Japhet Creek

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

Monday, February 07, 2005

Neighborhood meeting and Volunteer Tour

This weekend marked several milestones in the Japhet Creek restoration. First we met with the neighbors to inform them about what had been done with the project so far. We also wanted to get their input into the project. About 8 people attended. They watched a power point presentation on Jim's computer which included pictures of Watonga Creek in northwest Houston which might serve as a model for Japhet Creek. Those in attendance had a mostly positive response to the presentation and the way that we were approaching the cleanup. Few answered the question about what they saw were sacred vs. public parts of the creek, but they left excited.

Saturday, we took a tour of the creek with people interested in getting involved with the cleanup. Eric from Bayou Preservation Association attended as well. We started at the Clinton Culvert then crossed Clinton to travel down the train tracks to the source of much of the pollution. The tour continued to the Emile St. bridge, the dead end of Ursa and finally through the Last Organic Outpost to the railroad tressl. Rebecca Reyna from councilman Adrian Garcia's office attended as well. I gave her the short tour because she didn't have the shoes or the time to make the rest of the tour. She said that she thought that the neighborhood was outside her district, but that she could lend what help that they could. She suggested investigating whether the neighborhood could be included as a historic neighborhood with the city's historic district committee. She also said that some legal means were available to control the taxes for the neighborhood as developers built around it. Her office has worked extensively with issues of gentrification.

She also talked with Joe Nelson of the Last Organic Outpost. She was interested in the potential economic impact of gardening and inquired about classes in her district. She said that she'd refer Joe to their office's economic redevelopment director.

Eric gave Jim an official letter of support from BPA. It indicated that because of the lack of public land, it would be difficult to use inmates on the project. He said that he and Scott Barnes from Buffalo Bayou Partnership would investigate using clients of Cenikor and how they might fund it. He also mentioned fund-raising efforts to raise money for supplies and plants for the effort. Because of the upcoming spring and the return of the undergrowth to the creek, he volunteered to tag with spray paint non-native invasive plants and teach us how to eradicate them. Some of the funding would be used for native species that would thrive in that environment. After the tour, he said that he would also talk with Scott about the potential four public entry points for the inmates. One strategy he suggested was to have volunteers drag some of the heavier pieces to the public entry points so that the inmates could take them from those points.

Some next steps:

  • creating legal waiver forms

  • scheduling work dates in spring

  • possible fundraising efforts

  • gathering supplies for the work days

  • encouraging and coordinating volunteers for work days

Potential supplies needed:

  • rubber gloves (to protect against potential bacteria in water)

  • buckets and/or trash bags for hauling away trash

  • dumpster for hauling away work day trash

  • water & food for volunteers

Volunteers need to bring:

  • long sleeve shirt

  • old shoes or rubber boots

  • eye protection as necessary

Potential sponsors for:


trash bags

food & water for volunteers


At 10/08/2005 05:38:00 PM, Blogger Ezio said...

Have you ever seen Asparagus this BIG
They grow up to 15in long and 2in wide.
gardening supply

At 11/08/2005 10:11:00 PM, Blogger lindaweaverfamily said...

Vegetables are great, but the Heart Start Defibrillator is better (At saving your life, that is ;) ).


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