Sharp New Barbed Wire Fencing Should Keep Troublesome Post Oak Manor Residents from Messing with That New Willow Waterhole Prairie Conservation Area

Barbed Wire Fencing Surrounding Willow Waterhole Stormwater Detention Basin Prairie Conservation Area, Southwest Houston

Having succeeded in somewhat reducing the planned amount of tree carnage at the southern end of their neighborhood bounding a portion of the Willow Waterhole Stormwater Detention Basin, residents of Post Oak Manor now have another curious byproduct of those flood-reduction efforts to contend with. Contractors working on the Harris County Flood Control District project are now lining a section of the new detention basin with actual barbed-wire fencing. “This is public paid-for lands,” complains neighborhood resident Valerie Runge. “I can’t help but feel this is retaliation for the trouble we caused trying to keep a few of the trees.”


A city ordinance appears to prohibit the use of this type of barbed-wire fencing. Nevertheless, it is now wrapping the entire new prairie conservation area in the easternmost portion of the Willow Waterhole project west of South Post Oak Blvd., north of the pipeline that crosses the site — as pictured in this site plan:

Site Plan of Willow Waterhole Stormwater Detention Basin Compartment 3, Southwest Houston

Here’s a photo of fencework in progress, running past the end of Windwood St., were it dead ends past Warm Springs Rd.:

Barbed Wire Fencing Surrounding Willow Waterhole Stormwater Detention Basin Prairie Conservation Area, Southwest Houston

“Children play here, people walk their dogs, kids ride their bikes,” notes Runge. Across the western edge of the fence is Beren Academy.

Barbed Wire Fencing Surrounding Willow Waterhole Stormwater Detention Basin Prairie Conservation Area, Southwest Houston

Workers have been planting prairie grass in the new conservation area since the week of December 16th, when they cut down trees flanking the neighborhood — fewer than originally planned.

Photos: Swamplot inbox. Site plan: Willow Waterhole Greenspace Conservancy

Cows, Too

13 Comment

  • Thank you for shining there light on a quite questionable use of tax dollars. A key point to note is the current cost to re-imagine a long ago prairie–a prairie that neighborhood residents are viewed as invasive species and hence fenced out–pre-dates any actual water retention to spare the neighborhood from flooding. Zippo funds to complete any flood water retention but plenty of taxpayer money to fence out the neighborhood and plant further prairie plants. Simply put; barbed wire sequestered prairie=good! Neighborhood use of public land=bad! Any completion of engineering structure to initiate diversion of flood waters=some other day after the flood disttrict’s money and energy are employed to create a private prairie.

    A question for all in the neighborhood and beyond?? After the neighborhood has displayed an unequivocal support for continued walk up use of this public property–Whose interests are being serve by such an aggressive land grab by our Flood District?? Whose interests?

  • An anti-NIMBY gesture? What’s the big deal if it’s temporary and the land is not open to the public yet. Maybe there’ll be plantings they don’t want trampled etc. while they’re working on it. I doubt a simple wire fence would be a respected boundary.

  • My understanding is that there is an endangered plant there. Residents using this area for recreation might have harmed this plant. Surely the ‘recreation’ of the neighborhood can and should be sacrificed for the few remaining individuals of this flower. Generations ago everyone’s children could experience this type of environment. Now almost no one can because it has all been destroyed. I defer back to my earlier comment on this. Just change ‘trees” to ‘recreation area’. “Any problems with this would arise from one’s initial assumptions. 1. You think the Earth and all resources therein are inherently the possessions of humans to do so as we please. 2. You think that the Earth and all resources therein have value in themselves apart from the whims of humanity. If you accept the former then screw the endangered plant because the trees provide YOU more benefit than a flower. If you accept the latter then YAY, for the protection of a very rare piece of the natural world. Trees are everywhere, even native trees, the flower is not everywhere. It just depends on where you stand I guess….

  • Dana-X, respected by whom?

    The State of Texas respects a barbed wire fence. That’s all it takes to keep livestock in and trespassers out, legally.

    Yes, there are jumpers and crawlers but they usually get what they deserve, one way or another.

    Seriously though, that fence says temporary to me.

  • If they don’t want the land trampled they should start by not running bulldozers through the areas they finced off. Just walk the area. Our field cameras have caught these workers making “crude” gestures.

  • Just clip the wires down, problem solved.

  • Pyewacket, I meant that, had they only put up a non-barbed wire fence that people would’ve gone over or through it so, while the barbed wire looks naziesque it works for the project.
    The one aspect of this project that would seem to need improving is to add access to the park from the neighborhood and not just from South Post Oak, which isn’t at all a nice place for bikes or pedestrians. But the neighbors might not want such activity coming down their street.

  • I have a feeling that the fence is just a way to keep people from moving or removing the tape that the flood control has on certain trees marked for clearing. Flood control has to remove some of the trees that are too close to the federally protected Prairie Dawn flower and residents don’t agree with that. They are pretty upset about it and don’t want to lose the trees that are a “buffer” to the park area.

  • Nothing that a good pair of wire cutters won’t fix.

  • “Whose interests are being serve by such an aggressive land grab by our Flood District?”

    Ray, the development of the Willow Waterhole has been a long and arduous process that we all stand to benefit from from. Would you have preferred that the site end up being used for heavy industry, or sec 22 housing? both options loomed before the county took over the site. Preservation of the prairie is essential for completion of the project due to federal dollars being contingent on the protection of the endangered species that reside that there. The folks who like to ride ATV’s and go mudding in the area may be dissapointed, but I was able to walk the area myself just the other day.

  • It’s been a way long time since I was in Boy Scouts, but I do recall being taught a simple method for safely crossing a barbed wire fence.

    From the type of fence posts used, though, I’m going to agree with PYE2 that this looks pretty temporary.

  • The principal issue is communication. Yeah, my understanding of the history is that the federal funding followed the mysterious finding of endangered species in an area where there was a plan to put in low income housing. Since they can’t dig out the giant petro pipeline, the prairie goes there. What’s it take to recreate something natural? Who performs the action? Is the fence permanent or temporary? As far as I can tell the answers aren’t pretty or the powers that be would be shouting it from the rooftops instead of claiming future as fact.

    Post Oak Manor has been getting the shaft for the entirety of the Waterholes’ history and it won’t get better anytime soon. Hopefully things go back to a state of benign neglect, the scrubby “trees” will grow back and there will be enough of a trail to run on.

  • Look at it, the wire, as a little recreation of the Texas countryside brought in for the edification of the city slickers.