By Eliot Ware
On April 19, 2018, the Five Corners Management District saw the groundbreaking for the next section of the Bayou Greenways 2020 project: The Sims Bayou Greenway. This 2.6-mile segment will start at Heatherbrook Drive and extend east to Buffalo Speedway along the north side of Sims Bayou. The segment is estimated to be completed in Spring 2019. Houston Parks and Recreation Department Director Steve Wright said, “It’s a great day to be breaking ground on a new segment of trails along Sims Bayou.”
Bayou Greenways 2020 is a public-private partnership between Houston Parks Board and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department. The project is being built in close collaboration with the Harris County Flood Control District which manages the county’s bayous and creeks for drainage and flood risk reduction. Houston Parks Board is leading the private fundraising and managing the acquisition, design, and construction of the Bayou Greenways 2020 Project.
As part of the Bayou Greenways 2020 linear park system, the Sims Bayou Greenway will include linear parkland and a hike-and-bike trail. Additional features of the project include replacing existing asphalt along various parts of the trail with the new ten-foot-wide concrete trail. Multiple neighborhood trail connections providing more accessibility for local community members will be established. New signage, landscaping, trash cans, recycling bins, benches and unique ornamental design features will make the Sims Bayou Greenway an attractive and appealing recreational and leisure destination.
“The new segment will make a great addition to the recently completed greenway from Hillcroft Avenue to Heatherbrook Drive,” said Beth White, president and CEO of Houston Parks Board which is leading the private fundraising and managing the acquisition, design and construction of the Bayou Greenways 2020 Project.
Bayou Greenways 2020 is just one phase of an even greater vision, the Bayou Greenways Initiative. The Bayou Greenways Initiative is a long-range, Harris County-wide plan to develop connected green corridors with hike and bike trails along the bayous of the greater Houston area. Bayou Greenways 2020, named for its anticipated completion date, is the portion of the Bayou Greenways Initiative that is located within the Houston city limits.
This transformative project will help redefine Houston as an even more beautiful, healthy and active city. The primary benefits of the project include:
• Equitable Distribution: The bayous touch just about every neighborhood in Houston. By transforming underutilized land along the bayous, Bayou Greenways 2020 will bring new public, accessible greenspace to many “under-parked” parts of our city.
• Places for Houstonians to connect, meet, recreate and celebrate: Free and open to everyone, the Bayou Greenways will serve as places for personal and community discovery and exploration of nature, history, diversity, culture and heritage.
• Accessibility: Every effort will be made to maximize both physical and visual access to the Bayou Greenways.
• Respect for the natural setting: The ecological significance and beauty of the bayou corridors will be maintained and nurtured increasing livability and desirability of the Five Corners Management District through the Sims Bayou Greenway project.
Other groups, like the Buffalo Bayou Partnership and the Cypress Creek Flood Control Coalition, are leading their own projects along the bayous that fall within the Bayou Greenways Initiative.
Estimated completion of this portion of the Sims Bayou Greenway is anticipated in Spring 2019.