April 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 42

B AY O U

By January 2015, that longheld vision became a reality when
the Houston City Council unanimously approved a long-term
lease agreement and partnership
with the Houston Botanic Garden to transform the former Glenbrook Golf Course into a worldclass garden.
" They had a desire that Houston
join in the growing interest in botanic gardens and add to the city's
ecosystem of cultural institutions
by creating a world-class garden in
Houston, " says Claudia Gee Vassar, president and general counsel
at the Houston Botanic Garden.
Located near Hobby Airport, the
site for the Houston Botanic Garden offered easy accessibility to
the greater Houston region and the
opportunity to develop the garden
around the Sims Bayou in an area
with little investment in green spaces or cultural amenities.

" The influence and integration
of the bayou in the garden
allows visitors to understand
these beautiful waterways that
are integral to the resiliency of
the 'Bayou City'.... "
" The influence and integration
of the bayou in the garden allows
visitors to understand these beautiful waterways that are integral to
the resiliency of the 'Bayou City,' "
Vassar says.
The 132-acre Houston Botanic
Garden is also a long-term investment in Houston tourism and another jewel in the city's revitalization of its green spaces.
" It is a fantastic addition to the
Houston area and one that will
bring joy and serenity to future
42	 Parks & Recreation

generations, " says Houston Mayor
Sylvester Turner.
The Houston Botanic Garden
includes eight different facets, each
of which serves an educational
component: Global Collection
Garden, Susan Garver Family Discovery Garden, Culinary Garden,
Pine Grove, Community Garden,
Woodland Glade, Stormwater
Wetlands and Coastal Prairie.
The garden also features twoand-a-half miles of walking and
hiking trails, a lagoon and a nature
play area for children.

Addressing Design
Challenges
The Sims Bayou channel runs
through the middle of the Houston
Botanic Garden, dividing it into
two separate areas - the Island
and the South Gardens. Because
the site was a former golf course
on an island off Sims Bayou, many
of the project's challenges involved
balancing the desire to maintain
the existing tree canopy while constructing the landscape and structures of a botanic garden.
" We strategically designed the
layout and systems to avoid as
many existing obstacles as possible, " says Donna Bridgeman, senior landscape architect at West 8.
Engineering firm Walter P
Moore was involved in the initial site review and served on the
building team that created the
more than $100 million master
plan for the Houston Botanic Garden. Construction on Phase I of
that master plan - which incorporated existing natural features
and elements to mitigate potential
flooding - commenced in spring
2019 and was substantially completed in fall 2020.
" Walter P Moore was instrumental in spearheading the chal-

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lenges of permitting a multiphase
project while leading the design of
challenging structural, grading and
drainage systems, " Bridgeman says.

Detention and Drainage
To develop the property, which encompasses an area of Sims Bayou
and includes the floodway as well
as 100- and 500-year floodplains,
permitting required coordination
with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Harris County Flood
Control District and the City of
Houston. During the design phase,
in response to Hurricane Harvey,
the city changed the detention and
floodplain mitigation criteria for
any development within city limits,
which required additional coordination with the Houston Public
Works Department on the project.
The Houston region is susceptible to flooding, and the city and
Harris County reviewed the development criteria within the floodplain to address the flooding issues
in this region.
" The permitting process of this
project was at the time when Houston was about to update [its] detention and floodplain requirement, "
says Chong Ooi, senior associate at
Walter P Moore.
As a result, the new detention
and floodplain volume mitigation
were incorporated into the project's master plan. The floodplain
mitigation on the site was designed
as the Coastal Prairie, which is a
major ecosystem of the Houston
region, to handle the inundation
of stormwater during major rain
events. Additionally, a detention
pond serves as a Stormwater Wetlands exhibit, using the permanent
body of water to allow planting of
aquatic plants.
Typically, addressing floodplain
mitigation requirements is done



April 2021 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of April 2021 - Parks & Recreation

April 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
April 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
April 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 1
April 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 2
April 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 3
April 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 4
April 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 5
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April 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 42
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April 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 55
April 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 56
April 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
April 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com