On May 15th the City of Deer Park hosted a ground breaking ceremony for phase one of the Deer Park Nature Preserve. RVi Planning + Landscape Architecture was selected by the City of Deer Park to lead the design of the new 38-acre park by providing conceptual programming for the overall site and design and construction documentation for phase one.

The Deer Park Nature Preserve is a city owned tract of land which includes 15 acres of environmentally-sensitive wetlands. The park is envisioned as a model for sustainable design and environmental stewardship. The restored and enhanced natural environment will serve the residents and visitors of the City as a destination for people to explore, learn from, and interact with nature.

RVi worked closely with the City’s Parks and Recreation Department and local stakeholders to establish program elements for the park that meet both recreational and educational goals. The ultimate vision of the Nature Park is to have a nature center with various outdoor classrooms, playgrounds, camping area, ropes course, and event pavilion all connected by various nature trails.

Phase one of the project is being funded through a combination of bond money, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department grants, and private donations. This phase consists of clearing invasive species, restoring the wetlands, and providing trails for visitors to explore the park. Working with our friends at SWCA Environmental Consultants, the RVi team worked to create a plan to restore the wetlands to a more natural condition by removing invasive species that have overtaken the area. A 3/4-mile decomposed granite trail provides a loop around the park and takes users to and through three habitats found on site: grassland, woodland, and wetland. In addition to the granite trails there are grass trails and footpaths that meander throughout the site allowing for visitors to explore off the beaten path. A trailhead monument greets visitors and a permeable parking lot provides a place to park while touring the site. The main trail and parking lot area will be illuminated by solar-powered lighting.

The initial phase of the park and trails is scheduled to open in September of this year.

Pictured is Jacob Zuniga, Tiffany McGallian, Taylor Sandoval, Jason Bergman of the Deer Park Recreation Team (Owner); Chris Patterson, Robert Whittemore of RVi Planning + Landscape Architecture (Landscape Architects); and Jerett Johnson and Roger Gregg of Millis Development & Construction (Contractor).