The BPA’s sympathetic, holistic, natural plan to destroy Buffalo Bayou
June 23, 2014
About twenty people, including City Council member Oliver Pennington, were at the monthly meeting of Super Neighborhood 22 last Thursday to hear the Bayou Preservation Association argue in favor of its bizarre plan to destroy Buffalo Bayou. The BPA and the Memorial Park Conservancy are in cahoots with the Harris County Flood Control District to do what the county has long wanted to do: strip and channelize some of the last remaining natural segments of Buffalo Bayou.
Yes, it is difficult to believe. The BPA was founded long ago to prevent this very thing from happening, and the MPC also took over the mission of Miss Ima Hogg and others to preserve and protect Memorial Park. The project they have helped create and eagerly promote would bulldoze the vegetation and trees from most of both banks along nearly 1.5 miles of the bayou as it flows past the Hogg Bird Sanctuary and Memorial Park on the north and the River Oaks Country Club golf course on the south. It would rechannel the bayou, grade the banks, plant them with Bermuda grass, destroy the scenic tributary of the Hogg Bird Sanctuary as well as the very, very old high bluff that overlooks it, and a lot more.
But it will all be done in a “holistic” way, with regret and great sympathy and understanding for what the bayou really wants to be, and also it will be gluten-free, although alas, not animal-cruelty free, as most of the creatures, including fish, beaver and otter, dragonflies and hawks, will have to sacrifice their habitat.
Sierra Club to Present Findings on County Claims of Improving Ecology of Buffalo Bayou
June 12, 2014
Is there ecological benefit to Harris County’s plan to bulldoze the wild banks of Buffalo Bayou in and around Memorial Park? Will our beautiful southern bayou be improved? Common sense says no, but the Harris County Flood Control District says yes. What is the truth?
The flood control district in its permit application (warning: big pdf file but see page 451) to the Army Corps of Engineers claims that there is “ecological lift” from their project to “restore” the bayou by stripping riparian forest and vegetation from both banks and parts of the Hogg Bird Sanctuary and digging up, filling in, and reconfiguring our 18,000-year-old bayou, one of the few natural reaches of the river remaining in the city.
The Houston Sierra Club arranged for a hydrologist and a biologist to analyze the county’s evidence outlined in the permit application that Buffalo Bayou will be improved through “ecological lift.”
On Wednesday, June 18, the public is invited by the Houston Sierra Club to a presentation on the results of its investigation into these amazing claims by the Harris County Flood Control District. There will be a visual exhibit of the project area showing the value of Buffalo Bayou as a natural resource.
The presentation will be at the United Way Community Resource Center, 50 Waugh Drive, Houston 77007.
Refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m. The program begins at 7 p.m.
A Good, Lively Meeting
May 26, 2014
We had a good, lively, informative meeting on Thursday, May 22, about Harris County’s plan to bulldoze 14.35 acres or almost 1.5 miles of riparian forest on both banks of Buffalo Bayou as it flows past Memorial Park, the River Oaks Country Club, and the Hogg Bird Sanctuary. Around 200 people attended, including Harris County Flood Control District Director Mike Talbott, who was accompanied by his communications manager, Kim Jackson. It was a diverse crowd in St. Stephen’s Pecore Hall and included worried residents who live along the north bank of the bayou between the bird sanctuary and the 1,500-acre public park. Also birdwatchers, tree huggers, lawyers, engineers, academics, mountain bikers and poets, landscape architects and urban planners, a uniformed employee of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and people from across the political spectrum. This is an issue that is drawing passionate support from conservatives and liberals and people who are neither or some of both
As one conservative activist has commented: “If there is anything that upsets me more than destroying the environment, it’s doing it with taxpayer money.”
Mr. Talbott was called to take the mic when a member of the audience asked the question that is perplexing many people: Why? What is the point of this hugely destructive project?