Don’t feel like hopping on your bike to see how construction on that northern piece of the White Oak Bayou hike-and-bike trail is coming along? The click-and-drag-able digital map released this week by the Bayou Greenways 2020 folks may be a decent substitute for the real thing (depending on how often it ends up getting updated). Zoom in closer on the map above to check out completed trail sections (outlined in green), under construction spots (traced in dark purple), and areas planned for trail-ification at a later date (highlighted in a purple haze).
Here’s the area around Mason Park (where that double-V suspension bridge is under construction at the moment):
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Green is for Greenway
LARGEST OIL SPILL IN U.S. HISTORY WILL FUND GREENWAYS ON CLEAR CREEK Money from the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund, set up with part of the $18.7 billion BP paid last summer to settle with the federal government over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, is making its way to Houston in the form of a $7.1 million grant supporting the Houston Parks Board’s Bayou Greenways 2020 project. Joe Martin of the HBJ reports that the money will be used to purchase and preserve parkland along the Clear Creek Greenway, which runs along Clear Creek from Missouri City to Clear Lake via Pearland, Friendswood, and League City. The 2020 plan calls for the cleanup and connection of greenspace along all of Houston’s major bayous. The 2012 RESTORE Act channels funds from the BP settlement into ecological restoration, economic development, and promotion of tourism in Texas and the other Gulf Coast states impacted by the spill, as well as scientific research on the Gulf of Mexico. [HBJ] Photo of Clear Creek annual trash cleanup: Clear Creek Environmental Foundation
THE CATCH IN KINDER FOUNDATION’S BAYOU GREENWAYS CASH GIVEAWAY It’s one thing to get the money to build a bunch of nice parks, and it’s another to keep them nice: Houston Chronicle reports that the Kinder Foundation isn’t convinced that the city will be able to pay for the maintenance of all those miles and miles of hike and bike trails and linear parks it’s setting up through the Bayou Greenways Project. That’s why — before the foundation agrees to donate the $50 million it’s dangling out there to the project — it wants the nonprofit Houston Parks Board to be put in charge of future upkeep: “Under the proposed arrangement, the city agrees to pay the park board up to $10 million a year for maintenance. Although the nonprofit likely will hire private companies and Harris County Flood Control to do some work, the city parks department would be the preferred contractor for the bulk of it, essentially bringing much of the funding back to city coffers. Additionally, the agreement includes an annual 20 percent contingency fund the board can use for capital improvement projects, such as installing new lights or replacing aging trails, or for disaster recovery after flooding or hurricanes.” [Houston Chronicle ($); previously on Swamplot] Photo of hike and bike trail construction on Brays Bayou: Allyn West