Buffalo Bayou Sodders: Brave and Unfazed

Reader Jeromy Murphy sends in this photo he took this morning along the banks of Buffalo Bayou, from the jogging path in Buffalo Bayou Park under I-45. What’s going on over there across the water?

While walking back to my office from a downtown meeting, I noticed workers installing new sod along the Bayou.  I wonder how long this will last considering the weather report?  Anyone along the ship channel need some new sod?  It’s probably headed their way.

What’s wrong with a little sod freshening?


This area is underwater everytime we have serious rain. [Here’s] a photo I took from the Hobby Center garage on April 28, 2009 of the same area:

Photos: Jeromy Murphy

9 Comment

  • If you have issues with this, you can direct your inquiries to the HCFCD (Harris County Flood Control) Maintenance Division.

    Another group would be the BPP (Buffalo Bayou Partnership) to voice concerns.

    Both groups have environmental and plant experts that understand these issues.

    As long as the sod takes, it can last under flood conditions.

  • We arent expected to get 10+ inches of rain overnight like we did in April.

  • 4.6 inches in an hour is a 100-year storm.

    About 13 inches in a 24 hour period is a 100-year storm.

    Much of west Houston experience a 100-year storm in April. The rest of the city experience lesser degrees be still a lot of rain quickly.

    Downtown Houston upstream of White Oak Bayou along Buffalo will see the biggest influx of water about 48 to 60 hours after the rain event when US Army Corps releases the water from the reservoirs.

  • That area does go under – maybe once a year, but it also lowers quickly. As long as the sod is staked and it takes root it should be fine. It is a bigger issue to have bare dirt where erosion would occur if the Bayou came up. Sod is differently preferable to concrete.

  • Vegetation IS preferable to concrete. I have been impressed with how well the landscaping along this portion of the bayou has held up. But I am curious as to what caused the need for new sod in that area. In the photo you can see the more established sod higher on the bank.

    We seem to have a lot of 100 year floods in Houston.

  • That sod being placed would experience water in regular summertime storms (less than a 1 or 2 year event). It’s completely understandable that it would be a higher maintenance issue.

  • Sod beats cementification every time.

  • Why is it friggin’ St. Augustine grass instead of native natural plants that have evolved on the sides of bayous?

  • Scott,

    I was wondering why they aren’t placing plants that HCFCD has planted along the waterlines of many of there wet bottom detention facilities. They are extremely hardy and can handle being under water for hours at a time without being uprooted.

    Doesn’t the Buffalo Bayou Partnership (BPP) or Bayou Preservation Association (BPA) have some input on this area?

    This is probably just a quick fix of what was there previously. There is a study that should be nearing it’s end that is looking to remove exotics and replace and promote native species from I-45 to the Montrose/Studemont Bridge as a pilot program. This is right next to it. Maybe it can or will be addressed.