Mayor Parker Reveals New Detention Area and Future Neighborhood Center in NW Houston
April 14, 2011 -- Houston Mayor Annise Parker today announced the City of Houston’s purchase of more than 220 acres in northwest Houston that includes the now-defunct Inwood Forest Golf Course. Plans are currently underway for the land to be turned into a detention area to help control flooding. The former clubhouse will be leased by neighborhood groups and used as a multi-service center for the adjacent communities.
“This project is a great example of the steps we need to take to mitigate flooding in and around the Houston area,” said Mayor Parker. “With the help of various organizations, we are able to address this vital need, as well as give them the opportunity to have a community center nearby.”
A proposed cooperative agreement calls for the Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) to collaborate with the City of Houston to build and maintain a series of storm water detention basins throughout the specified area. During dry times, the land will serve as green space for the neighborhood. The Houston Parks Board is planning to include trails throughout the green space as well.
“With the City of Houston partnering with other community organizations to address the flooding issues around the surrounding area, the completion of this project will improve the quality of life for the residents in northwest Houston,” said Brenda Stardig, Houston City Council Member – District A. “The new detention area will aid with the drainage concerns and build a stronger sense of community as it provides over 220 acres of green space and a recreational center to the area.”
In March 2010, HCFCD completed a study that approved the concept of converting the property into a series of both wet and dry basin areas for storm water detention storage. Specifically, they found that there would be significant benefits for both the White Oak Bayou and Vogel Creek watersheds that cross through the purchased property.
"The mission of the Harris County Flood Control District is to provide projects that reduce flooding risks and damages for residents of Houston and of Harris County,” said Michael D. Talbott, P.E., Director, HCFCD. “Partnerships often enable us to use the strengths of each partner, and in cases like this, combine open space and flood risk reduction for the public’s benefit. We look forward to future partnerships with the City that result in reduced flooding risks and greater quality of life."
"The Houston Parks Board understands the value of public-private-community partnerships like this one and is proud and delighted to be a partner in creating this multipurpose green jewel along White Oak Bayou Greenway in the heart of Greater Inwood and the Near Northwest Management District," said Houston Parks Board Executive Director Roksan Okan-Vick.
HCFCD will build the initial four basins with funds from the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
The City purchased the property for $9 million through the use of Capital Improvement Project funds, money previously allocated for flooding detention.