Have you thought about what the Willow Waterhole will mean to Westbury? For years we have been defined by what we used to be. Whenever I tell people where I live ..they say "Oh, I loved Westbury Square...I remember when your neighborhood was so nice." Well guess what? It is still nice even if Westbury Square is full of buildings that are boarded up, decaying and burned. What used to be the heart of our neighborhood has had the life squeezed out of it, but we have found a new heart and to me that is the "green" heart of Westbury. We live in a neighborhood full of green lawns(okay strugggling green this summer); beautiful green trees; wide esplanades; pocket parks; a community garden and the Willow Waterhole, soon to be one of the eight signature parks in Houston. If you think about carbon footprints, we live close to the heart of Houston in homes of reasonable size (relatively speaking). Half our neighborhood is in the single stream recycling program, the other half would like to be...we are major recyclers according to the City's statistics. We have one of the Houston Solid Waste Environmental service centers in our Super Neighborhood as well as Waste Management's new state of the art single stream recycling center which has its grand opening and dedication coming up in August. Many of our storm drains are marked with the No Dumping decals. We have a twice annual garage sale to complete the Reuse, Recycle,Reduce mantra. That all adds up to pretty green to me.
Monday, I gave a power point presentation to the Brays Bayou Association on the Willow Waterhole and was reminded again of what an incredible gift a 280 park in our backyard will be when it is completed. In Westbury's 1800 acres and in the Super Neighborhood's 2400 acres there was just 12 to 14 acres of park space. An awesome addition for sure! But beyond the park space there is the reduced risk of flooding for Westbury. Once the park is complete it will be able to hold 5 million cubic feet of storm water. Tuesday I was reminded of another benefit. The TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) Bacteria Implementation Group who is charged with monitoring the bacteria levels in water around the state came out to do a video interview. Pretty cool that they want to do a feature story on the Willow Waterhole. Having storm water held in wet bottom lakes with wetland plants acting as filters will help clean the water as it flows out into the Willow Waterhole Bayou and into Brays. We had scheduled this interview months ago and wouldn't you know the day had a 50% chance of rain. I said not to worry it NEVER rains! But it did...(I've asked them to come back regularly.) It was just a little drizzly so we set the camera up under the small gazebo and I stood out in the grass. I thought the interview was about to wrap up when I began to feel ants crawling on my feet so I thought if I was calm and stood still that I could get through the rest of the questions. I had just recently seen the You Tube clip of the reporter freaking out when a bug flew in his mouth and didn't want to do that frenzied, oh my gosh ants are crawling all over me dance. So I stood there as long as I could answering the questions, before I calmly said "Excuse me ants are biting me!" Well today my right foot looks ridiculous..who knew those little suckers could inflict so much damage? I couldn't help but wonder "is this what Dan Rather felt like as he stood outside with Hurricane Carla raging around him"?