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Unique Airfield Falls Trailhead Design Reflects Local Military History and Sustainability

Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) is more often recognized for its water supply and flood protection efforts, but the District is also in charge of providing recreation for the beautiful Trinity Trail system. Near the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, accessing the Farmers Branch Creek waterfalls (also known as Airfield Falls) off the Trinity River from the existing trail system has been difficult. To address this issue, Freese and Nichols began design of the Airfield Falls Trailhead for TRWD earlier this year to improve access and enhance the aesthetics and user experience of the trail.

This well-publicized project will create a unique entrance that is culturally infused with interesting military history. The Airfield Falls trailhead concept has a military theme with monuments recognizing its neighbors Carswell Air Force Base and Lockheed Martin. TRWD purchased pieces of a decommissioned C-9 aircraft to serve as the monuments for the trailhead, a C-9 wing will be mounted vertically at the site, and the aircraft tail section will be mounted in a pavilion area to serve as a shade structure. The interior of the trailhead site will be an open park area landscaped with plants ideal for water conservation, a cause strongly supported by TRWD. The parking area off Pumphrey Drive is being designed to drain into small landscaped bio-retention cells which allow oils and pollutants from the parking area to be filtered before running off into the surrounding Farmers Branch Creek.

The Airfield Falls Trailhead is a great example of Freese and Nichols’ ability to produce beautiful, sustainable park and trail designs resulting in meaningful community landmarks. 

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