Harris County to turn detention basin into $28 million park

February 9, 2024

Harris County Precinct One will transform a 100-acre regional stormwater detention basin near the Sims Bayou Greenway into a public park. The $28.3 million park will protect nearby residences during storms while providing recreation spaces and trails within walking distance of several schools, parks, churches and homes.

Once completed, the Hill at Sims Park will feature 4.5 miles of hike-and-bike trails and a connection to the Sims Bayou Greenway, creating access to an additional 20 miles of trails. The project is currently in the design phase. The county expects to finish construction by the end of 2025.

Precinct One will break the project up into three recreational packages. Package A will prioritize hilltop and basin trails throughout the park, including a 1.6-mile basin loop trail. The county will improve the Hill by installing overlook and gateway points, concrete walks, nature paths, hill security barriers and a hilltop pavilion. Plans also call for additional nature trails, a water access pier, an entry plaza, signage, furnishings and parking.

As part of the project, the county has already started building a pedestrian and bicycle bridge across Sims Bayou. The bridge will connect the park with the nearby Sims Bayou Greenway and Margaret Jenkins Park. This in-progress project accounts for $7 million of the total Hill at Sims Park estimated cost.

Package B will continue to extend the Scott Street Greenway. The 1.5-mile trail will stretch along Scott Street from Swingle Road to South Acres Drive. Once completed, the trail will connect with METRO BOOST bus stops and provide safer road crossings for pedestrians.

Package C will introduce additional recreation amenities, including a 2,000-square-foot, open-air nature center pavilion with restrooms. The county will also build flexible lawn space. The county will also conduct a planning study for future development in the southern portion of the park.

The project is moving forward after Harris County approved the final major piece of funding – $7.5 million from the Brown Foundation. Precinct One will provide $18.8 million to support the project alongside $2 million from federal and state funds.

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Photo courtesy of Harris County Precinct One

Adam Rollins

Adam Rollins brings his expertise as a Researcher and Writer to the Managing Editor role for several of SPI's key publications, including Government Contracting Pipeline, Texas Government Insider, and the latest addition, Government Market News. With a rich background as a freelance Content Specialist, Adam has honed a passion for learning and information gathering, delving into various industries. His research and writing have spanned a range of topics, from artificial intelligence (AI) technology, conservation, and project outsourcing, to managed IT services and software development.

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