Tag Archive for: Breckenridge East

Spring Creek Greenway Threatened by New Development

One of the most popular natural attractions in the north Houston area is the Spring Creek Greenway. But between mile marker 8 and 8.5, a large new development called Breckenridge East has cut across the trail, leaving a massive scar through the forest to accommodate its drainage.

Nature Interrupted

Since 1979, Harris County Precinct 4 commissioners have added to the beautiful trail system between I-69 and I-45. The Spring Creek Greenway currently connects and protects approximately 7,000 acres of forest in Harris County, preserving this ecological gem as a mecca for ecotourism, education, and outdoor recreation.

But yesterday, a reader and cyclist, Ken Matthews, alerted me to an issue.

Photo by Ken Matthews on 10/31/2021. Taken from Spring Creek Greenway looking toward new development.
NE portion of development from the air. Oval indicates where it cuts across greenway. Spring Creek cuts through top of frame from left to right.

Role of Forests in Flood Prevention

According to Harris County Precinct 4 and Harris County Flood Control District:

  • Forests buffer against flooding by absorbing rainfall in their canopies and in the soil.
  • Trees act as natural water filters and significantly slow the movement of storm water, which lowers runoff, soil erosion, and flooding.
  • From an economic viewpoint, communities that use this important function of trees and canopy cover may spend less money on other flood control methods.

Infiltration rates for forested areas are 10-15 times greater than for equivalent areas of turf and grass.

Harris County Flood Control District

Recipe for Runoff

In the shot above, you can see the beginning of what looks like a large detention pond. But as we saw with Woodridge Village flooding in 2019, putting in the detention ponds AFTER the land has been cleared can be a recipe for runaway runoff during big storms.

Lush forest replaced by vast expanse of sterile nothingness.
Entire development. A local resident told me that during Harvey, water came up to Cypresswood Drive in the lower left. That put this entire area underwater.
Breckenridge East is in far upper left. Another development a little more than a block away is also cutting into the forest. Cypresswood Drive in foreground.
Looking NW from second development across Planet Ford Stadium toward Breckenridge East, one can see a whole series of developments starting to encroach on the Spring Creek floodplain and greenway.

Support Bayou Land Conservancy

The Bayou Land Conservancy (BLC) plays a vital role in protecting and maintaining the Spring Creek Greenway, which is the longest, contiguous, urban forested corridor in the country.

When finished, the Greenway will ultimately:

  • Stretch over 40 miles,
  • Reach from Highway 249 in Tomball east to US 59 in Kingwood, and 
  • Cover more than 12,000 acres. 

Please support the Bayou Land Conservancy. They preserve land along streams for flood control, clean water, and wildlife. Not to mention future generations.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 11/1/2021 with thanks to Harris County Precinct 4, Bayou Land Conservancy and Ken Matthews

1425 Days since Hurricane Harvey

The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.