Reminder: Meeting With City Council Members Representing Buffalo Bayou

July 29, 2014

Public Meeting with Council Members Pennington and Cohen

It’s about Shepherd Drive, but go and ask why they support the project to destroy Buffalo Bayou.

Plus The Top Ten Reasons They Give for The Awful Project and The Correct Answers

Don’t forget the public meeting  tonight (Wednesday, July 30, 2014) with City Council Members Oliver Pennington (District G) and Ellen Cohen (District C), who represent the wild banks of Buffalo Bayou to be bulldozed by the misguided project known as the Memorial Park Demonstration Project. Even the natives and the early settlers (including mill owners) knew better than to cut down the riparian forest on Buffalo Bayou, recognizing its importance for naturally controlling erosion of the banks, slowing storm waters, filtering pollution and bacteria, trapping sediment, and providing wildlife habitat.

Otter emerging from its den on a tributary of Buffalo Bayou. Photo courtesy of Dewey Stringer.

Otter emerging from its den on a tributary of Buffalo Bayou. Photo courtesy of Dewey Stringer.

Cohen represents Memorial Park, which belongs to all of us. And Pennington, who is running for mayor, represents the south bank of the project, owned by the River Oaks Country Club, stewards of the riparian forest for which it is named since 1923. Pennington also represents that little-known section of Memorial Park just west of 610, now known as the Bayou Woodlands, formerly the Archery Range. There, just off Woodway, a failing “erosion control” project is spewing mud and silt into the bayou. Previously this was a lovely forested ravine with a nature trail. The TIRZ 16, encompassing the Galleria area, now including Memorial Park, and a special kind of improvement district that gets to keep and spend tax money that would have gone into the city treasury, spent $1,147,934 on this particular drainage boondoggle designed by engineering firm AECOM, which also designed the failing “erosion control” project on the banks of the Houston Country Club.

So go and ask these city council members why they support the destruction of some of the last best, healthiest and most beautiful bayou we have in the city. The project would destroy nearly 1.5 miles of the bayou, including most of the forest on both banks, dredging up and rechanneling our lovely, shady stream, obliterating creeks and prehistoric bluffs too old even to contemplate, killing and driving away wildlife, trampling and removing habitat, and so much more that is wrong. The Army Corps of Engineers is considering whether to issue a permit for the project.

The meeting, held in conjunction with the city Public Works and Engineering Department, is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at St. Anne’s Catholic Church (St. Basil’s Hall), 2140 Westheimer Road. The purpose is to review a paving and drainage project, set to begin in a few weeks, on Shepherd Drive from Westheimer to Buffalo Bayou. So it’s not exactly about the bayou project. But there will be a question and answer period.

Here are the Top Ten Reasons they give for destroying the bayou and how to answer.



4 thoughts on “Reminder: Meeting With City Council Members Representing Buffalo Bayou”

  1. Rob Martin says:

    I will be in attendance tonight to find out why destroying this short section of beauty is a good idea.

  2. Dan Coffman says:

    What happened to being worried about erosion caused by a bicycle on a trail in the park? Now they’re wanting to destroy the whole Park? Who does one call to report our city officials of smoking too much Crack? Can’t the police dispose of this stuff properly? This is a major problem we have! ! !

  3. Diane Day Ubias says:

    As a life long Democrat, I have been ashamed of the last two Houston mayors (White and Parker) and the Houston Chronicle all of which have callously disregarded important segments of Houston life to kow tow to developer Ed Wulfe. First Mayor White (who has bragged about living along the bayou) decided to end the 99 year lease on The Center for the Retarded which overlooks Allen Parkway so that his pal Ed Wulfe could buy and develop the land on this decades long and vitally needed institution. (see Chronicle 4/7/07) Then, developer Ed Wulfe and Kevin Shanley BPA President promote linear parks (see Chronicle 7/19/2010 Lisa Gray) bike paths (see my letter to the Chronicle editor 7/22/2010)without regard to the bayous’ natural environment. The final punch to the gut was Anise Parker pictured upon winning her second term on the front page of the Chronicle with who else??? developer Ed Wulfe looming in the background! (see Chronicle 11/09/2011)In a New Years’ editorial The Chronicle even said “We are grateful that the Bayou Greenways Initiative aims to build a ginormous network of hike-and-bike trails along our underappreciated bayous.” Again without considering the consequences to the environment and wildlife. My point is that this has been a long time developers’ dream. Did anyone really think this would stop at bike paths? This is all about Houston’s unregulated development, campaign contributions and narcissistic developers like Ed Wulfe who referred his plan as “a somple little project…Like landing at Normandy.” (Another punch to the gut for this military family).

  4. Naomi Nye says:

    We are rooting for you from San Antonio. Our extended river walk, especially the south end’s wildness for many miles, is now one of the best things we have.
    Houston needs to preserve its magical wild places at all costs.

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