On August 6, the Parks and Recreation Department will open Copperas Branch Park. Residents are invited to view and use the park at no charge from August 6 to August 13. All areas of the park are open for public use except for the beach and swimming area. It is anticipated the swimming and beach area will open mid-August after the swim-line is installed.
City crews have worked to prepare Copperas Branch Park for public use by re-installing the boat ramp pier and adding new decking, working with a contractor to patch and seal the parking areas, restoring the public restrooms and the facility for use, installing signage and removing dead brush and trees along with general debris clean up. In April this year the Highland Village Fire Department along with area fire departments conducted a prescribed burn to remove five-years of overgrowth in the park.
“The re-opening of Copperas Branch Park is another example of City of Highland Village departments working together to provide an amenity for our residents and visitors to our City. Every department played a part in restoring this park so it can be enjoyed and used once again by our residents,” stated Mayor Charlotte Wilcox.
Beginning August 6, Copperas Branch Park will be open daily from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. with free access to the public until August 13. After August 13 the gatehouse pay station will be activated. Cost to enter the park is $10.00 per vehicle. Annual passes are available at $35.00 for residents ($25.00/year after July 1) and $20.00/year for residents over 65 ($10.00/year after July 1) and $60.00/year for non-residents. Annual passes can be purchased at The Robert & Lee DuVall Center located at 948B Highland Village Road.
Copperas Branch Park offers a boat ramp and parking area, swimming and beach area, covered picnic tables, open space, BBQ grills and public restrooms. Minor work will continue over the next several weeks including the installation of the BBQ grills, bollard repairs and completion of the asphalt access walk over the bar ditch to the field.
In September 2013, Copperas Branch Park was closed and used as a construction staging area for the expansion of I-35E. At the completion of the I-35 Express Project in November 2017, TxDOT and the subcontractor built a new park entrance off of Highland Village Road, a parking area under I-35E and worked towards remediation of the park and returned it to the City.
The City of Highland Village is excited about the opportunity to return this wonderful resource back to the public.
History and Future Plans:
Copperas Branch Park had been closed for five years while it was used as the staging area for the I-35E expansion project. When TxDOT began the I-35 expansion project, the City received $2.9M in mitigation for the loss of land due to the expansion of the highway, loss of public use of the park and loss of revenue. Public meetings were held and from those meetings the Park Board and City Council agreed to use the mitigation funds for the construction of Doubletree Ranch Park. This allowed the full concept of Doubletree Ranch Park to be completed at one time instead of in a phased approach. Also as part of the mitigation process with TxDOT, we now have a safer entrance off of Highland Village Road to Copperas Branch Park, the trail connection at Doubletree Ranch Park on Highland Village Road, a pedestrian bridge for those wishing to use our trail system to walk to the park, as well as better and safer concrete parking for the public. Now that the park is open, what are the next steps? We have proposed in the 2018-2019 Budget to fund a master plan for the open spaces at the park. The planning process will include public input to determine the recreation desires of the community for the park and focus on baseball fields while taking into consideration the future phases of the I-35E expansion project and the best use of our resident tax dollars at the park. Stay tuned!