This site is fabulous, I ride by the OGC daily, but seeing the beautiful pictures displayed on this site shows all of NATURE. I can't believe the Water Authority's plan is for a deep ditch that will destroy all the trees. I do believe CLEAR LAKE has enough ditches through all the neighborhoods. Mary
Spring on the OGC
Spring is sprung and so are the wildflowers! I walk the Old Golf Course almost daily and the seasonal changes of the flora and fauna are part of my enjoyment. I have watched the park go from winter drab, to the sprouting of the clover, to lush green everywhere. It’s been wonderful. I missed a few weeks of walking due to an injury but when I got back out last week I was rewarded with an absolute profusion of wildflowers! It was an unseasonably cool day and the course was completely covered with white clover blooms, small yellow flowers, large yellow flowers and pink buttercups. The section north of El Dorado was mostly yellow, the others were mostly white with clover. The grass was long and flowing in waves in the breeze.
We are still having a few cool evenings but change is eternal. The flowers are waning, the clover are browning and a few days ago when I went for my walk I found the section north of El Dorado was being mowed. It was disappointing at first but as someone who watches changes, it turned out to be a beautiful day. The sweet scent of freshly mowed grass replaced the profusion of color from last week and was equally enjoyable. All the usual suspects were out walking as it was a beautiful, cool evening and everybody is always so friendly out there. Kids were enjoying the mowed areas playing ball and the birds were following the mowers for the insects that were stirred up.
The other sections had not been cut yet and there were still acres of flowers still to walk through. The songbirds and woodpeckers serenaded me with a much better soundtrack than any iPod. The ducks and turtles lazed on the ponds, a heron was stalking his supper, turkey vultures rode the wind currents while several of their kin were busy cleaning a skunk carcass. I even spotted a fast flying small falcon, that was a real treat! On the return trip, the ligustrum hedgerow behind where the old club house sat was starting to bloom. Their scent was intoxicating. And after nearly 2 hours of retreat from the grind of daily life in a beautiful, natural environment, my pedometer told me that I had burned 600 calories. Now that’s a bonus!
We still have cool evenings, we still have beautiful wildflowers. When the wildflowers are gone other natural beauty will take their place. So get out and take a walk. Enjoy the scenery, enjoy the wildlife, enjoy the sounds of nature and enjoy the peace of mind that comes from a natural setting. As a bonus you’ll be getting the aerobic activity that your doctor keeps telling you that you need and it won’t even feel like exercise because you’ll enjoy it so much.
It’s your park, enjoy it!
What a wonderful way to describe our park. The "white clover blooms" they looked like snow. I noticed last week the birds are beginning to enjoy the trees while looking for the perfect place to build their nests.
I am enjoying the smell of the Carolina Jasmine coming from the yards as I walk through our park. YES, please do enjoy the park!
Thank you for the comments. My walks are the best 2 hours of my day and right now they're even better. I'll bet we've said hi to each other many times!
I just love how friendly the people are out there and hope we can get more people using the facility. I tell everyone I know and everyone I meet who walks that they should visit the OGC.
You're right, bird activity has picked up recently. There is a season, turn, turn, turn...
Out for a walk this morning and the OGC is still blooming in spite of having been mowed. Huge expanses of clover and even a few dense areas of yellow from the wild sunflowers. I saw a couple of songbirds that I've never seen locally before. I'm no birder but they sure were pretty.
What a nice way to start the day!
Could anyone please give me any evidence that the CLCWA plans to dig a giant ditch and fill it with "toilet water"?
The permit referenced in the letter on this website is from 2004 and pertains to the treatment facility on Middlebrook.
A search of permits requested by the CLCWA from the TCEQ in the past 12 months does not reveal any plan pertaining to the golf course, nor do the corresponding minutes from the last CLCWA meeting.
I own two homes near the golf course. If there is any proof such a plan exists, please let me know.
Pam, the source of the information in the letter was from the TCEQ in Austin. The reason you could not find it by using the Website is that it is an application for a permit, not an existing permit. When you search using the TCEQ website, it gives you existing permits, not applications. I don't know why their website doesn't work better. To get the information you want, contact the TCEQ in Austin by phone. Ask about Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit no. WQ0010539001. In order to see the document for yourself, you will be directed to their downtown Houston office where the application can be viewed and copied(I think). The CLCWA is being very quiet about their intentions. I hear the CLCWA staff is actually denying it.The document you want cannot be obtained from the CLCWA. Please request a TCEQ public hearing on the matter. It is the only way to get the truth and the facts.
