The Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) will recognize the Kemah Community Development Corporation’s (KCDC) 57-acre nature Trail Park project at their 2023 Parks and Natural Areas Awards Program on February 9.
The project was recognized for its innovation in developing a plan that creates a public park from an underutilized Army Corps of Engineers dredge spoils site. KCDC and the LJA Planning and Landscape Architecture design team have developed a phased implementation plan that significantly adds to the city’s available parkland despite land and budgetary constraints.
“The plan builds on and preserves the existing flora and fauna of the site's novel wetlands ecology,” said KCDC Executive Director Ronnie Richards.” It will serve to improve community health, increase resident access to green spaces, and address the community’s ability to recover in the face of natural disasters and climate change.”
The park is located on a site that evolved from years of the Army Corps of Engineers disposing of dredging material from Clear Lake and Galveston Bay, resulting in a high perimeter berm with an interior that slopes down to what is now an artificially created wetland. With little intervention, the area developed into a wooded sanctuary, home to various native and non-indigenous plant and animal life. The berm acts as an effective sound barrier to the commotion of the outside world, while the thicket of growth along the edge provides a natural screen for development around the site.
“We’re so appreciative of the work and thought put into planning this project,” said Kemah Mayor Robin Collins. “Our KCDC board has developed something that will serve our community and visitors for generations to come.”
H-GAC established the Parks and Natural Areas Awards in 2006 to highlight best practices and innovative park planning and implementation approaches. H-GAC honors projects in the categories of Projects Over $500,000, Projects Under $500,000, Planning Process/Policy Tools, and Programming.
A panel of expert judges and industry professionals selected projects recognized by this awards program.
For more information about the project, visit https://www.kemahtx.gov/582/57-Acre-Park-and-Nature-Area or contact Ronnie Johnson at 281-797-1970.
For more information about H-GAC’s Parks and Natural Areas Awards, visit h-gac.com/parks-and-natural-areas/awards.