design & inspiration today: nature preserved
Land Along White Oak Bayou at E. 5th Preserved as Green Space
Habitat for wildlife and Texas native trees, flora & fauna --
this area is the last undeveloped parcel in the Heights -- and included in the original land grant for Houston.
It now preserved for posterity.
Bikers and hikers using the MKT Trail approaching White Oak Bayou from the northwest may have noticed a patch of wooded land to their right and wondered when and how it would be developed. Thanks to Houston Parks Board and Harris County Flood Control District, this parcel of land will be preserved as open space while making the White Oak Bayou watershed more resilient against flooding. Neighbors on E 5th, Oxford, Fraser, and Granberry Streets can finally stop worrying that development of the property would drive traffic down their streets. Several attempts to turn the parcel into apartments, townhomes, or condominiums have failed over the years due to lack of adequate street access for residents and emergency vehicles.The property, valued at $1.7 million, was purchased below market value thanks to a generous donation from the owner. Harris County Flood Control District contributed $900,000 to the property purchase and Houston Parks Board contributed $600,000 thanks to a generous donation from the Kinder Foundation.
The purchase of the land ensures that the property shall be maintained in perpetuity for floodplain preservation and open space, and as needed for regional detention and channel modification and repair. The land may also be used for outdoor recreational activities, wetlands management, nature reserves, and community cultivation.
With support by council members Adrian Garcia and Ed Gonzales, State Rep Jessica Farrar, Mayor Bill White,and countless more City of Houston folks, Save Buffalo Bayou, Parks Board, Texas Wildlife, Texas Forestry and countless amazing neighbors -- worked tirelessly to preserve this magical place. What an amazing gift celebrating 14 years of advocacy by all - thank-you to Sheila Sorvari and her husband Mark Sterling, Elen & John Newcaster, Taylor Moore, Gary Mosely, Sharon Wallace and Greg Wright, Kent Marsh, Jean Taylor, Angela DeWree and so many more who started this process over 14 years ago!
Shout-out to Denise Batchelor, longtime homeowner in Freeland Historic District and County Commissioner Rodney Ellis who finally made it happen for the Houston Heights by bringing stake holders, grants, partnerships together to realize everyone's vision for this parcel.