From a boat launch to picnic tables and new playgrounds, Harris County Precinct 4 continues to enhance recreational amenities and expand access for area residents. Two new parks, Edgewater Park and Champion Forest Park, add nearly 100 acres of green space to Precinct 4’s vast parks system and provide connectivity to the Spring Creek and Cypress Creek greenways.
The recent acquisition of 90 acres of land at the intersection of Loop 494 and Hamblen Road provides an ideal spot for a park facility, boat launch, and Spring Creek Greenway trailhead.
“There are currently no public boat ramps in that area along the San Jacinto River,” says Dennis Johnston, Precinct 4 parks director. “Edgewater Park will provide residents access to a brand new, doublewide concrete boat launch, making the area a premier spot for canoeing, kayaking, and boating.”
Phase I of the project, which is slated to begin mid-2019, adds a boat launch and includes construction of a concrete parking lot, entry roads, and trail access to the Spring Creek Greenway. At 17 linear miles, the Spring Creek Greenway trail currently stretches from Highway59 at the San Jacinto River Bridge all the way to Interstate 45. The trail section at Edgewater Park will provide residents with access to the Bevil Jarrel Memorial Bridge, which was renovated by the Texas Department of Transportation.
After crossing the bridge, pedestrians and bicyclists can hop onto the greenway on the south side of the San Jacinto River. In addition to a boat launch and trail connection to the Bevil Jerrel Memorial Bridge, Phase I also includes construction of concrete picnic tables, restrooms, park lighting, and a fish-cleaning station. Phase II of the project includes the development of a trail system that will highlight interesting natural features of the ecosystem, including a cypress pond, with interpretative stops and signage along the trail. “The park will be fully staffed and maintained by Precinct 4 and patrolled by constable park deputies. Edgewater Park will be an important anchor park for the Spring Creek Greenway and a day-use park that residents of all ages can enjoy,” Johnston says.
Champion Forest Park
Slated to open in the fourth quarter of 2018, Champion Forest Park is a seven-acre property, located north of Cypresswood Drive at Cutten Road. The park features four youth soccer fields, six concrete picnic tables, a restroom facility, small playground, walking trail, and plenty of parking.
“This is a true success in partnerships,” Johnston notes. As part of its Floodplain Preservation Program, the Harris County Flood Control District purchased the property, giving it to Precinct 4 for park development and maintenance. Precinct 4 partnered with the Cy Champ Public Utility District (PUD) to add sewer and water connectivity, enabling the installation of a restroom facility—an amenity for visitors to Champion Forest Park and Cy Champ PUD’s nearby walking trail. Precinct 4 is also working with the Spring Klein Soccer Association. “In exchange for the use of the soccer fields at Meyer Park for practice and warm-up on tournament days, the association will maintain the soccer fields at Champion Forest Park,” Johnston says.
Precinct 4 plans to add a trail connection from Champion Forest Park to the Cypress Creek Greenway, giving residents trail access to Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve and Matzke Park.
The floodplain forest of Edgewater Park is a varied habitat with beautiful Texas red yucca shrubs, bluejack oaks, and old cypress trees. Both Edgewater Park and Champion Forest Park serve as natural detention areas during times of flooding. “During flood events, the ground acts as a sponge, soaking up floodwaters and filtering pollutants,” Johnston says. “With nearly 4,000 acres of green space, Precinct 4 provides beautiful recreational amenities for area residents and actively works to reduce the risk of flooding.”