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Our Story

Improving the Quality of Life for Residents and Business in the Greens Bayou Watershed

Greens Bayou meanders approximately forty-five miles throughout Harris County.  The watershed covers about 212-square miles and includes four primary streams:  Greens Bayou, Halls Bayou, Garners Bayou, and Reinhardt Bayou.  There are about 308-miles of open streams, including primary streams and tributary channels.  The estimated population within the Greens Bayou watershed is over 800,00 residents as of the 2020 Census.

Greens Bayou Coalition grew out of a joint task force organized in 2002 under the North Houston Association and North Houston District to address flooding in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Allison.  The Greens Bayou Task Force worked with Harris County Flood Control and other area stakeholders to develop the Greens Bayou Mid-Reach Plan, a series of basins and about 11-miles of channel improvements planned to reduce flooding in north Houston. A member of the original task force, Joe Wozny, proposed that the group form a non-profit and expand its focus to development within the entirety of the Greens Bayou watershed.


The Coalition was recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization in December 2007 to address improvements that will affect the quality of life for the residents living along the bayou through advocacy for flood resilience and mitigation, development of parks and trails, preservation of green space, enhancing water quality, and economic development. With strong commitment from a base of volunteers, the groundwork was prepared for identifying priorities throughout the watershed. 


In March 2009, the first executive director was hired to develop a plan for implementation of volunteers’ plans.  The Coalition received grants from the National Parks Service and the Houston Endowment to undertake a master planning process to identify needed projects in the watershed.  Approximately 200 projects were identified through this process, and through the years, Greens Bayou Coalition continues to advocate for these projects.

In 2015 Greens Bayou Coalition secured $55 million in funding for the Federal Flood Damage Reduction Project on Greens Bayou. Due in large part to the efforts of the Coalition, a total of $120 in flood mitigation projects along the mid-reach of Greens Bayou were undertaken.  


Volunteer projects on the bayou have been underway since Fall of 2010.  Events are held regularly to plant trees, clean the bayou, and remove invasive species plants.  GBC has built strong partnerships with corporations such as Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages, SWCA and NRG. whose employees participate in these events, 

In 2014 GBC began its first community program, Kayaking for Kids.  The program takes inner city youth on certified instructor led kayaking trips on Greens Bayou.  The program begins with a nature walk at Thomas Bell Foster Park, and ends with a kayaking adventure along the bayou, which includes a cleanup event.  With exposure to nature, it is hoped that a few of these kids will be inspired to become environmental stewards themselves.

The Coalition has received recognition.  North Houston Association selected The Coalition as its 2010 Environmental Award recipient.-GAC’s Parks and Natural Areas Committee recognized The Coalition with the planning award for its work in designing Ida Gaye Gardens, a park for senior citizens.  The park also received the Mayor’s Proud Partner Award in 2011.  In 2014 Thomas Bell Foster Park in our South Reach received Keep Houston Beautiful’s Mayor’s Proud Partner Award.

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