An Integrated Site Plan

Water amenities will also help with controlling storm drainage in the flood plain.

Creek Restoration

The active master plan now envisions a trendsetting suburban campus that mixes passive and active recreation, city services, environmental education, and interpretation opportunities.

The main natural feature within the park–Warrior Creek–flows across the site from west to east, and has continually eroded with the onset of local development over the last 50 to 60 years. Historic aerial photos indicate the natural creek corridor was altered prior to the 1940s for easier cultivation and access to adjacent parcels.

As the small farmsteads on site were abandoned, early successional plants, such as eastern red cedar and mesquite, became established on the site, depleting the remaining native grasslands.

In order to alleviate expensive mitigation and significant delays in Army Corps of Engineers permitting, the decision was made to restore the creek to its historical alignment, creating numerous aesthetic and educational opportunities.

A Broad Scope

As the program for Phase I construction evolved, facilities such as the Public Safety Building, The Summit, Esplanade, Grand Lawn, amphitheater, boardwalk, bridges, and trails have set the stage for anticipated future improvements.

The landscape is designed to be as natural as possible, delivering aesthetic beauty with an emphasis on low maintenance and sustainability, while maintaining quality open space for recreational use.

Ultimately, Grand Prairie Central Park is to be a “people’s park” that includes mixed uses to offset operations and maintenance costs, as well as to encourage a broad awareness of the project’s recreational and ecological potential.

The initial phase of construction establishes the infrastructure of a sustainable park that will become the flagship of the city park system.

The Warrior Creek corridor has been restored to its pre-1940s alignment, and has been planted with native riparian tree species along its edges, providing the basis for the re-establishment of wildlife habitat and natural erosion control. These restorative efforts, as well as the elimination of the invasive cedars and mesquites, and the installation of a short grass prairie within the park, represent the initial phases of work, blending contemporary facilities into a naturalistic setting.

Recreation Opportunities

Notable amenities provided within Phase I include the outdoor leisure area, greenhouse and community garden at The Summit, the grand steps at the future mixed-use area, pedestrian bridges and lookouts over the lakes and waterfalls, and numerous public art installations.

Current active and passive recreational opportunities consist of open-field play, fishing, picnicking, and strolling or bicycling around the five lakes and short grass prairie.

Other opportunities in conjunction with The Summit include bocce courts, horseshoes, washer pits, and an outdoor grill and lounge area, in addition to the numerous activities within.

Future additions to this area will accommodate paddle boat and kayak rentals, a commemorative area for historic and significant citizens of Grand Prairie, and a large performance or festival-events area adjacent to the amphitheater to include changing facilities, concession pavilions, and a stage with electrical and lighting appurtenances.

Circulation throughout the park is accomplished via the Esplanade Road, pedestrian bridges, and a pedestrian trail ranging from 20 feet wide at the boardwalk down to 8 feet wide in other areas in the park, that ultimately links up to the city’s regional trail system.

Resourceful Planning

A significant part of the master-plan mission is that the entire project be designed with sustainability in mind.

The buildings seek LEED Gold certification, and the site utilizes solar-powered as well as LED lighting. The waterfalls between the lakes and overlooks incorporate recessed fiber-optic lighting for flexibility in the lighting scheme, such as seasonal change and special events as well as energy savings.

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