Exploration Park is an immersive public playground alongside the north side of Willow Fork Drainage District’s Diversion Channel, just south of Creech Elementary. Opened in 2015, the park appeals to a wide range of ages and is unlike any other in the area. Since opening, the District added an adjacent 48-space parking lot in 2016 and a restroom building with two family areas in 2020.
The design of Exploration Park is rooted in children’s play, environmental stewardship, educational principles, and an overall theme inspired by water. It offers visitors a multipurpose play area, an open lawn for unstructured play, and a covered pavilion with picnic tables. Play features include a sensory garden, swings, a musical bridge, a raindrop berm lawn, and a slide tower and bridge connecting to a hill slide. An interactive water cycle wall creates a hands-on experience that demonstrates the water cycle and educational signage encourages water conservation.
The new modern park does contain typical playground aspects such as slides and swing sets but also includes educational signs and hands-on activities such as a musical bridge with planks labeled with the traditional music scale-for children throughout the park, managing to incorporate fun, exercise, and education all into one little piece of heaven in the ever-growing Houston suburb. “The thing that’s different about this park is that it’s not just a play park, it’s an educational park as well,” said Richard Ward, president of the Willowfork Drainage District’s Board of Directors. “It’s also got the various things kids can do with hands-on activities, so we’re very proud of this one.”