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New Greenway with Hike-and-Bike Trail Complete Along Sims Bayou

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Rachel Compton, Elmore Public Relations
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NEWS RELEASE

Bayou Greenways 2020 brings Accessible Greenspace and Hike-and-Bike Trails to Sims Bayou

HOUSTON, TX – June 8, 2017 – On Thursday morning, Houston Parks Board, Mayor Sylvester Turner, the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis and Council Member Larry Green, District K, and the Harris County Flood Control District celebrated the completion of the newest Bayou Greenways 2020 segment along Sims Bayou Greenway. The new 1.8-mile hike-and-bike trail extends from Heatherbrook Drive to Hillcroft Avenue, creating new greenspace and linear parkland for the surrounding community. (See a map of Sims Bayou Greenway.)

Bayou Greenways 2020 is a public‐private partnership between the nonprofit Houston Parks Board, the City of Houston and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department and is being implemented in close collaboration with the Harris County Flood Control District, which manages the county’s bayous and creeks for drainage and flood risk reduction. It will transform 3,000 acres of underutilized land along nine major waterways into a 150‐mile linear park system that crisscrosses the city, giving the public unprecedented access to one of Houston’s best natural amenities: its bayous.

The recently opened greenway along Sims Bayou features a new 10-foot wide concrete hike-and-bike trail with a trailhead at a scenic Harris County Flood Control District detention basin which is being transformed into Blue Ridge County Park, complete with parking, signage and seating. The greenway also includes replacement of an existing asphalt trail. The expanded greenspace within the county park is surrounded by 1,000 new tree plantings from Trees for Houston and freshly planted, native wildflowers. This segment of greenway was designed by landscape architecture firm Murr Incorporated and engineering firm A & S Engineers, Inc. The $3 million construction project was completed on-time and on-budget by contractors Texas Wall and Landscape.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the opening of the first Bayou Greenways 2020 project along Sims Bayou Greenway,” said Beth White, President and CEO of Houston Parks Board. “This new linear parkland is a vital part of the Bayou Greenways city-wide transformation and offers greenspace for this community to use and enjoy. The opening of this segment of Sims Bayou Greenway is a celebration of new opportunities for recreation, transportation, and connectivity.”

“Bayou Greenways 2020 is about more than just recreation; it’s about creating connections and bringing Houstonians together,” said City of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “These neighborhood connections and linear parkland destinations, such as this new greenway in the greater Hiram Clarke community, are transforming our communities and strengthening our city.”

“I’m excited about the ability to connect communities to parks, nature and the opportunity for recreation and exercise,” said Council Member Larry Green. “I’m looking forward to joining our residents along the hike and bike trails, discovering various wildlife and simply enjoying the beauty of the greenspace.”

“It is exciting to see the continued development of parkland connections being completed through Bayou Greenways 2020,” said Lisa Johnson, Interim Director Houston Parks and Recreation Department. “We thank all the partners for their continued support of Houston’s greenspace and the recreational opportunities these new connections offer all park users.”

“The Harris County Flood Control District supports the appropriate multi-use of flood control property,” said Executive Director Russ Poppe. “With the recent completion of the Sims Bayou federal flood damage reduction project, which included provisions for the recreational trail, residents of the Sims Bayou watershed are better protected from flood risk, and will have a better connected community as well.”

“Offering a network of connected parks and hike-and-bike trails along the bayous that wind through Houston provides an important thread in the social fabric of this diverse region,” said Commissioner Rodney Ellis. “The newest segment of Sims Bayou Greenway is a welcome addition to this important effort.”

In 2012, Houston voters overwhelmingly approved a bond measure that set aside $100 million for Bayou Greenways 2020. Houston Parks Board is raising a matching $120 million and managing acquisition, design and construction of the Bayou Greenways. More than $104 million has been raised to date, including a historic $50 million donation from the Kinder Foundation.

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A nonprofit 501(c)(3) dedicated to providing access to quality parks and greenspace for all people, Houston Parks Board creates, improves, protects and advocates for parkland in the Greater Houston region. Since 1976, the organization has utilized public-private partnerships and its extensive philanthropic, government and community relationships to improve parks large and small. Houston Parks Board is currently leading the transformational $220 million Bayou Greenways 2020 initiative to create a 150-mile network of connected parks and trails along Houston’s major waterways. For more information, visit www.houstonparksboard.org.

Bayou Greenways 2020 is one of the most ambitious parks projects in the U.S. By transforming more than 3,000 acres of underutilized land along Houston’s major waterways, Bayou Greenways 2020 will create a 150-mile network of connected parks and trails. The $220 million project will connect people, places and greenspace while enhancing air and water quality, preserving flood-prone areas and stimulating economic development in Houston.

The Houston Parks and Recreation Department (H.P.A.R.D.) stewards and manages over 37,851 acres of parkland and greenspace for the City of Houston and develops and implements recreational programming for citizens of all abilities. For more information on the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, call (832) 395-7022 or visit www.houstonparks.org.

Download a PDF of this announcement.