Murphy City Park was the first park built in Murphy, Texas, over 12 years ago. When the city had the opportunity to purchase an old farmstead that was adjacent to a small neighborhood park and a large Oncor right-of-way, Timbers Nature Preserve was born. Together, the preserve is approximately 40 acres with a deep pond and stream with established trees. The existing park contained two athletic fields which also served as regional detention facilities. The detention areas were originally created by rerouting the existing stream through the athletic fields. Several other undocumented alterations occurred to the stream during residential development, resulting in severe flooding and stream instability throughout the FEMA-designated Zone AE floodplain.
The project was split into two phases to assist in grant funding acquisition for the park and to accommodate City funding constraints. The first phase included conceptual design based on available existing data and input from the community. A series of public meetings were conducted to present options and obtain input from the community, Parks Board, and City Council. Drainage alternatives were developed to restore the stream back to its original alignment and optimize the detention configuration, allowing the infields to remain open during frequent flooding events. An unsteady hydraulic model was used to analyze interconnected detention areas and floodplain storage options. Additional areas located outside the park were also identified to be included in future FEMA remapping efforts during the second phase of the project.
Final plans for this $2.4-million project included nearly a mile of 14-foot multi-city hike and bike trail, a mile of soft-surface nature trails, fishing piers, restroom facilities, practice ball fields, ADA upgrades to playground and picnic facilities, stream restoration, pavilions, and fire pits/barbecue facilities.