Tag Archive for: Lake Houston Park

Save the Date: National Public Lands Day Volunteer Event on September 25

Established in 1994 and held annually on the fourth Saturday in September, National Public Lands Day is traditionally the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort. It provides all lovers of the environment an opportunity to show appreciation for precious natural resources through volunteer opportunities. 

Join the Bayou Land Conservancy and REI in Conserving Public Land

This year, National Public Lands Day falls on Saturday September 25. The theme is “More Ways to Connect to Nature,” and there are many ways to connect in this area. I highly recommend joining the Bayou Land Conservancy (BLC) – a local, environmental non-profit – at the Lake Houston Wilderness Park. BLC specializes in preserving land along streams for flood control, clean water, and wildlife.

The BLC and volunteers will partner with REI for the day to help spruce up the park and get a guided tour from park naturalists. Refreshments will be provided, but they recommend bringing your own water in a reusable container and a snack. If you’ve never been to Lake Houston Wilderness Park, it’s a big, tranquil place filled with wetlands and dense forests. In fact, it’s the largest urban nature park in America – almost 5,000 acres – and like stepping back in time.

To see some of this gorgeous park, and the difference it makes in the San Jacinto East Fork Watershed (compared to the West Fork), see this post I developed in 2018 about the importance of riparian vegetation in reducing erosion.

Riparian vegetation in Lake Houston Park helps prevent erosion, sustain wildlife, and reduce flooding.
Shoreline of Lake Houston Park. Fall colors light up the landscape as well as people’s faces.
Looking NW across the vastness of unspoiled Lake Houston Park. Photo taken Jan. 1, 2021

Directly Benefitting the Lake Houston Headwaters and Reducing Flooding

The focus of work at the Lake Houston Wilderness Park on the 25th will directly benefit the Gully Branch-Peach Creek watershed, right in Kingwood’s backyard plus, Porter’s, New Caney’s and Huffman’s!

With 2.5 months left in hurricane season, take time to help preserve nature and reduce flooding in a natural ,cost-free way. More conserved lands mean more safe places for water to go without endangering our communities.

How to Register, Learn More

Please join BLC in conserving land on National Public Lands Day on the 25th of September! With 5,000 acres, there’s plenty of room for social distancing in a healthy environment.

For more information on the day’s events and how to register, visit BLC’s website at Bayouland.org/national-public-lands-day.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 9/8/2021

1471 Days after Hurricane Harvey

City of Houston Contractors to Begin East Fork Debris Removal

Disaster Recovery Corporation, a contractor for the City of Houston will soon begin debris removal on the San Jacinto East Fork.

Scope of Work

The scope of this particular phase of debris removal extends from just north of the southern tip of Lake Houston Park to about halfway up the east side of the 5000 acre park. See the start and stop points on the satellite image below.

The City of Houston should begin debris removal on the east side of Lake Houston Park next week.

The distance covered equals 2 miles as crow flies or 3 miles as the fish swims.

Debris Includes…

Here are FEMA guidelines for debris removal. Debris can include trees, sunken boats, old tires, vehicles, and other things washed downstream in floods. It is basically any debris in the water, or below the surface at a depth that is equal to the maximum draft level of the largest vessel that would use the waterway plus 2 feet. Debris also includes trees that are leaning or that pose a threat to public safety.

Beginning First Week in June

Work should start the first week in June. Authorities eventually expect the work to extend up to the Harris County line at FM1485 near the extension of the Grand Parkway.

Debris Removal to Date

Debris removal to date in other places on the East and West Forks and their tributaries has consisted mainly of the removal of downed trees. On Lake Houston, debris removal began almost exactly two years ago.

The trees pose hazards to navigation and can form logjams that back water up in floods, threatening homes and businesses. They also can get hung up on bridge supports and the Lake Houston Dam, threatening infrastructure.

During Harvey, trees swept downstream and caught up in the supports for the Union Pacific and the southbound Highway 59 bridges over the West Fork in Humble. Both bridges had to be replaced. Trees also blocked flow at the FM1960 bridge and the rail bridge in Lake Houston.

Trees enter the waterway when floodwaters undermine river banks or simply rip trees out by their roots.

Downed trees on West Fork after Hurricane Harvey flood. Photo taken September 14, 2017
Dead tree removal on Lake Houston in June 2018.
This pontoon carried dead trees as well as fencing that had been swept into the river. September 2018.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 5/29/2020

1004 Days after Hurricane Harvey and 253 since Imelda