By Roy Waggoner

West Fork Ranch drew us in the first time we saw the cattle statues at the entrance. It felt a little like the country in the suburbs. That homey feel continued during some neighborhood reconnaissance. Driving around, we saw people walking and kids playing. We loved it. Six years later, we still love our part of far north Fort Worth around Basswood and Interstate 35. 

In 2019, this neighborhood with the welcoming cattle statues temporarily had real nearby cattle take over yards and munch on flowers. The Ring doorbells saw it all and made for funny viewing on the community Facebook page. 

What makes this even funnier is that West Fork Ranch streets are named after different cattle breeds. It’s one of the unique touches that made us think this was not the same as other developments. By limiting housing design fronts and including standard upgrades, West Fork Ranch felt different. We first looked extensively for pre-owned homes before realizing we could build a new home in West Fork Ranch.

West Fork Ranch census breakdown

Total population: 7,104
Male: 54%
Female: 46%

Race
White: 42%
Asian: 21%
Hispanic: 19%
Black: 13%
Two or more: 4%
Native: 1%

Age
0-9: 18%
10-19: 12%
20-29: 28%
30-39: 19%
40-49: 14%
50-59: 7%
60-69: 8%
70-79: 3%
80 and older: 1%

Education
No degree: 12%
High school: 26%
Some college: 34%
Bachelor’s degree: 24%
Post-graduate: 4%

Public schools within 2 miles

What sealed the decision was driving through on Halloween and seeing families lined up in their driveways passing out candy. It made us feel like we weren’t in the 12th-largest city in the country. Growing up in small-town Kansas, it took me some time to get used to the number of people here. West Fork Ranch has helped us adjust to life in the big city. 

We started the building process in November 2014, choosing our lot and then the details of our new home. We never dreamed we could afford a new build. I’m a high school journalism/English teacher, while my wife, Monique, had a career working in nonprofits. Now, she manages her own firm doing bookkeeping and administrative support work for other non-profits and consultants. So, while custom home builds were out of our budget, we could afford this development. We joked that many of our feature requests were met with the reply of “that’s not an option.” But, getting to see the process from start to finish, it moved from house to home. It was really fascinating seeing the neighborhood grow around us as well. 

The country feel has faded. West Fork Ranch is fully built out, and the trees are gradually maturing. Cattle invasions are no more. The Presidio development has added much more shopping just a short drive away. 

One of the great things about West Fork Ranch is the elementary school located in the community. This is a great amenity for families, as well as the two pools and walking trail. 

Another draw of West Fork Ranch is the diversity of its residents, which breaks the stereotype of the typical suburb. It has been great seeing others celebrate holidays and beliefs I haven’t experienced before.

The community is involved. Members hold trash clean-ups and put up flags for patriotic holidays. The homeowners’ association hosts community events during the year, and a resident organizes visits by food trucks, such as the popular Beignet Bus. During the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic, these food trucks provided some hope and a break from lockdown. 

More recently, we were blessed to largely avoid power loss during Snowmageddon, but I saw many open their homes to people in need. Community members posted on the Facebook group about ways to help and to offer necessary items like bottled water. 

In far north Fort Worth, we often feel disconnected from the core of the city and a little confused about our identity. We pay Keller ISD taxes and Fort Worth city taxes. While this part of the city has had more development, it seems like the infrastructure often lags behind. There are not as many mom-and-pop shops here compared to the city core. I hope the city will prioritize development of more local stores up here.

West Fork Ranch is our home. The more I live here, the happier I am that we found this neighborhood. It is still our respite from the city. 

Roy Waggoner and his wife, Monique, have lived in Fort Worth since 2014. Waggoner is a journalism and English teacher in Keller ISD.

To tell the story of where you live, please send your essay to hello@fortworthreport.org and Managing Editor Thomas Martinez at thomas.martinez@fortwortheport.org.

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