Greens Bayou Corridor Coalition
  May 2015 
In This Issue
Welcome New Sustaining Member
New Chairman of the Board
Recognizing Volunteers
Kayaking for Kids
College "Green" Groups
Federal New Start Project
Annual Meeting
Paddle Trail Sneak Peek
Spring Project Report
Quick Links
Join Our List
Sustaining Members
Corporate Members


Harris County UD 15

Welcome New Sustaining Member


We at The Coalition would like to welcome to our ranks as a sustaining level member, MUD 400. 


MUD 400 is in our East Reach, and we look forward to partnering with them to bring recreational amenities to their part of the watershed. Their generous support helps us continue our efforts to reduce flooding and continue community outreach throughout our watershed.


Introducing our New Chairman of the Board

Welcome, Mr. Reginald Lillie

At our Annual Meeting we not only celebrated the legacy of our retiring Chairman, but introduced to our stakeholders our new Chairman of the Board, Mr. Reginald Lillie. Mr. Lillie has served on our board since 2010, and is perfect candidate to move our organization forward. He has an extensive history in community involvement in Houston. He served as the President of the NAACP Houston Branch from 2011-2014, sits on the board of trustees for Willowbrook Hospital and the Cypress Fairbanks Educational Foundation, and on the board of directors for Cy Hope Foundation. He served as Chairman of the Board for the Cy-Fair Houston Chamber of Commerce, and has served on multiple boards and committees with Lone Star College System. His accomplishments are many, and his knowledge and commitment to the North Houston Community has been proven time and time again. We are thrilled and humbled to have him on our board, and look forward to his vision and guidance in the years to come.   

Recognizing Volunteers
Barry Ross


Barry and his wife work tirelessly hauling trees, planting and cleaning the bayou at last year's North Reach project.

Any non-profit organization worth its salt has a core group of committed volunteers, and here at GBCC our cup runneth over. Today, we'd like to recognize Barry Ross, a Director with North Belt Utility District in our North Reach. Mr. Ross has been active with The Coalition for a few years, and provides exceptional support to our North Reach Project that goes above and beyond. This year, as in years past, Mr. Ross has been present for our events with a willingness to work, and the tools to do it. Additionally, he is always willing to assist with planning and preparation before, and followup after our clean-ups and tree plantings. Without hesitation he gives his time and his resources to The Coalition. Volunteers like Mr. Ross make these events possible. With limited staff and many projects, GBCC could not effectively run events like our clean-ups without the help of dedicated volunteers. We thank you, Barry, for all that you do for us!

Kayking for Kids
Youth Programming on the Bayou

Students from Sheldon ISD kayak Greens Bayou for Kayaking for Kids


Funds from the Halliburton Charity Golf Foundation, Union Pacific and REI allowed us to create our first programming on the bayou with our Kayaking for Kids program. In partnership with organizations like Bayou Shuttle Service, Bayou Preservation Association and Texas Parks & Wildlife, we provide urban youth an opportunity to see their city in a whole new light. Focusing on the land-water connection and the importance of water quality, educational partners provide demonstrations on water quality and information on the importance of native plants and animals to the health of our water ways. Additionally, students are able to, sometimes for the first time, experience Houston from the water. The goal of the program is to educate build a new generation of stewards and advocates of our bayou, and encourage students to better understand the impact their everyday lives have on the health of our bayou systems and how they can make a difference.


Most recently a group from Sheldon ISD went out on the Greens Bayou from Thomas Bell Foster Park with Mandy Jordan of GBCC. Students and chaperones alike were impressed with the experience.


"As the president of the environmental club, I felt more inspired to help take care of the environment," one student reported after finishing the excursion.


Another student said, "I really liked going outside and realized that I should help clean the bayou."


Additional trips are planned with Galena Park ISD students in May and June. Currently, kayaking trips are scheduled on an as-requested basis. If you or someone in your community has or knows of a youth group or class interested in learning more about this opportunity, please contact Mandy Jordan to further discuss options and dates.


This program is ongoing and we look forward to having many more children out on the bayou. If you have a youth group that could benefit from a program like this, please inquire with Candice at GBCC (281-874-2139) on how to get involved.

College "Green" Groups
LSC-NH Earth Alliance and Green Team at San Jac-North


Lone Star College Earth Alliance members plant trees in our West Reach.

