July 11, 2019
Contact: Jessica Beemer (832) 393-3008
Sylvan Rodriguez Park Habitat Restoration Scheduled
Houston, TX -  Houston City Council Member Dave Martin would like to make Clear Lake residents aware the Houston  Parks and Recreation Department (HPARD) will begin habitat restoration work at Sylvan Rodriguez Park on Wednesday, July 17. With the recently revised Sylvan Rodriguez Park Master Plan finalized and community feedback in support of a natural park,  the City of Houston is targeting 72 acres of the 113 acre park to restore to coastal prairie and riparian forest ecosystem. 

Grant funding has been secured through the Texas General Land Office for three out of four phases. The first phase of the project includes the clearing of several Chinese tallow and other non-native trees within 14 acres of the interior of the park. The removal of these trees is expected to be completed by the end of August 2019, weather permitting. Following the removal, the contractor will be mulching the trees onsite.  The site will then be seeded and planted with native grasses and wildflowers through several community planting events held in the fall by HPARD. The District E office will notify residents once these planting events are scheduled. 

This process will repeat in Phase Four beginning with the tree removal process expected to begin in April 2020. A map of all four phases is available here, and the complete timeline of the project can be found here A s a result of the restoration activities, please be aware of signage and flags preventing the public from entering the work site. There will be an increase in noise levels due to equipment in the area, but it is not expected to impact the adjacent neighborhoods. Crews will be working on site Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The restoration of coastal wetland prairie and forested riparian ecosystems at Sylvan Rodriguez Park will promote ecosystem regulating functions through soil retention, reduced sedimentation, and water purification. The restored prairie habitat will provide increased erosion control through the deep prairie grass roots and will provide bank stabilization in the riparian areas. Additionally, restoration of the area will help to slow and absorb floodwaters during rain events. The habitat created at the restoration site will attract many different wildlife species to the area including native insect pollinators and migratory birds. 

This project will also provide educational opportunities for visitors of the park to experience and learn about the historic natural habitats that once existed in Houston. Interpretive signage along the boardwalk trails will deliver information on the importance of native prairies and wetlands and their impacts on wildlife and people. 

For more information, please contact Council Member Dave Martin's office at (832) 393-3008 or .