By Lawanda Maxwell, MBA
On March 30, 2021, Houston Wilderness, in partnership with the West Houston Association and the Association of Water Board Directors – Texas, hosted a virtual tour of an amenitized detention pond in Fort Bend MUD 23 and a park side chat about HB 1410, legislation to increase the 1% recreational facilities limit as part of the Master Planned Community (MPC) Ecoregion Experiences Events (E3) series.
Deborah January-Bevers, President and CEO of Houston Wilderness, kicked off the event, explaining that the aim of the MPC E3 series, is to showcase the local districts and master planned communities that have “amazing green spaces” and how those spaces benefit the region.
“[Green spaces] are wonderful for the community for recreational purposes and they also serve valuable purposes related to flood control, erosion control, air pollution, absorption, and all kinds of ecosystem services”, said January-Bevers. She also mentioned how these spaces help increase environmental buffers that minimize the damage of extreme disasters like hurricanes and flooding while increasing regional resiliency.
Ellen Hughes, Director of FB county MUD district 23, provided the history and significance of the current legislation that allowed Fort Bend MUD 23 to issue park bonds and build needed recreational facilities for their residents. She explained the need for increasing the limit and how it would benefit older MUD’s.
“We’re not in the same district we were in 15 years ago, we’re in an expanding district… our valuation and number of residents have grown,“ said Hughes. “We’re one of these older muds that’s not master-planned and we’re about to hit the ceiling on the ability to issue any more park bonds because of the 1% cap.”
January-Bevers also added more information about the current 87th legislative session and HB 1410, which would allow older districts like Fort Bend MUD 23 to “enhance green space as they are dealing with an increase of environmental stressors in their regions”.
To watch this webinar, please visit the Houston Wilderness website or click on the video above.
NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft Bill Title: Relating to the issuance of bonds by certain conservation and reclamation districts. Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Republican 2-1) Status: (Passed) 2021-06-14 – Effective immediately [HB1410 Detail] Download: Texas-2021-HB1410-Introduced.html
8-county Gulf-Houston Regional Conservation Plan
Facilitated by Houston Wilderness, the Gulf-Houston Regional Conservation Plan () is a long-term collaborative of environmental, business and governmental entities working together to create a first-ever ecosystem continuity and connectivity plan for the Gulf-Houston Region.