Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Proposed Changes to Terry Hershey Park will Destroy Trails

A message from GHORBA (Greater Houston Off-Road Biking Association):

needs your help in a grassroots effort to save the forest and trails at Terry Hershey Park. We have recently learned that Harris County Flood Control District, through its Charting Buffalo Bayou Project, intends to implement a plan in which a number of detention basins will be built along the south side of the Bayou from Hwy 6 to Beltway 8. The detention basins will be 3-4 acres in size, possibly both wet and dry bottom.

To build such basins, all the trees will be clear-cut and large volumes of soil removed. This will result in much of the natural-surface trail we call the Anthills being destroyed. Moreover, the forested areas consist of old growth trees and are home to a diverse array of birds, insects and animals. This habitat will be lost and so will an important trail system utilized on a daily basis by hikers, runners, and riders, if the proposal is implemented.

The goal of our governmental entities, both city and county, in attempting to address flooding in Houston is both important and essential as this city continues to grow. However, it is our position, which is supported by many of the residents in the area, that we need to explore solutions which do not involve the destruction of a community asset. Neither the county nor city has engaged user groups and those affected by the proposal in the process.

Moreover, the little information provided by officials and groups involved in the project has been conflicting. We have heard the proposed project is either imminent (as in construction will start next year) or just something they are thinking about and we don't need to worry about.

Given the severe consequences, GHORBA believes it is time to be proactive in letting our representatives know how we feel about the loss of this park asset. Please consider signing the Save the Terry Hershey Park Forest Petition if you live in Houston. In addition, write your city council member, county commissioner or the mayor, and let them know how the this portion of the park is important to you and should be preserved for today and future generations.

For most of us, the ability to escape to our little piece of "green" space is what makes living in such a large city enjoyable, and we cannot avoid to lose more of it.

Thank you,

Bill Rustam
President of GHORBA

Jeff Jeansonne
Platform Virtualization Strategy
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