The City of Coppell recognized at the beginning stages of rapid community growth that it must provide for a wide range of recreational and environmental opportunities. Consequently land was acquired for parks, athletic complexes, trail systems and open spaces. Open space sites are generally lands set aside for preservation of significant natural resources, remnant landscapes and visually aesthetic or buffering functions. One of the major purposes is to enhance the livability and character of a community by preserving as many of its natural amenities as possible, as well as providing wildlife habitat in rapidly urbanizing areas. Open spaces often include lands that may not be suitable for some kinds of development but can provide a unique environmental experience.
The major open space areas in the Coppell park system are:
• Denton Creek Park, Andrew Brown Park West, Central, East and Moore Road Park. This 260 acre northern Coppell necklace of park land has Denton Creek as the common thread and is characterized as flood plain, wetland, forest and nature preserve. A trail runs the length of the adjoining parks allowing the community to enjoy nature’s beauty as evidenced in creeks, trees, ponds and expansive open land views. The abundance of undeveloped land with limited amenities provides walkers, joggers, and bicyclists with a ‘back to nature’ experience in the heart of Coppell. The four ponds provide habitat for an abundance of wildlife such as beaver, ducks, fish and many species of birds including egret and heron. One pond includes a boardwalk which passes through a marshland. The expansive open acreage lends itself to large community events including a Fourth of July fireworks display and a fall festival. Thousands of people are able to gather in this prime Coppell open space to enjoy a multitude of activities including soccer, baseball, and softball. Lacrosse, football and volleyball.
• Wagon Wheel Park. This 153 acre park on the west side of Coppell is similar to the northern group of parks in that it includes expansive open spaces, forests and creeks. The level areas of this site have been developed with athletic fields leaving significant acreage for forested trails. This property was selected by The Coppell Nature Park organization as the location of its environmental programs. Nature trails with plant and wildlife descriptive signage, an observation deck and an open air classroom are available to the public. A butterfly garden and an education center are on the drawing board while funding sources are being explored. The Parks and Recreation Department is excited about the potential programming and educational opportunities that this open space will provide.
Although Coppell has numerous other small open space sites the above parks represent the most prominent and most visited areas in the entire park system. One future site worth mentioning is the wide electric utility easement that passes through Coppell from Sandy Lake Road going south to East west Beltline Road on the far east side of Coppell. It is proposed in the Trail Master Plan that a trail be constructed the length of this wetland providing open space opportunities to more Coppell neighborhoods. This project, like the existing parks, will balance the desire for public access and the interpretive education with preservation of environmentally sensitive areas that are especially unique to Coppell.