Sugar Land reopens parks after historic Brazos River flooding

Sugar Land Memorial Park and Pawm Springs Dog Park reopened recently after temporary closures caused by historic river flooding.

More than 18 inches of rainfall north of Sugar Land last month caused the Brazos River to crest at 54.8 feet, an historic level not seen since 1922. This caused significant flooding at both Sugar Land Memorial Park and the Pawm Springs Dog Park.

The Justin P. Brindley Mountain Bike Trail and the canoe launch at the U.S. Highway 59 turn-around remains closed.

A master plan was completed in 1997 that identified nine river miles and 3,600 acres of floodway property within Sugar Land’s corporate limits as future parkland.

The city has acquired approximately 1,200 acres of land along the banks of the river. The 420-acre Memorial Park was dedicated in 2007 and is part of this acreage. Park amenities were designed and constructed to withstand flood waters with minimal damage, allowing the city to quickly restore parks facilities after flood water recede.

Designating floodway property as parkland ensures residential and commercial development will not occur and provides an important natural barrier for floodwaters.

Parkland holds water during periods of river flooding to help protect nearby homeowners. Combined with the city’s levee system, parkland is often an important defense from dangerous floodwaters.

“Memorial Park held a large amount of water during the river flooding we experienced over the Memorial Day holidays,” said Director of Parks and Recreation Joe Chesser. “Our park functioned as designed and required minimal repairs.”

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