Greenway Development Promotes Flood Mitigation
As the Coalition’s Mission Statement suggests, development of the Cypress Creek Greenway entreats the watershed community to view its floodway and floodplain as important components of the same system, not as separate entities. If we treat the Greenway with the environmental respect it deserves, important flood mitigation, recreational, and wildlife habitat pursuits will be served, too.
Cypress Creek and its northern sibling, Spring Creek feed into the San Jacinto River, with significant impact on the Lake Houston watershed, a major drinking water supply for both Houston and Harris County residents. Because Cypress Creek is Harris County’s largest watershed, preservation of its Greenway will have a direct and significant impact on the water quality of the larger Lake Houston watershed. Apart from the important water quality issue, Cypress Creek watershed residents have a unique opportunity to enjoy the beauty and outdoor recreation afforded by this beautiful greenway…located right in their backyard. In addition to these water quality, recreational and wildlife habitat benefits, the Cypress Creek floodplain is extremely important for flood mitigation: slowing water velocity, trapping sediment, and filtering pollutants during the inevitable periods of major flooding; thus, as the Cypress Creek watershed’s population grows, an increasingly important Coalition objective will be preservation. Consequently, in 2007, additional emphasis will be placed on developing the Cypress Creek Greenway to include:
- Continued enhancement of an already powerful power point presentation to promote communication with both the public and private sectors about the Greenway Preservation process (view: Power Point Presentation).
- Using lessons learned while organizing the HP Park development project to create a base case…a “process” for the organization, design, and development of future anchor parks and associated hike-and-bike connector trails (view: Development Process). This could be used as a selling tool with Municipal Utility Districts (MUDs) by bringing to the table an orderly process which they can use to accomplish a particular development task. (for additional “process” guidance, view: www.hcfcd.org, Trails & Our Bayous).
- Acting as a facilitator for collaboration among Precincts 3 & 4, HCFCD, and state and federal entities on matters concerning the development of the Cypress Creek Greenway.
- Fostering participation by various community groups in the development of a collaborative conservation effort, targeting land use in the upper watershed. (ultimate land use adjacent to Mound Creek and in the Bridgeland, Towne Lakes, and other large master-planned subdivisions will be a critical determinant affecting the amount/rate of stormwater run-off flowing downstream toward existing lower watershed subdivisions).
- A definitive plan which lists the elements for gaining right-of-way for hike-and-bike connector trails between anchor parks throughout the watershed including a data base of “creek bank” owners as a prelude to determining alternative methods of Greenway property acquisition (i.e., purchases, donations, conservation easements, bond referendums, business and philanthropic organization grants, etc.).
- A watershed map with overlays showing the specific locations of all undeveloped county and HCFCD-owned acreage along Cypress Creek and its major tributaries, watershed MUD boundaries, and any development activities that are currently or soon will be underway by MUDs, the county or other community stakeholders.