The Willow Creek watershed is located in northwestern Harris County. Covering about 54 square miles, it has a population of approximately 24,290. Nearly half of the water from Tomball, Texas drains into this watershed. The primary stream is its namesake, Willow Creek; the mouth of Willow Creek flows into Spring Creek. There are 56 miles of open streams including Willow Creek’s tributaries. This watershed is notable for its heavily forested areas of pine and oak and is similar to the Big Thicket area; the wooded areas are interspersed with coastal prairie habitat. Consequently, it is an environmentally sensitive watershed.
Historically, one of Stephen F. Austin’s second colony grants was along Willow Creek in 1831. The Willow Creek area was settled by French immigrants beginning in 1837 and soon became known as the French Settlement.
Although technically within the Cypress and Little Cypress watersheds, the city of Cypress has several wonderful parks managed by Harris County Precinct 4. One of these, Dyess Park, a 113 acre facility is located in the Willow Creek watershed. Dyess Park has eight lighted softball fields, six lighted soccer fields, 19 unlighted soccer fields, two playgrounds, rest room facilities, and six parking lots. There is no launch at this park, However, Precinct 4 offers launches at Collins Park, Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center (currently closed for improvements) and Pundt Park for anyone interested in canoeing or kayaking Spring Creek, Cypress Creek, or associated tributaries. For rules and regulations on canoeing/kayaking in Precinct 4 go to: www.hcp4.net/portals/1/launch/community/parks/canoeing-kayaking/pdf/canoekayakrulesregs.pdf. Dyess Park is located at 16822 Kitzman Road, Cypress, Texas 77429. For more information on hours and reservations call Parks Reservation Office at 281-353-4196.