The Coalition has many groups on which we depend for our volunteer activities. This includes corporate, civic, government and school groups. Some of our most ardent supporters and steadfast volunteers come from our area college environmental groups. Organized students dedicated to environmental causes are key in our outreach efforts and our volunteer projects. For our North and West Reach clean-ups we can always depend on Lone Star College North Harris' Earth Alliance members to put in the hard work of digging holes and planting trees, or getting muddy on the banks of the bayou to pull out trash and debris. Clarisa Carroll, President of Earth Alliance, is always quick to organize her group for projects throughout the watershed.


San Jacinto Community College, with guidance from Professor Susan Starr, has and continues to partner with GBCC to keep Thomas Bell Foster Park clean and kayak ready. They are ready on short notice and show up willing to work hard to make sure the park remains clean and enjoyable to visit.


San Jacinto College volunteers mulch beds at Thomas Bell Foster Park.

There are benefits for the students as well.


"Bayou volunteers learn the value of community involvement and build interpersonal and leadership skills," Professor Starr said. " Students that get involved with clean-ups and park development reap the benefits of increased self-esteem and hands-on learning.  Students also benefit from the connections they make while working as a team with their professors, other students, bayou experts and engineers."


Partnerships like these benefit not only the coalition, but park users, the community surrounding the parks, and the bayou itself. We thank our collegiate partners for all the work they do.


Encore Marketing
Strategic Creative. Targeted Results.

Want to know more about Encore Marketing Communications, our event partner for Annual
 Meeting? Read on! Also, feel free to contact them for information about how they can help your company or organization move an event or campaign forward.

"Encore Marketing Communications was created in May 1991. Our belief then and today is that all marketing communications should produce a very specific response. We do this by carefully defining your objectives, creating and integrating the right visual image and verbal message, and delivering it to the right audience, at the right time, through the right channels.
Excellence is embedded in our culture. It is the foundation for collaboration, value creation and productive, long-term relationships. The objective is to excite, persuade and inspire action. We've been successfully doing this for a very long time.
Strategic creative. Targeted results."

Amazon Smiles
It's Easy to Donate Simply by Shopping

We appreciate our members more than we can say! Your contributions help us keep our lights on and our doors open. 

If you're wondering if there are other ways for you to help, look no further. If you shop online with Amazon (and let's face it, who doesn't?), please follow this link to connect your account to GBCC and a percentage of each purchase you make through AamazonSmile will benefit The Coalition. We all know about those last minute AmazonPrime Mother's Day Gifts. Let this year's purchase for mom also give back to a great cause!
Mission Statement
Master Plan map Mission Statement
Greens Bayou Corridor Coalition ("The Coalition") seeks to benefit the economy and enhance the quality of life for the more than 500,000 residents in the Greens Bayou watershed through flood mitigation, parks and trails development, and economic development.



2015 has been a whirlwind so far. We've been so busy we find ourselves already in the 5th month. Through your efforts, we have made great strides in Paddle Trail planning, programming, community outreach and development, and project momentum. And I can't wait to tell you all about the MANY projects and activities we've been up to. We thank you for your contributions to the success of our Master Plan projects; we couldn't have done all of this without you! So read on to learn about what we're doing, and what we have planned!

As always, we thank you for your support and your interest in GBCC. Tell a friend or two about us, and make sure you're following us on social media: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
Federal New Start Project
The Coalition brings $55 million infrastructure project to Harris County

After a six year strategic advocacy campaign The Coalition's Public Policy Committee had reason to celebrate when the long-awaited funding for the Federal Flood Damage Reduction Project on Greens Bayou was announced in early February. The origins of the project can be traced to Congressional authorization for a flooding study on Greens Bayou in 1948. The project, which spans from Cutten Road to Veterans Memorial, was authorized by Congress in 1990 and the property was purchased by local taxpayers in 1997. In 2009 The Coalition's Public Policy Committee kicked-off a focused advocacy campaign which included building relationships with the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, the Administration's Office of Management and Budget and Congressional leaders.   An important part of the winning strategy was support by area stakeholders. A citizen's letter writing campaign in the summer of 2014 was part of the final push to success.


"The approval of the funding for the federal project is the culmination of many years of hard work," said Mike Castro, Chair of the Coalition's Public Policy Committee and a Coalition board member. "The project demonstrates what can be accomplished when community volunteers, government stakeholders and concerned citizens focus their combined efforts on a worthy endeavor. The project will have a demonstrable positive impact on the quality of life for residents who live within the Greens Bayou watershed."


