Building Parks Across Precinct 4

Precinct 4 has a secret weapon when it comes to building parks and trails.

The Trailblazers are an in-house crew of specialists who repair, build, and maintain trails faster and cheaper than a contractor ever could. With Precinct 4’s Trailblazers on the job, park visitors can expect smoother, safer trails.

The group started 14 years ago as a two-person crew that mainly cleared paths for contractors. But as Precinct 4 expanded the Cypress Creek and Spring Creek greenways, Commissioner R. Jack Cagle saw the need for an in-house trail construction crew to build and maintain Precinct 4’s growing trail system.

The team of 18 Trailblazers now maintains the Cypress and Spring Creek greenways and all Precinct 4 park trails. They have built more than 18 miles of paved trails — and that number is continuously growing.

“These guys used to use machetes and loppers to clear the trails,” said Mike Connor with the Trailblazers. “Now we go in with our equipment and bust a 10- to 15-foot wide trail through there. We can do something in a week that used to take us a year.”

In addition to repaving and resurfacing, the Trailblazers build parks and install foundations for new construction projects. Although they are specific to Precinct 4, they have worked on joint projects with the City of Houston, the City of Tomball, and other municipalities.

Recent accomplishments include clearing a wooded area at Alabonson Park, restoring the YMCA trail and pond, and laying the asphalt and trails at the newly opened Broussard Park in Tomball.

“We are lucky we have our in-house Trailblazers, Precinct 4’s own maintenance crew,” said Tim Carley, Precinct 4 park superintendent. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without them.”