Freedom Park Katy, Texas Baseball Complex with Memorial Tower
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Willow Fork Drainage District
Freedom Park Katy, Texas in Fort Bend County is a 20-acre park containing a baseball complex. A memorial tower dedicated to men and women serving in our armed forces as well as those who perished on September 11, 2001, is located there. 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 that combines 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 as well as 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.
Some beautiful mosaic murals are depicting the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard which border both sides of a sidewalk near the memorial tower. Each side of the tower has a medallion installed on each side of it 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.
Katy Freedom Park Baseball
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.”
Creatures Who Inhabit Our Bayous
Also written on the sign is the following about the Buffalo Bayou Nature Trail:
“Animals of the Bayou
Bayous are habitats for many creatures in nature, all of which are very important to the eco-system as a whole. Within the system mammals, reptiles, and insects all serve a role as both distributors and consumers. For example, mammals such as raccoons and nutria help spread plant life by dispersing seeds. In addition, mammals also help to control the population of smaller animals, insects and even some reptiles. Like mammals, many reptiles also help to control the insect population. Insects are responsible for the reproduction of many plants. Thus, all animals found in the bayou help to create and maintain the eco-system.”
The pictures of animals shown on the posted sign included the following:
- Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly
- Monarch Butterfly
- Blue Morpho Butterfly
- Feral Hog
- Garter Snake
- Water Moccasin (Cottonmouth)
- Striped Skunk
- White-Tailed Deer
- Red-Eared Slider Turtles
- and a Bullfrog.
“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 Freedom Park is a wide concrete paved trail extending 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 there are plenty of ones in the nearby 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.