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Goforth Park on Horsepen Creek in Cypress, Texas: Honoring Deputy Darren Goforth

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include art, traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

Dog Park in Goforth Park

Dog Park in Goforth Park

Goforth Park

Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth Park on Horsepen Creek is the official name of this 188-acre park located in Cypress, Texas. The original name was Horsepen Creek Park.

Tribute to Deputy Darren Goforth

Deputy Darren Goforth was a ten year veteran of the Harris County Sheriff Department. Sadly, one day, while refueling his department vehicle at a nearby Chevron station, he was ambushed and killed. The perpetrator used a handgun. With 15 shots to the back of the head, Deputy Darren Goforth instantly died on August 28, 2015.

The simple wearing of his uniform made him a target. He was only 47 years old. Deputy Goforth left behind his grieving wife and two young children who were only five and twelve years of age.

People instantly rallied around his family, expressing grief over this senseless and random act of violence. Flowers and other tributes built up at the gas station where a memorial was created. People from near and far wished to contribute money to his family.

It did not take long before the idea of naming a park in his honor began relatively soon after it became a long-lasting and fitting tribute. The park is maintained by Precinct 3 in Harris County.

Dual Purpose Park

Similar to other parks in this area, it serves several purposes. First and foremost, the retention basin provides a large area for rains and floodwaters to collect instead of damaging surrounding homes and businesses. The human-made lake is a lure to fishers who can cast their lines from the shoreline. We saw several people fishing on the day of our visit to this park.

Paved Trail

There is a 1.97-mile paved trail around the perimeter of the lake that is perfect for exercising. My husband and I walked around it while others were jogging. Bicycling and skating are also allowed. Most of the trail is asphalt, and a small part of it is concrete. The video below shows what the entire perimeter trail looks like via a bicycle.

Many Birds Spotted in Goforth Park

We saw birds of various types as we were walking around the lake. Many flocks of American Coots were in evidence. Before I learned their identification, I assumed that they were ducks because of how they appear when swimming and diving in the water. On land, however, they seem to walk more like chickens. Whenever I tried to get more closeup photos by approaching the birds, they would leave the ground and disperse into the water swimming away from me. They seem to be a bit shy. I have experienced this in other parks as well.

A Great Egret appeared to be wading the waters in hopes of finding something to eat. It would take flight only to settle down a little distance from where I was trying to capture its photo. They are such pretty birds!

Boat-tailed Grackles seemed to be less afraid of people and were quite close to the paved walkway. The sheen on this one’s coat was so pretty! We see many of these iridescent hued birds in and around our city in various locations.

Exercise Equipment

Different types of exercise equipment are at various places around the trail with instructions as to how to use it properly.

Exercise equipment at Goforth Park

Exercise equipment at Goforth Park

Dog Park Area of Goforth Park

From a certain point, as we were walking around the lake, we could see the large dog park area. The dog park separates into regions for both the large as well as small dogs. Both have fenced in areas with access to the lake for those dogs who like to swim.

All dogs must be on a leash upon entering and exiting the park. They must be wearing current tags, and their owners must carry copies of rabies vaccinations. Once inside the fenced dog park area, they can be allowed to run freely. People must pick up any dog waste and waste bag stations, and refuse barrels are on site.

We spent some time in the large dog park area. It is enjoyable viewing the fun these many dogs had while swimming and playing. People often socialize here as well. In addition to the spaces where dogs run and swim, there is also agility equipment provided for the dogs. Some people were busy putting their dogs through their paces on some of this equipment.

Small dogs have three acres, and five acres are for the larger ones. Doggie shower stations are on site. Water fountains for people, as well as their pets, are on site.

Children’s Play Area

Of course, children are also accommodated in Goforth Park with an exceptional playing area designed for little ones. Many families were enjoying picnicking as well as watching their little tykes climb on the rope ladder, use the swings or the slides. The children’s playground is like an agility station for the little ones!

