A dual-use detention basin and park amenity developed through a community vision.
A multi-functional detention basin and park space was designed in collaboration with high school students into a highly utilized, environmentally resilient community park and trail system.
Gene Green was the first USGBC LEED Certified project in Harris County, implementing sustainable practices and using low-impact materials. Completed in 2008, the project has withstood extreme weather events and continues to be highly utilized by residents and visitors.
The project engaged high school students in the area to discuss desired amenities and designs. Students helped design a skate park and amphitheater and stayed involved through the design and construction processes.
In addition to creating numerous hang-out areas, the project improved two miles of trail that provided spaces for physical activity for people of all abilities. The trail doubles as a space for festivals and markets.
The first project to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification through the U.S. Green Building Council in Harris County, the 230-acre Gene Green Beltway 8 Regional Park is a collaborative effort that brought stakeholders together to create a sustainable, community-oriented park.
The Park’s design incorporates Low Impact Development Techniques in the parking lot with bioswales and meandering streams that dissipate stormwater through native vegetation prior to outfall to Carpenter’s Bayou. Additional LID features include wetland preservation and the use of reduced impervious paving. Over 90 percent of the construction waste generated was recycled and diverted from landfills, and the project used recycled content for columns, benches, ramps, rolling walls, and amphitheater seating
The community participated in determining park program elements through a series of public meetings with the design team, a steering committee and public agency staff. One of the key groups who participated in the design process was area high school students, who helped design an “Xtreme Park” featuring a skate park, BMX bike trail, and climbing apparatus. Other park amenities include an outdoor amphitheater, soccer fields, baseball fields, a playground area with splash pad, and hike and bike trails that tie into the Harris County Regional Trail System.
The park design was completed in 2008, before Hurricane Ike made landfall in Houston. Gene Green has survived repeated inundation and remains one of the most popular parks in the Precinct, demonstrating the impact of low impact development.