Two additional Harris County Flood Control basin projects will begin construction later this year as well bringing the total infrastructure investment in flood mitigation projects in the watershed to about $120 million. We'll be bringing you updates as they are available on all three projects.


Annual Meeting
Beyond the Bayou: 6th Annual Meeting and Luncheon

This year's Annual Meeting served an additional purpose beyond our annual awards and stakeholder update. This year we honored our retiring board chairman, Bill Franks, for his dedication and amazing leadership and direction of The Coalition's efforts and mission. Bill began his service to The Coalition upon its inception as a task force after tropical storm Allison. For more than a decade he has provided excellent vision and direction of GBCC's efforts in community engagement, advocacy, and flood mitigation efforts. If you would like to make a donation to The Coalition in Bill's honor, visit our website and become a donor or a member.


We opened the meeting with a great address from Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. Congresswoman Lee had only moments before participated in a press conference where GBCC announced the fruits of our years-long advocacy efforts for flood mitigation in the watershed. Congress recently approved the appropriation of funds to begin construction on a federal detention basin in our West Reach. This success was won through the tireless efforts of our public policy committee, our elected officials, and a grassroots letter writing campaign from residents of the watershed. Congresswoman Lee, Congressman Ted Poe and Congressman Gene Green were honored during the luncheon for their efforts in making our advocacy efforts successful.


Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee receives an honor from GBCC Executive Director Jill Boullion and GBCC Chairman of the Board Reginald Lillie

We had a lot to celebrate this year, including the completion of our Paddle Trail Master Plan, created over two years with a services grant from the National Park Service and a volunteer committee of professionals and community members. Our paddle trail will span 27.5 miles from Greenspoint to Galena Park. To celebrate and acknowledge our years of partnership with the National Park Service and our dedication to getting youth involved in projects on the bayou, our guest speaker was Robert Ratcliffe, Division Chief for the National Park Service's Conservation, Recreation and Community Assistance Programs. Bob is passionate about his mission and dedicated to helping organizations like ours promote recreation, health, youth involvement, and accessibility to park spaces for everyone. In addition to Mr. Radcliffe, we had a last minute speaker from the Houston Texans, J.J. Moses. J.J.  played for the Texans from 2002-2005 as a kick returner, and is now a motivational speaker and youth advocate.


In the theme of celebrating our Paddle Trail, we announced the Greens Bayou Regatta of 2016! In partnership with the City of Houston and other local organizations, GBCC will host our first annual Greens Bayou Regatta in June of next year, creating a trifecta of regattas in Houston.


Gary O'Neill receives the Volunteer of the Year award from Reginald Lillie and Jill Boullion

As we do every year, we honored our Volunteer of the Year and Bayou Buddy. Volunteer of the Year went to Gary O'Neil of CenterPoint Energy. Gary is a forester with CenterPoint and has been an incredible asset to GBCC and our tree-planting events. Over the years, Gary has been an invaluable asset to our community events, willing to help deliver trees, demonstrate proper planting techniques, work with students to educate them on the importance of planting trees, and working tirelessly to make sure our events are successful and educational. We look forward to many more events with Gary and his team from CenterPoint, and we thank him for all he's done and continues to do in his community.


Members of Radcliffe Bobbitt Adams Polley receive their award for Bayou Buddy

This year's Bayou Buddy award, given to a company or organization that shows exceptional dedication to GBCC's mission, went to Ratcliffe Bobbitt Adams and Polley. Regina Adams, long-time board member and current Secretary of the board, and her partners worked with MUD 33 to orchestrate a tree planting event in our West Reach where volunteers planted 25 trees, and Bob Ratcliffe provided a tailgate style lunch after. The firm has put hours of volunteer work and in-kind professional assistance to The Coalition, making it possible to continue moving our mission forward.


Bill Franks poses with friends and Councilman Jerry Davis

Of course, events like this would not be possible without our generous sponsors. The Greenspoint District, East Aldine District and EHRA supported us at our highest sponsorship level of Trail Blazer. Radcliffe Bobbitt Adams Polley was our Conservationist sponsor.


Many of you had very positive things to say about our theme and silent auction this year. The new elements of our event would not have been possible without help from Encore Marketing. This year we did things a little differently and partnered with an event and marketing company to make our annual meeting bigger and better. The partnership was a success. With their help, we were able to reach more audiences and bring in new and exciting elements like our speaker from the Texans and the silent auction.


You can find photos from the event on our website. Look for your own smiling face! We look forward to seeing you next year!