There are some shaded seating structures, but much of this park first created in 2014 is quite sunny. The planted trees as they continue growing will offer more shade in time.

Location

There are two parking lots giving access to the amenities of this park, which include restrooms. It has excellent wheelchair access. The official address is 9118 Wheat Cross Drive, Cypress, Texas 77095.

My hubby and I enjoyed getting to familiarize ourselves with Goforth Park. It has one of the better dog parks in this part of the Houston metro area from what we have seen. This park is at the intersection of Barker Cypress and West Road for those familiar with this part of town.

The Canyon Lakes at Stonegate homes surrounding this park is at an appropriate distance away. The spacing means that people will not be disturbed by excess noise from the children’s play area as well as the dog park. The video below gives you some idea of what this part of town looks like, plus what else is near this area of Cypress, Texas.

Sources:

http://www.pct3.com/Parks/Harris-County-Deputy-Darren-Goforth-park

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Darren_Goforth

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cypress,_Texas

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_coot

Image from https://www.quotemaster.org/police+officers+killed

Image from https://www.quotemaster.org/police+officers+killed

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Peggy Woods

Comments

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 01, 2020:

Hi FlourishAnyway,

Yes, this is a fitting memory of Deputy Goforth, but sad that this is the reason a park bears his name.

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 01, 2020:

It’s so sad the way he died. This lovely park is a fitting tribute to the manner in which he lived.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 20, 2020:

Hi Liz,

Yes, the story behind the naming of the park is sad. Our favorite part is also the dog park section.

Liz Westwood from UK on March 20, 2020:

What a sad story behind the name of this park. But what a great outdoor area. I especially liked the section for dogs.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 17, 2020:

Hi Manatita,

Yes, something positive came out of a negative situation. This park bears witness to it.

manatita44 from london on March 17, 2020:

A sad, sad story, but at least a lot of good will and healing, as well as a beautiful Park came out of it. The turtle and cootes are amazing!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 17, 2020:

Hi Ruby,

No wonder the name of this post caught your eye! I am still smiling regarding your Dr. Goforth story.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 17, 2020:

Hi Bill,

I agree that it is a lovely remembrance of Deputy Goforth to have this park named after him. It is only sad that it was due to his death in the manner that it occurred.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 17, 2020:

Hi Lorna,

We still have plenty of species of birds in our area, and yes, we love seeing them in parks as well as our backyard.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 17, 2020:

Hi Bill,

Yes, the dog part of Goforth Park is amazing, and many people take advantage of using it.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on March 17, 2020:

This was a joy to read about Goforth Park. How sad that Deputy Goforth was murdered while tending his own business. I will never understand why people hate policemen. They are our protectors. The park seems like a fun place to take the family and pets to. I liked your photos. I might add that when Jackie was a baby I took him to a Dr. Goforth and I thought he was the best Dr. in the whole world. He told me once to please stop waking my baby up to bring him to the Dr., esp. after hours. LOL I was 18 and thought my baby was dying if he coughed. Hee.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 17, 2020:

A very nice tribute to a fallen hero. Bravo to Houston for doing this.

Lorna Lamon on March 17, 2020:

Such a terrible tragedy - I will never understand senseless violence. I'm glad he is honored in this way. This park has something for everyone and I am so glad you get to enjoy the parks birdlife, as so many of them are in decline due to climate change. An enjoyable and interesting read.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 16, 2020:

Hi Pamela,

Yes, Houston and the surrounding area certainly has some wonderful parks! This one is great for fishers, those who want to let their canine buddies accompany them, and children, of course.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on March 16, 2020:

Peggy, this looks like a park I would enjoy. And the dog park looks amazing. Thanks for sharing.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 16, 2020:

This is another park that would be nice to visit. There is so much in Houand ston LOL Seriously Peggy, there are a large number of parks and restaurants in Houston that sound wonderful. Thanks for all this information.