The CLCWA showed their giant ditch plans at the February 2013 public Town Hall meeting. They water colored in some pretend trees and filled it with water deep enough for boats. Where will all that water come from? According to the TCEQ document Domestic Administrative Report 1.0 Attachment 2A Description of Discharge Route, the effluent(treated toilet water) will discharge to the west and east side of El Dorado Blvd at Torry Pines Road. Maps are included in the Administrative Report. It is very important that you request a public meeting from the TCEQ. It will be the only way you can be sure of getting the truth.
Pam, the Water Authority's request to the TCEQ to modify their outflow permit is dated April 29,2013. Because I live on the OGC, I received a copy of this request May 15,2013.(but not everyone did). Subsequently the TCEQ has directed the Water Authority to conduct a Town Hall review for them in the CLC area. It is being tenatively scheduled for late May 2014. You should attend & question both the Water Authority and the TCEQ about impact to your property and health if this permit is approved. The meeting time & place must be announced in a local paper. Additionally, you could question how a 14,000 feet long new pipeline & pumps for this modification will be funded (a new Bond????).
A petition is circulating to request the TCEQ to hold a public meeting about this permit request. Contact through this website to sign it.
In the area of the OGC, do the street storm sewers currently dump storm water into the existing streams of the OGC? Does CLCWA plan on somehow expanding the amount of storm water that flows into the OGC? Perhaps rerouting storm sewer lines from other areas. If they don't do that, how does CLCWA think the detentions ponds will ever receive enough water to be beneficial?
Yes Rob, the street storm sewers do dump storm water into the current OGC streams which are actually Harris Flood Control ditches. The CLCWA intends to pump 10 million gallons/day of "treated" sewage water(effluent) from the Savely Waste Water Treatment Plant to the north end of the OGC. The treated water the CLCWA intends to pump to the OGC comes from toilets in the area, not from rain. It is questionable if this toilet water could be called "beneficial".
I too live just a block from the golf course and was unaware the CLWA had plans to basically destroy it and return it to a swamp!!! I was also unaware that treated sewer water would be pumped into the so called detention/wetlands. What good is a detention pond if it it full of water already. I know there are places along the golf course that does flood and doing this will cause more flooding because where will the water go (detention pond is full of treated sewer water). How much is this going to cost me? I am afraid it will cost me my house in the end. Taxes are high enough on this area we don't need some fancy folks coming in here telling us to return our golf course/park into a swamp.
Teresa, you are correct. The CLCWA has requested a permit to dump treated waste water that will be piped from the Savely Sewage Treatment plant on Middlebrook to the old golf course entrance at El Dorado. It will be pumped in to the OGC on both sides of El Dorado. A letter from TCEQ is on this website informing residents of this application. We are gathering signatures on a petition to request a public hearing on this. TCEQ will be in control of and moderate the meeting.
The 'big ditch' will be a total of 17' below existing grade level. The width will start within 10' of some people's property line. We have "A BETTER PLAN" that is also on this website.
Please sign up via this website and we will contact you for your signature on this petition. Thank you!
I am interested in your plan. You have a lot of nice park ideas, but I can't tell if you have anything that addresses flood control. Did I miss something?
Teresa, please go to the Contact form on our website so we can keep you informed. Or, send an email to email@example.com so I can put you on our mailing list. Very important election coming up and you need to be informed to save this area.
The detention ponds will not be anywhere near capacity. The point of the treated water is to create a flowing stream to prevent it from becoming even more of a swamp than the current stagnant ponds already are. During the many years this land was an active golf course the same treated water the CLCWA plans to use to create the flowing stream was used to water the grass every day. The land has already been paid for by a bond we voted on a few years ago. The long term development is in the control of the Exploration Green non-profit which has no link to your taxes or water rates. The CLCWA has kept our water rates half the price of our neighbors on the Houston water supply. With this clear history of saving us money, I'm confident they will continue to keep our water prices low. Instead the value of your home will increase due to the development of a new park near your house.
You said, “The detention ponds will not be anywhere near capacity.” Pull up a map of the old golf course. Note that at each end of the golf course is a narrow Harris County ditch. These ditches cannot be expanded due to adjacent houses. Look at the Google map. These narrow channels are incapable to handling 1-2 million gallons of effluent a day as is the Water Authority proposal. Therefore using common sense, the detention ponds/channels inside the old golf course will reach capacity quickly. If the flow through these narrow exit channels is increased as a result, the banks of the HCFCD ditches will be compromised and fall in. This statement is simple science and well documented in hydrology and soil management science, Joe. This also commonly known as a “bottle neck”.
You said “prevent it from becoming even more of a swamp than the current stagnant ponds already are”. Please look at the Water Authority Master Plan. They plan an average of 20 feet of swamp on each side of the channel. Their plan will make MORE swamp, not less. Someone has been feeding you a line of garbage. Look at the plan.