Paddle Trail Sneak Peek

GBCC Hosts Event to Unveil Newly Completed Paddle Trail Master Plan


Attendees enjoy a brew and networking at Saint Arnold's Brewery


Stakeholders, city council members and volunteers helped us celebrate and get a preview of our Paddle Trail Master Plan, a project that has taken two years, a grant from the National Park Service, a committed volunteer committee and community input to complete. The Paddle Trail Master Plan will augment our Parks and Trails Master Plan but with a focus on paddle access along a 27.5 mile stretch of Greens Bayou from Greenspoint to Galena Park. While completion of the project will take years, a group of volunteers is already hard at work moving Master Plan projects forward. The committee meets monthly, and would be happy for your help! If you would like to get involved, please contact Rich Gallegos.


Councilman Gallegos talks with Joaquin Martinez and Bill Franks


Spring Projects a Huge Success
Annual North Reach Project
Students from Leadership North Houston plant trees along Greens Bayou

On March 28th, GBCC and partners hosted our 5th North Reach Tree Planting and Clean-Up in East Aldine District. More than 100 Volunteer from Halliburton, Leadership North Houston, North Belt UD, NRG/Reliant, CenterPoint Energy and Jones & Carter planted 60 trees donated by CenterPoint and Trees for Houston and cleaned 2 miles of bayou. East Aldine District provided assistance with a police presence, ATVs and their litter crew to haul trash from the bayou to the pick-up location. Harris County Flood Control District provided tree planting demonstrations and assistance in moving trees to their planting locations along the bayou.


A special thanks to Zach Toups of Jones & Carter for his expert leadership and guidance in planning for the event, Pat Boullion for his constant and tireless efforts on behalf of The Coalition, and Barry Ross for his willingness to work on the project beyond just day-of activities.

Trail building project at Waste Management

On April 10th and 11th, GBCC and Waste Management hosted our first trail building workshop with S&S Trails out of Austin. With a grant from Waste Management and support from EHRA, we brought in S&S Trails to spend a week working on the Waste Management Nature Preserve in Atascocita. The project was two-fold. First, S&S trail builders spent a week working the site, marking trails, looking for potential problem spots, clearing brush, and prepping for volunteers. Second, S&S provided two days of trail building training for interested volunteers that included a day of in-class education and a day of in-the-filed, hands-on instruction. Our first session was a great success. Trails have started on the Waste Management Nature Preserve, and the site is ready for future projects including a planned partnership with the Student Conservation Association in the summer to do two weeks of intensive work on the site including more trail building and invasive species removal.


This location will serve as an opportunity for volunteer projects and, once completed, as an educational facility for local school districts, and in the long run as a connection point for trails along Garners Bayou.


Thomas Bell Foster Park

Councilman Gallegos visited the park to see the student's progress.

Students from San Jacinto Community College joined South Reach Committee Chair Omar Escobar, and Co-Chair Charlie Patout for a morning of clean-up and landscape upkeep at Thomas Bell Foster Park. The students were joined by other South Reach Committee volunteers Grady Hicks and Bob Bartel as well as special guest Councilman Robert Gallegos and his Director of Constituent Services and South Reach Committee member Joaquin Martinez.


The park is currently not open to the public, but will be an excellent amenity to the community. It is currently used by canoe and kayak enthusiasts and Bayou City Adventures for weekend Greens Bayou Eagle Tours. If you would like to get involved in the South Reach contact Candice Pauley. If you'd like to take a kayaking trip with Bayou City Adventures, contact them through their website.  
West Reach Trail Planning
West Reach MUDs Visioning Session 


West Reach Chair, Katie Golzarri of EHRA presents to attendees of workshop

Excitement about the pending construction of the $55 million Federal Project was high at a recent trail workshop held for directors from eight utility districts that border the project. The workshop was hosted by Northwest Harris County MUD 24 and EHRA. West Reach Chair Katie Golzarri developed the workshop format that featured speakers from Harris County Flood Control, Harris County Precinct 4 and a MUD attorney. The goal of the workshop was to increase the director's knowledge of how to fund and build parks and trails and allow them to collaborate on their planning efforts. 


Said Coalition Executive Director Jill Boullion, "This group of director's is really motivated to provide parks and trails systems for their communities and create synergy with the Greenway projects that are underway in our region. It's a great way to leverage everyone's investment and create a regional system that provides more bang for the buck. We're delighted to facilitate this type of workshop."



Jill Boullion
Greens Bayou Corridor Coalition