What’s Best for Buffalo Bayou?

WHAT’S BEST FOR BUFFALO BAYOU? Let it flow, or let it be? Environmentalists and the Harris County Flood Control District disagree — at least when it comes to the 1.5-mile stretch that contributes to the “jungly ecosystem” of the Hogg Bird Sanctuary in Memorial Park, reports the Houston Chronicle’s Lisa Gray. A “restoration” plan proposed by the flood controllers, explains Gray, “would change the bayou’s course in places, fill in an oxbow here, reinforce banks there, widen the bayou’s channel, raising and lowering landmasses and generally move an enormous amount of dirt. [They argue] that the proposed measures are desperately needed to reduce erosion and improve water quality.” They’d do it here as they did it at Meyer Park along Spring Creek, reports Gray. But the environmentalists don’t seem to consider that to have been a “restoration” project, really: “‘Look at that!” [Memorial Park Conservancy board member Katy Emde] told me, outraged, showing me a picture of Meyer Park on her phone. ‘There’s no diversity! It’s not natural! It’s not habitat! It’s horrifying.'” [Houston Chronicle ($); previously on Swamplot] Photo of Hogg Bird Sanctuary: Bayou Shuttle

15 Comment

  • Are these the same environmentalists that predicted 10 hurricanes this year?

  • This post would be improved by a picture of Meyer Park after its alteration/restoration, since the point is how radical the change might be.

  • The thing that we forget, when we read about how planners once tried to line Buffalo Bayou with concrete, and successfuly did this to White Oak and other bayous: People with this mentality are still around. And they have power. And they aren’t going to stop until someone stops them.

  • Don’t the “environmentalists” have some SUVs to burn or something? Or to camp out in a tree without sanitary facilities for a month?

  • I don’t believe the Memorial Park Conservancy Board made a Hurricane prediction this year. So, no, they must be different environmentalists.

  • It’s amazing how that part of Memorial Park looks like the middle of nowhere, when it’s actually inside the loop. I love walking around over there, because it lets me escape the city while not actually leaving it (though admittedly I can still hear traffic in the distance), and I’d hate to see it “restored”.

  • Commonesense- your trolling behavior and sarcasm do not further the conversation. We get it you have a disdain for environmentalists. I hope you enjoy that clean air and water on the west side of town. It sure would be terrible if the free-market and/or COH decided to build a a polluting factory or destroy some of your area green space. But maybe you would just move away.. eventually there won’t be anywhere to move to. The earth is all of our home. Why not do our best to take care of it?

  • I’m all for raising awareness about protecting natural resources. Better to work with a group that has its heart in the right place and make this project the best it can be, though.
    You know what’s more horrifying than Meyer Park not quite as diverse landscape as it used to be? Killing baby beavers in a detention pond and then effectively telling KHOU, “Uhh, so what? They shouldn’t have been standin’ there.”
    Maybe the enviro’s can start getting TxDOT to model itself after the HCFCD when it comes to balancing needed infrastructure, public use, and environmental friendliness. Fight the fight that’s worth fighting.

  • This is an easy one. If the River Oaks CC and the residents with a splendid view of the bayou want to take our tax dollars to rip out the natural ecosystem to keep the naturally winding bayou from naturally winding through their homes and golf course, they can agree to dedicate the land as a park and let Memorial Park connect with the Bayou along Allen Parkway. Otherwise, paws off.

  • Ha, I set out a trap and caught an Eco-terrorist in the first troll.

  • Yeah, stupid environmentalists and people who believe in basic science. Why don’t you all just shut it and let us industrialists put some arsenic back in the water, pave the waterways, and pollute the air in the name of progress?

  • isn’t meyer park on cypress creek?

  • I really wish they would stop screwing with things that haven’t really been a problem. The Bayou looks like actual nature especially the part around Memorial Park. How many cities can actually claim to have something that is as closely connected to it’s original condition in the middle of the city in that one section. And for the record, Ny’s Central Park is not nature nor does it look like the original Manhattan, it’s just an oversized golf course. We don’t need another Los Angeles river here in Houston. The concrete monstrosity along TC Jester is enough.

  • The turbidity of the water comes from all the “improvements” that were done in the past.
    If they built the oxbow themselves they’d call it a detention pond – so which is it?

  • Yes, I’m not sure how much more “improvements” this Bayou can withstand. The photo above looks both beautiful and natural in my eyes.
    On the other hand, the stretch between Shepherd and Sabine St, once home to peaceful and meandering tree-covered dirt paths is barely recognizable. I realize a lot of the previous vegetation was deemed invasive, or not native– but the area has practically been clear-cut, and the future plans resemble something that would be more at home in the Woodlands Mall/Town Center area rather than a natural Bayou. “Lost Lake?” Gag.
    Let it be! Nature is more beautiful than anything we can create.