You said “The CLCWA has kept our water rates half the price of our neighbors on the Houston water supply.” And they have done that by giving us the highest water tax rate in the area. Think about it Joe, they never mention your tax rate. Typical con game.
It reminds me of those poor people at the corner of Torry Pines and Reseda who always get flooded out. Everyone knows that the reason they get flooded is that their sewer drain is directed upstream, not downstream, so the water cannot get out against the water coming downstream after a rain. Now if it is common knowledge, why didn’t the Water Authority fix it decades ago? Were those poor people used by the Water Authority to justify this crazy scheme? It seems so to me. It is like the flooding on Bay Area Blvd. After shrugging their shoulders for years about it, they discovered a hubcap in the pipe effectively blocking it. Put a critical eye to the Water Authority and you will see that you have been duped.
It is interesting that the Water Authority says the effluent water is so clean at the TCEQ meeting, yet they need 39 acres of wetlands to clean it. Why would they need wetlands if the water is so clean? Oops, maybe they forgot to mention that besides dumping several million gallons of effluent water, they will also allow urban street run off to pool behind the homes on the golf course. Even back in the 60's when the Clear Lake was built, the planners knew that the water coming off the streets was toxic. That is why they wanted the water to be washed away from Clear Lake City as soon as possible. This urban run off from the streets is known to contain cancer causing chemicals. Just Google the EPA, urban run off. So the Water Authority wants it to collect as sludge behind the homes on the golf course. Oh, they say, the bacteria will break it down. In how many lifetimes? Meanwhile, the community is constantly exposed to carcinogens. Can we say "Love Canal"?
My wife and I grew up in this general area. I recall as a teen and even into my 20's that Clear Lake City was the place to be. It was considered one of the best high-end, near town areas in the Greater Houston area. We recently moved back into the area and first place we looked for a home was Clear Lake City. Of course we noticed the "urbanization" of the area at first, but there is a greatly appreciative community here. It has proven, in these two years, to be a wonderful place to raise our 4 children.
However, this plan by the Water Authority...what are they thinking.
First off I have very many fond memories of golfing on the Clear Lake golf course with my dad and friends as a kid.I was in shock that it was no longer in operation.
Secondly, a "wetlands" area running right through the middle of a family oriented community? Call it "wetlands" if you want, but it's a swamp. And even more directly, it's a sewage dump? Reading the minutes from that meeting it would appear that the Water Authority says that there may be times when they need to use chlorine. Guess what happens to fish and other waterborne species when they are exposed to chlorine...yep...you guessed it; they die. Or even worse, mutate. Go ahead...google it.
I for one have to say that we will be moving out of Clear Lake if this plan goes through. This thing is going to be a disaster of epic proportions. Property values are going to plummet. A simple drive around the neighborhoods now makes it evident that homes are already going up for sale along the proposed ditch.
Thanks for your blog comment, Anthony. I am the webmaster for the website. Would you like to be added to our mailing list? You can officially do so by going to the "Contact Us" page on the website. Or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add you to our growing membership. No obligation! Your identity will be kept private.
The CLCWA originally wanted to get the "plan" wrapped up in 5 years. When the Friends objected and would not go away, the CLCWA decided it would take 15 years and they decided to start in the section where they had the most support. They intend to do a "demo" pond. They have already tossed 300k at it and then another 100k at Exploration Green. With normal over runs, half a million in a snap. The "pond" will sacrifice about 300 large native trees, native oaks and such. Yes, I agree the project is crazy. Some of their ideas, such as spraying grass on the clay slopes instead of putting down sod will be tested. The Friends continually point out in public media that this is a disaster. This website has copies of various news articles in the section called "In the news". As long as we keep the CLCWA in the spotlight, I believe that this project will eventually be shelved and the idiots in charged tossed out.
And that was something else I was wondering about. How does the Board stay in office? This would have to be supported by the Board in order for the expenditures to be approved. Looking at the website, these members are supposed to own property and reside within the Authorities area. Do they really want to see their property values plummet? Sorry folks, but I fail to see the logic. i just can't wrap my head around the idea of dumping UV treated sewage into a "pond" and they be ok with it.
Hi! I've been following your blog for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Austin Tx!
I invite you to join us so I can send you the last two mailouts. Please let me have your name and address and possibly your phone number and whether you want to help. This information will be kept private. You can use the CONTACT button on the home page or send an email to
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To view anything you MUST click on OPEN DISCUSSION or Comments. Write something about your experiences on the old golf course. You can just use your first name or an alias if you like.