water run-off in major rain events through the under-sizing of certain inlets and drainage structures. The wetland also would serve as a biofilter for the storm water prior to it continuing downstream from the park property. This collaborative effort created an aesthetic, educational and functional solution to the city’s downstream storm water issues.
Another challenge during the design process was deciding how to create a spray park without wasting water or using a large filtration and chemical injection system due to budget and environmental constraints. The challenge posed to the landscape architect was to keep the City’s water from literally going down the drain. SRA designed a system that allow the water from the spray park to be collected in a basin throughout the day and recycled into the irrigation system. After the water in the basin reached a certain level, the water would be pumped from the basin and into a 500,000 gallon storage tank for irrigation. The controls for the pump were designed so that water from the spray park would be emptied into the storage tank everyday prior to any other water source filling the tank. This dual effort created a solution that was both pleasing to the city’s leadership and environmentally friendly.