So many times we will pull up to a park and at first glance I think I have the place figured out and that it will be a quick in and out for us. But as it usually goes, I get surprised by my family and myself when we chose to purposefully explore, observe, and notice the small and boring looking aspects of a park. These usually turn into the most memorable moments at the parks. When we first arrived, the kids automatically headed to the jungle gym yipping and hollering, “wow” with my husband following behind to watch after them. As they headed to the jungle gym, I headed towards the lake and to explore the other features of the park.
After I had time to explore the area alone, I went back for my husband and kids and we went down to the creek together, which was littered unfortunately in trash. The kids always have a strong reaction to seeing trash on the ground and wanted to pick it all up to help the animals and the lake. A few years ago, we purchased 4 trash grabbers and some 5-gallon buckets for when we visit parks, but we forgot them on this day. They made sure to make me feel guilty for leaving them behind in the garage. We ended up picking up a few pieces of litter. After the kids were able to explore the creek bed, we headed back up its banks to take a walk around the lake. The toddler always manages to find the harvester ants and we spent a few moments watching them file in and out of their hole in the ground carrying crumbs the visitors left behind and seeds from various plants. The 7-year old found a bunch of ducks and was pointing them out to the other two and we counted how many we could see. Along the shore of the lake, there were several large rocks that the kids had fun climbing over and under. At the end of the trail along the lakes eastern side, we spotted tunnels and decided to explore them. After dad went and looked inside the kids spent a good 15 minutes running in and out of the larger one and crawling in the smaller one. They now call the park, “tunnel park” and are super excited to see a tunnel when we go to parks.
The first thing you will notice as you pull up to Greenbriar Park is the community fishing lake called Greenbriar Lake and the large community center. Scattered around the lake evenly as if they were assigned those spots, you will find fisherman out with their gear, sitting back relaxed in the chairs just waiting for another bite. There were rules and regulations clearly posted around the lake to assure compliance and education of the local fisherman. There is a small trail that goes around the lake and winds its way to and around the playground as it makes it heads to the community center. The trail is rather short, making this park not ideal for those who want to get a few miles in, but long enough for a little stroll in the park. One of the neat features of the park was that it had a disc golf course and there were a few guys on the course when we got there. I walked down half the course when I was following the creek. If you decided to walk all the way to the end of the park on the disc golf trail and back and also added in the paved trails, you could get in about 1.5 miles in for a walk. If you wanted to go there for a birthday party or cookout, there is a covered pavilion with plenty of tables and some grills.
Nature: Most of the park is sterile grass field that is kept short, however when you get to the creek that feeds the lake you will find lots of interesting plants and birds flitting about in the branches. To get to the creek, that fed into the lake I entered near the large drain pipes and was able to enjoy listening to the birds as they flitted about the trees. I attempted to take a photo of them however the warblers are so small and could not be still. But I still managed to get a blurry shot. In the trees, there was a flock of house finches that kept moving about, however this one was persistent in getting this bunch of seeds and was not in the least fazed by my presence as I tried to focus on him and get a shot for at least 5 minutes, which is a long time in the bird world. After looking at the birds I noticed some rather small flowers beneath my feet and took to admiring them and some other small flowers I found. As I mentioned earlier, the flashiness of spring is gone with all of the showy flowers and birds, but if you sit still long enough and look you will hear life in the trees or notice the beautiful bouquet of tiny flowers under your heal.The lake had several species of ducks including a Hooded merganser that I could not get a good photo of. On the eBird list it looks like over 40 different species of birds have been identified at the park and around 35 species of plants and animals have been identified on iNaturalist. While I was there, I was able to see some grebes, a Great blue heron, mallards, phoebe, warblers, house finch, and more. Unfortunately, along the shore of the lake I spotted a bastard cabbage. Hopefully, there is an invasive species eradication program in action from the parks department.
Neighborhood: North Greenbriar
Address: 5200 Hemphill St, Fort Worth, TX 76115
Latitude: 32.669791 Longitude: -97.341536
Trails: .5 miles
Acreage: 49 acres
Amenities: Covered pavilion with tables and grills. Swings. Playground. Lake. Paths. Disc Golf. Greenbriar Lake. Basketball goal. Community Center.
Parking: As the park is located next to a community center, there is plenty of parking for visitors.
Playground: There is a large jungle gym right by the parking lot.
Ideas of things to do: Birding, iNaturalist, walking, wheel chair accessible paths, disc golf, kick ball, BBQ, picnic, half-court basketball, skateboarding, dog walking, flying a kite, exploring, and attend community center programs.
History: The park was established in 1973. According to an article I found, it has recently undergone some remediation work to remove contaminated soil from the park.
Future: As of 2018, they were in the process of building a property management facility behind the community center.
Restrooms: There is no outdoor restroom facility when we were there. However, since it is adjacent to the community center, they do allow park visitors to use the restrooms inside when they are open.