About Bayou Land Conservancy-Spring Creek Nature Trail
At Bayou Land Conservancy, their mission is to preserve land along streams for flood control, clean water, and wildlife. Flooding in the Houston region is one of the greatest threats to the health of area communities. Due to increasing peak flows for the past 30 years, as well as higher demand on resources from construction and industry, an international reputation of disastrous flooding developed for the Houston area, potentially threatening the area’s future economic development. According to Bayou Land Conservancy, protecting and preserving natural land is the best first line of defense against flooding. The solutions they use are more financially feasible than man-made solutions and provide the additional benefit of protecting many ecosystems by slowing and stopping the flow of water into habitats and communities. Bayou Land Conservancy believes that the preservation of natural floodplains is critical to reducing flood risk to people, homes, schools, and businesses.
Project Description & History
Since Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, the call for green, outdoor spaces that provide flood protection in Houston has amplified. Bayou Land Conservancy fulfilled that demand through the Spring Creek Nature Trail. The Spring Creek Nature Trail is a 13-mile natural surface trail along the Spring Creek Greenway, the largest, connected, urban forested greenway in the county. The Spring Creek Nature Trail takes approximately 8 hours to walk from beginning to end, and it is advised to bring food and water, as it is a wilderness experience. There is a plethora of wildlife nestled into the trail, so it is imperative to stay on the trail, marked with blue blazes on trees, and bring your binoculars to watch wildlife species in their natural habitat.
Bayou Land Conservancy understands that people will not conserve what they do not love, and believes experiencing nature is the most impactful way to fall in love with it. While some lands surrounding the trail are protected by a perpetual conservation easement, others are not, and it will be up to conservation organizations to illustrate the value of these floodplains and wetland ecosystems. Creating a trail to connect people with nature is one way to garner support for perpetual conservation, and to foster a love of the outdoors in the next generation of land stewards.
The Spring Creek Nature Trail will open a whole new constituency of hikers, bikers, and nature lovers to accessible public outdoor recreation. Because of the trail, previously inaccessible public lands are now able to be traversed by a variety of recreators: from families with strollers to avid off-road bikers.