A real estate development project in Clear Lake is reportedly expected to build five rainwater detention ponds on the site of an old golf course in the next five years.
Community group Exploration Green announced the project, which will also include running trails and athletic fields, all being built as a means to manage floodwaters in the southeast Houston suburb.
Loving the new Exploration Green in Clear Lake, our converted golf course turned into natural wonder. pic.twitter.com/ko67lKIaOj
— Marianne J Dyson (@mariannedyson) October 28, 2017
The project constructed its first pond prior to Hurricane Harvey, and, although construction of the pond remained incomplete during to the storm, officials said it protected 150 homes in the 500-year flood plain from flood damage.
When all five ponds are completed in 2021, the group estimates its projects will protect up to 3,000 homes near the flood plain, capable of holding 500 million gallons of water.
Designers of the project say they believe it could serve as a model for other Houston neighborhoods seeking to mitigate flooding.
Kelly Shipley, a project manager associate of Lockwood Andrews & Newnam Inc., the firm behind the planning and construction of Exploration Green, told a local business magazine the project could act as a template for any open space, from golf courses to parking lots to abandoned shopping centers.
“I think people can look at this project and see that it can be done in their neighborhood as well,” Shipley said in an interview. “They can look at their space, and, instead of having a parking lot or old golf course, maybe they can do something great with it. Let’s help mitigate flooding, and, at the same time, add a beautiful park in it.”
RELATED: West Houston Association Announces “Comprehensive” Flood Control Plan
Doug Peterson, the vice chairman of the Exploration Green Conservancy, told a Texas magazine the project will not only protect, but enhance the quality of life for families in the area:
“It’s certainly important for drainage,” Peterson said in an interview, “but it’s important for kids growing up here to have a place just to do stuff that kids do.”
Clear Lake escapes worst rain,pic of Exploration Green's initial detention pond holding stormwater near runoff level pic.twitter.com/J5Air8SL6v
— Doug Peterson (@dougpetersonHTX) April 18, 2016