The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Northgate district right adjacent to the Texas A&M campus houses a street of bars and other restaurants.  
Programs look to combat drunk driving
Alexia Serrata, JOUR 203 contributor • May 10, 2024
The Aggies react after clinching the national championship after Texas A&M’s win against Georgia at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship Game in Greenwood Tennis Center in Stillwater, Oklahoma on Sunday, May 19, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Aggies ace it, Bulldogs face it
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 20, 2024

The No. 13 Texas A&M women's tennis team took on No. 7 Georgia and served up a score of 4-1 to clinch its newest title: NCAA Champions.  The...

Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Golf course turns to flood detention center

Photo courtesy of Exploration Green

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Disaster Assessment and Recovery Unit contributes to a flood detention center that used to be a golf course.

At the end of September, a flood detention site made from an old golf course completed its final phase with A&M’s help.

Exploration Green is a 200-acre mitigation and nature park in Clear Lake, Houston. The site was transformed from an unused golf course to a floodwater detention center to prevent the surrounding community from being flooded. 

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Disaster Assessment and Recovery Unit is a part of the Texas Community Watershed Partners, or TCWP, that controls the wetland — the backbone of holding the stormwater back. 

Exploration Green holds 500 million gallons of flood water. Wetland stores the excess water, Christina Taylor, a stormwater wetland specialist, said. 

“Regular turf grass will usually hold about three inches of water when the wetlands can hold up to eight inches, like eight to 12 inches of water in the soil,” Taylor said. “There is very little maintenance other than occasional pulling out invasives or trimming back the woody species and [mowing.]”

AgriLife Extension Disaster Assessment and Recovery Unit specialist Charriss York said the wetlands also create a healthy ecosystem that welcomes wildlife from Galveston Bay, such as geese and alligators.

“Wetlands are known as nature’s kidneys,” York said. “They have the ability to filter out a number of pollutants. Whether the plants uptake them directly, or it’s the microbes that live in the soil or the biofilms that grow on the roots in the soils within the wetland, there’s a whole lot of different biogeochemical processes that happen within the wetland that improve the water quality.”

Taylor said what makes this mitigation different from others is the area being accessible and the community using the space for leisure activities. There are different community events on their six miles of concrete trails, with their next one being a glow-in-the-dark trick-or-treat event on Oct. 28.

“They have over 200 visitors a day in the park space, so there are always people walking or riding their bikes,” Taylor said.

The Clear Lake City Water Authority owns Exploration Green, so all of the funding for this project was through local bonds, York said, which aided in the cost of around $43 million. She said the cost is more on the lower end compared to other projects like it.

“The other component that was cost-saving was the amount of volunteer work that went into this,” York said. “We are not going out and buying the plants. We are growing them and propagating them, then community volunteers, boy scouts [and] different companies that want to do a community outreach project … will come out and plant with us.”

Horticulture freshman Hallie Bates, who has a two-acre strawberry farm, said it is necessary for students to take care of the ecosystem, whether it’s watering plants or picking up trash. She said that if people do not protect the ecosystem in the environment around them, it can easily get destroyed.

“So much of what we have is taken for granted,” Bates said. “We have to be mindful of the ecosystem that serves us and how grateful we should be in attentive to that.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *