Although Spring Branch takes its name from a tributary of Buffalo Bayou, I like to think it also aligns with the season of renewal: green leaves and grass and bright sunshine that extends an extra hour into early evening, thanks to Daylight Savings Time. It’s a great time to be outdoors with your family and friends, enjoying that light and a sense of new beginnings––the best time of the year, if you ask me.
It also means we have come to the close of the first quarter of 2018, and with nine months to go, I can already report that this is going to be a very good year for the Spring Branch Management District. We have already laid the groundwork for wonderful things to begin to unfold, and I’d like to tell you what’s ahead.
First, the District has been awarded a grant from the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) to participate in the Livable Centers Program, which focuses on creating spaces where residents can enjoy life with less reliance on cars and more on trips by foot, bicycle, public transit, and carpooling. Our plan for the Re-Imagining of Long Point Road––creating a “Main Street” for our community––falls right in line with the Livable Centers program goals.
As our consultants consider the possibilities for redevelopment of Long Point, we are also eager to hear what the community would like to see. By the time you read this, we will have convened three community meetings and a survey to allow residents and businesses to provide input on the plan and the process.
Meanwhile, after processing information from the second meeting, we will provide a revised survey online so those of you who could not attend meetings may still participate. We will incorporate those ideas and suggestions to form the final outcome.
By the end of this year, our goal is to identify a segment of Long Point to implement a pilot project of improvements that include not only transportation issues, but also landscaping, trees, sidewalks, parking, bike paths, and an entire menu of amenities to enhance quality of life and business along that major roadway.
Haden Park, a beautiful, but underutilized seven-acre green space between Witte Road and Murray Bay Street at Long Point, is part of this plan. Our vision is to develop that park space into three areas with clearly defined purposes. The south end nearest Long Point would be a community park, possibly containing tennis courts, dog parks, a community garden, and a dedicated lawn space for festivals and events. While the center part of the park would maintain the feel of a nature preserve, the northern end would be for families with children to enjoy playground equipment, a splash pad, and a picnic area.
Additionally, we are working toward breaking ground on a pilot project at the Centerpoint Trail. When fully completed, this trail will enable foot and bicycle traffic to enjoy a scenic access from Loop 610 and White Oak Bayou all the way out to the Addicks Reservoir. It will also provide a connection for Spring Branch residents north of I-10 to be able to bike to school or work.
Our Economic Development Committee is working hard to help make our ambitious visions a reality. For the first 10 years, the emphasis was on enticing new residents and homebuilders to come to Spring Branch, and that has been successful beyond what we imagined. All those new homes have attracted a well-educated, willing workforce looking for the convenience and quality of life that Spring Branch provides.
Now, the new emphasis in our marketing strategy is on improving those qualities that hundreds of our new residents have come to expect, with access to top-tier dining, shopping, and workplace options. Our new billboard, print, and radio campaign actively targets businesses that can bring those options to the Spring Branch community.
Finally, I want to say how thankful I am for the Spring Branch Management District board of directors and staff. They all work very hard to execute the visions and goals written into our service plan, and ensure that each dedicated committee is focused on completing its part of the strategy. They are making great things happen for an equally great community.
Pat Maddox, Chair
Spring Branch Management District