Group looks to spur future development of Chuck Silcox Park

The Chuck Silcox Park in West Fort Worth.
The Chuck Silcox Park in West Fort Worth.

by A.C. Hall

In September of 2012, Chuck Silcox Park in Fort Worth opened.  Located deep in Westpoint and sitting on nearly 21 acres of land that runs through the neighborhood off Chapel Creek Boulevard near I-30, the area needed a lot of effort to go from strip of land to park. Late Fort Worth Council Member Chuck Silcox, who passionately worked towards the park’s creation up until his passing in 2008, and the Chapel Creek Neighborhood Association worked to raise awareness and money for the project, contributing $53,000 of the $160,000 first phase construction on the park.  That first phase included extensive landscaping and a small playground, but now those in the area are working to bring even more to Chuck Silcox Park.

Gary Hogan of the Chapel Creek Neighborhood Association spoke about the ongoing work that the City of Fort Worth is doing on the park.  This includes upkeep, mowing, watering, and the installation of 40 trees earlier this year.  But when it comes to major development, it appears that there’s nothing on the books for Chuck Silcox Park right now.  “The City of Fort Worth in their upcoming bond election for the next several years has not included any further development funding for Chuck Silcox Park,” Hogan told The Grizzly Detail.

For some parks, that may signal the end of the story, but the spirit behind Chuck Silcox Park is one of self reliance and perseverance.  Therefore, the CCNA is putting together a non-profit organization known as Friends of Chuck Silcox Park.  This is a separate group from the CCNA and is being formed so those interested in guiding the future of the park can work towards its future development.

Andrew Keeble, who is the primary contact for the Friends of Chuck Silcox Park, spoke about what they’re looking for.

“We need everyone, from fund-raisers to designers, manual help, legal help, horticulturists, naturalists, constructors, people with potential sponsorship or donation contacts,” Keeble said.

The idea isn’t just to raise money, but to get the community involved in designing the future of the park.

“We want to form ‘The Friends of Chuck Silcox Park’ as a means to push forward the project to achieve the aims of making the park accessible to all and becoming an oasis of tranquility in an ever more stressful world,” Keeble said.

Once the Friends of Chuck Silcox Park gets an idea of what the community wants to see in the park, then focus will turn towards getting finance for the development, having it agreed to by the City of Forth Worth, and then constructed.  The nonprofit organization will be able to go after things like grants and corporate funding that could be used to bring the community’s designs to life within the park.  It may not be a simple process, but it’s one that fits perfectly with the ideas behind Chuck Silcox Park, granting the community power in shaping what they want the area to become and putting much of the responsibility on their shoulders to make it a reality.

“We think that this little area could be a community jewel and we would like everyone locally to feel part of this opportunity to do something great for Chapel Creek,” Keeble said.

Both Keeble and Hogan spoke about the benefits the park has on the community, but each have a personal connection to the park as well.  Keeble lives nearby and spoke about his love of walking his dogs in the park and watching the trees and plants change through the season.

For Hogan, his connection to the park recalls his connection to the late Chuck Silcox.

“For myself personally I want Chuck Silcox Park to be the very best it can be to honor the man that without which it would not of existed at all,” Hogan said.

Those interested in being a part of shaping the future development of Chuck Silcox Park can contact Andrew Keeble at a.keeble@yahoo.com.

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