Willow Waterhole Greenspace Conservatory

About 80 young trees now grace the banks of the Willow Waterhole, thanks to a donation from Trees for Houston and the labor of several area Cub Scouts and other volunteers. A group planting effort on Saturday, Dec. 1 created a small forest of drought-tolerant trees––including live oaks, pin oaks, bur oaks and cedar elms.Barry Ward, Executive Director of Trees for Houston, demonstrated how to dig the right size hole in a pre-marked spot, how to properly extract a young tree from its plastic pot, and how to build a ring of mulch around its base to help it retain moisture.

“Here is where the magic occurs. In 5 to 10 years, this is going to be a pretty spectacular park.”

—Howard Sacks
President – Willow Waterhole Greenspace Conservancy

The Willow Waterhole Greenway is an ongoing $75 million project with a dual purpose, Sacks added. On one hand, it provides a flood-reduction element with six detention basins that extend across 279 acres from U.S. 90 to South Willow and South Post Oak and will hold six million gallons of water.

Its other purpose is to provide park facilities where area residents can enjoy hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, or “just sit and write a poem,” Sacks said. It also is a significant site for nature lovers because it is home to 176 varieties of birds. The Willow Waterhole Greenway Project is expected be completed in 2015 or 2016, Sacks said.