On Friday morning, members of the Bayou Land Conservancy and community leaders, volunteers, and residents from The Woodlands area gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony to unveil the Spring Creek Nature Trail. The grand opening celebrating the completed construction of the new 13-mile natural surface hike and bike trail was the culmination of coordinated efforts between various organizations and over 2500 hours of hard work from volunteers.
Surrounded by lush forest and greenery, the Spring Creek Nature Trail meanders along and across Spring Creek, and is the first trail that’s going to connect Harris and Montgomery Counties and go all the way to I-45.
The Woodlands GREEN has a legacy of partnering with The Woodlands Township. Though it began with recycling, the two entities now work together to promote numerous sustainability related educational initiatives. This partnership is a reflection of the history and vision of The Woodlands, and the desire of Woodlands founder George P. Mitchell to obtain a better balance between urban development and the natural environment (LINK).
Many residents choose The Woodlands because of this balance of natural beauty, sensible development, and cultural amenities. The educational programs and activities offered by The Woodlands GREEN give residents a way to get involved and support positive environmental and sustainability actions around the community.
This impressive display of mental and physical endurance will be an inspiring spectacle for people in The Woodlands to witness. The spectator guiderecommends the following locations to watch the race.
Although residents may need to deal with traffic and road closures Saturday, drawing so many people to The Woodlands, the Ironman race will not only drive business to local retail and service industries, but it will also generate revenue for the local government. The extra 2% sales the Township levies and the visitors will pay helps fund the services the Township provides, and the 7% hotel occupancy tax visitors pay the Township will go toward servicing The Woodlands’ debt. An additional 2% hotel occupancy tax goes to The Woodlands Convention and Visitors Bureau, which drives demand for The Woodlands as a travel destination to increase sales and hotel occupancy tax revenues. By having visitors pay these taxes, the local government is able to afford services for The Woodlands that would otherwise have to paid for by residents through property taxes.
The 32nd Annual Economic Outlook Conference hosted by The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce gathered local businesses, community leaders, elected officials, and corporate executives and advisors to provide valuable insight into local community developments and projected economic growth in Montgomery County and Texas. In the midst of a region that got right back on its feet after being knocked down by a devastating Hurricane Harvey, the event theme this year was “Resilient Community, Innovative Future.”
Since it first kicked off in March of 2015 with 8 members, The Woodlands Chapter of the Citizens’ Climate Education/Lobby has grown significantly. This grassroots organization, focused on helping citizens create the political will to address climate change, ended 2015 with 49 members. By the end of 2016, those numbers tripled to 150. In Chairman Brady’s Texas District 08, there are now four chapters with 628 members at the end of 2017. That is more CCE/L members than any other US Representative’s District in Texas!
Citizens’ Climate Education/Lobby are intentional grassroots education and lobbying organizations. They have one rule: Treat everyone, even those who oppose them, with respect, appreciation, and gratitude. Both organizations are nonprofit; Citizens’ Climate Education is a 501(c)3 organization and Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a 501(c)4. They are non-partisan organizations, determined to build relationships with everyone.
Citizens’ Climate Lobby has one goal, to generate the political will for the United States Congress to enact Carbon Fee and Dividend legislation. Carbon Fee and Dividend is a market-based solution that will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions efficiently.
In The Woodlands, an iconic sculpture of a man lying half submerged in the ground rests in the median on the east side of the intersection of South Panther Creek and Woodlands Parkway, where it was installed by artist David Phelps in 1989.
"The Dreamer" is a triple life-size mixed media figurative sculpture originally commissioned by the Connemara Conservancy for a temporary outdoor exhibit in 1987. It was then cast in a limited edition of three bronze castings. The first was commissioned by The Woodlands, the second was commissioned by the city of Palm Desert, California, and the third was commissioned by the Sterling Research Group of Collegeville, Pennsylvania.
I reached out to David Phelps inquiring about the meaning behind the sculpture. According to Phelps, the sculpture's origins can be traced to his childhood home in California’s Central Valley Delta, where a maze of rivers meander and crisscross on their way to the San Francisco Bay and eventually, the Pacific Ocean. Middle River, Old River, and the San Joaquin River intersect to form the largest island in the Delta: Roberts Island. The threat of the island flooding left powerful memories and emotions with Phelps as he grew up, and sequentially influenced much of the artwork he created as an adult.
On Friday January 5, 2018, community leaders and planners of The Woodlands met at Town Green Park to celebrate a new partnership between The Woodlands Township and the world’s premier bike sharing platform, Mobike.
Mobike is a Chinese bike sharing company that utilizes smart phone technology and GPS data to allow people to pick up, ride, and drop off Mobike bicycles at their own convenience, for a price of $1 per 30 minutes of use. The bikes are designed with punctureless tires, smart locks, and disc brakes to be as safe and durable as possible.
Mobike is a turnkey operation, and it is providing 50 smart-bicycles for use in The Woodlands at no cost to the local government and taxpayers. The Woodlands is the third township/municipality in the US, and the first in Texas, to receive Mobike’s services following its rapid expansion to 200 cities around the world in the past two years.
The hard data supports The Woodlands as well. Niche, the neighborhoods and schools rankings site, based these best city rankings on real statistical analysis as well. Cost of living, the percentage of residents with a college degree, average commute time, crime rates, public school ratings, resident reviews and weather are some of the major factors.
Over the past 43 years since the Village of Grogan’s Mill opened in 1974, George Mitchell’s vision has come to life with the development of each of the eight residential villages that make up The Woodlands.
Developers modeled the layout of the new community after similar neighborhoods around the country. Among the key planning committee members was Ian McHarg, a landscape architect specifically sought out by George P. Mitchell because of his unique design principles. McHarg embraced and applied a design that would minimally affect the area's woodlands and wildlife, according to a University of Massachusetts essay authored by ecologist Kristine Swann.
"McHarg looked at The Woodlands as an opportunity to apply his theory of ecological determinism - allowing the ecology of the land to determine what development could and should take place," Swann explained.
A testament to his vision, Mitchell's original plan for The Woodlands continued to be implemented even after he sold it in the late 1990s. He intentionally left a 1,000-acre parcel near the entrance of The Woodlands for a commercial district. Others recognized the value. "Many developers would have developed that first because it was closest to the highway and most accessible," Galatas said. "But George saw a bigger picture and he saw a town center that would serve not only The Woodlands but all of north Houston."