What Will Become of Deer Park Prairie?

The Bayou Land Conservancy is really pushing to raise $4 million in the next week or so in order to outbid a homebuilder on a 50-acre patch of prairie in Deer Park. The video above is part of what the Houston Chronicle’s Lisa Gray describes as a “Hail Mary pass” to raise the money before August 20.

The sought-after patch is among the last 1 percent of the Gulf Coast’s original prairie, reports Gray. The conservancy has been attempting to raise the money to buy it for the past year and a half — an attempt that’s now being hastened by a recent $4.25-million offer from a developer with plans for a 201-home subdivision on the land near Spencer Hwy. and Luella Ave.

And what would the conservancy prefer for the prairie? Here’s Gray:

The prairie’s fans imagine a visitor’s center fashioned from a next-door ranch house. They imagine busloads of visiting schoolkids. They imagine research into the still-mysterious workings of the prairie biome. They imagine harvesting native seed, to be used in eco-conscious plantings in the area. They imagine Battle of San Jacinto re-enactments more realistic than those that take place at the battlefield itself.

Video: Bayou Land Conservancy

16 Comment

  • Humans feel that we own everything or that anything can be bought for the right price. Isn’t the destruction of 99% of the original Gulf Coast Prairie enough? This developer absolutely has only money on his/her mind.

  • I want cement covering EVERY BLADE OF GRASS in this nation! Don’t we tax payers have a voice anymore!

  • Are these greens weenies for real or smokin too much grass? Who’s going to give them 5 million bucks that they will never see again, especially in 1 week.

  • $4 million for a prarie in Deer Park. I dont know what signal you guys look for to spot the top of real estate bubble, but this is all I need to hear!

  • Preserving the Gulf Coast Prairie isn’t some bizarre environmentalist fetish for obstructing development. The prairies, whether original or restored, are critical habitat for migrating ducks and geese. Take away the remaining prairies and the waterfowl populations may not be able to sustain seasonal hunting. Also, the original prairie grasses have survived the worst of the weather that SE Texas has to offer. There could be the perfect plant for cover crops or xeriscaping (i.e. landscaping that saves tons of $ on watering/upkeep costs).

  • @commonsense…Exactly.. who is going to give them that much money? But..wait who is giving the developer the $4.25 million? Is he or she paying in cash or taking out a loan or being backed by numerous investors? I would bet on the latter. Can the supporters of the conservation be so lucky? No, individuals in this society only put value on the ‘potential’ of land for human use not for the value of the land in and of itself. Sadly, no bank or large investor group will back this because it has no ‘market value’, over and above its potential to have suburban tract homes.

    And of course, who would back them because there will be no return on the investment in the form of numbers in a bank account. Current economics does not value the kind of planet, types of lives or potential lose in experiences that we are leaving to our future generations.

  • *loss

  • Does it have any wetlands? Get with DU and maybe it can make money as a mitigation bank for other destroyed habitat.

  • Yeah, good luck with that—the proverbial ice cube in hell

  • Capitalism runs on greed. And will die by it. So ready to destroy for the sake of money.

  • If the land is indeed worth $4MM to a developer, then the group should be able to get a loan for a decent chunk of the purchase price, giving the buyers more time to fundraise. Obviously not a risk free bet for donors, but what’s the alternative?
    This happened (2007?) with the West 11th Street Park in Timbergrove.

  • White people in action!

  • Am I the only one who finds it strange that anti-capitalists are frequenting a real estate blog?

  • Geez, just because you believe in long term goals like community, biodiversity, stewardship of resources desn’t mean you hate capitalism

  • Isn’t it possible to recreate the original prairie? Why not buy cheap land, rid it of foreign species and reseed it? Nature’s always ready to make a comeback. But I suppose that would be like building new replica bungalows in the Heights; Authentic and cute but not the same.

  • Scott, you’ve been drinking too much koolaid…take a chill pill.