Japhet Creek

A journal of the restoration project for Japhet Creek in north Houston, TX.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

experts meeting, neighborhood meeting and urban forester

We had the meeting of the experts on creek restoration on Friday Jan. 22nd. In attendance were Scott Barnes (dir. of conservation) and Anne Olson (president) (Buffalo Bayou Partnership), Eric Ruckstuhl (Bayou Preservation Association), Steve Hupp (Harris County Pollution Control), Bobby K Wilson (civil engineer), Karen Dorris ( nursery owner),
Thomas McWharter (Greater Houston Preservation Alliance), Eileen Hatcher (co-founder Japhet Civic Association), Nancy Sorenson (Last Organic Outpost). We spoke about the general goals of the project and surveyed some of the critical parts of the creek: the headwaters on Clinton, the Emile bridge and the section that runs under the train tressel. We also hiked along the train tracks north of Clinton and saw another section of the creek that contains a foot and a half wide pipe which presumably ends in the box culvert on Clinton. The pipe was surrounded with years of styrofoam, plastic bottles and other trash. Eric indicated that cleaning up that area should be a top priority because it all flows into the creek from there. This portion of the creek was within sight distance of a 5th Ward Redevelopment housing site and we talked some about getting them involved in this aspect of the cleanup and maintenance.

At the end of the meeting, we spoke informally about what some of the next steps might be. Scott recommended a Habitat Analysis and water testing. Jim mentioned talking with the Proler company about donating some heavy equipment and storage for the trash pulled out of the creek. Anne spoke about contacting the 5th Ward Redevelopment Co and the Public Land Trust for potential partnerships and the creation of green space or parks. Eric and Steve taked about getting together to talk about the scope and time table for the cleanup phase.

On other fronts:

Jim is planning a neighborhood meeting on Feb. 4th in the evening. We'll talk about the project to neighbors and other interested parties and encourage volunteering for the project.

Jim has also spoken with TJ Marks who is an urban forester about walking through the creek and making recommendations for tree planting sites and species at the appropriate juncture in the project.

Jim and I are also investigating whether some of our contact on various board with the last name Japhet are related to the Japhets that the creek is named after.


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