The Remarkable Restoration of River Grove Park After Harvey
Yesterday, Dee Price, Kingwood Service Association (KSA) President, gave a presentation about the restoration of River Grove Park after Hurricane Harvey to the Lake Houston Chamber’s BizCom meeting.
The storm deposited so much sand in this park, there were times when I doubted it could be restored. The park’s comeback is a remarkable tribute to a handful of dedicated volunteers and contractors (led by Dee Price and Bruce Casto), with big assists from the people of Kingwood, the Army Corps of Engineers and Kayden Industries.
Here are the slides and text from Price’s presentation to the BizCom meeting. The presentation also includes information about KSA, which newcomers may find helpful.
Dee Price BizCom Presentation on River Grove Park
Good Morning. I’m going to spend a few minutes talking about the recovery of Kingwood’s River Grove Park from the impact of Hurricane Harvey. But first let me give you a brief overview of the Kingwood Service Association aka KSA.
KSA is a Texas non-profit corporation that was chartered in September 1976 by the Kingwood developer. Its stated purpose is to provide for community, civic, and social welfare in the Kingwood area and to promote the health, safety, and welfare of the Kingwood area residents.
Carrying out this purpose has evolved over the years as Kingwood became part of the City of Houston.
Representing 32 community and commercial associations throughout Kingwood, KSA has continued to be a focal point in working community-wide issues that impact multiple villages in Kingwood.
KSA owns, operates, and maintains the five major parks in Kingwood. It also maintains the two major entries into Kingwood at Kingwood Drive and North Park Drive. KSA actually owns the entrance area on Kingwood Drive on which the ponds are located.
Like many areas in Kingwood, River Grove Park was heavily impacted by Hurricane Harvey. A huge amount of sand was deposited in the park. In addition, many of the park facilities suffered a significant amount of damage. The pictures on the slide above illustrate the amount of damage suffered.
It took a significant amount of effort to recover from the damage caused by the hurricane. First, we had to remove 364 truckloads of sand. We had to drill a new well, pressure wash all of the park facilities, and repair the damage to the facilities. We also had to restore the sports fields closest to the river that had been inundated by sand deposits.
The final step of dredging the portion of the river along the park’s perimeter had to be put on hold until the US Army Corps of Engineers completed their project to dredge the San Jacinto River. The Corps removed the big sand bar formed during Harvey that was blocking access to the river from River Grove Park. This was a big help to KSA and very much appreciated.
Once the Corps was finished with their dredging project, KSA was able to proceed on its project to dredge the area along its boardwalk and boat ramp. The picture shows that a large amount of sand was deposited in the area by Harvey.
Since the dredging had been put on hold for 3 years, vegetation took hold on the sand and had to be removed before the dredging itself could begin.
Once the vegetation was removed the removal of the sand could proceed. Ultimately, the project removed 10,000 cubic yards of sand, dewatered the sand on-site using a dewatering machine, and then hauled off the sand to an approved location.
The project took 3 months to complete including working during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic. The boat ramp, which was closed in 2017 after Hurricane Harvey, was re-opened in April 2020 and has been heavily used since that time.
The last slide is a picture of the park after the first stage of recovery had been completed and the park was re-opened in March 2018. That concludes my discussion. Thank you very much.
The spirit and tenacity of volunteers in Kingwood are one of the things that make this such a great place to live.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 8/7/2020 with thanks to Dee Price, KSA, the KSA Parks Committee, Bruce Casto, Kayden Industries, the Army Corps of Engineers and people of Kingwood
1074 Days since Hurricane Harvey