Chambers County Greenprint for Growth and Conservation

TPL spearheaded this greenprint project, which aimed to inspire practical land conservation in the region. During the stakeholder phase of this greenprint, Hurricane Ike struck the coast of Texas and caused storm flooding and damage throughout the county. The hurricane recovery process (led by FEMA) was therefore incorporated into the final report. Each conservation goal is accompanied by a detailed description of required actions, and the party responsible for each action, especially in the case of flood mitigation. Ultimately, almost 70% of the lands identified as a community priority is unprotected and undeveloped, which holds huge opportunities for future conservation.
Year Published2008
StateTexas
Landscape ContextInland
Housing DensitySuburban, Rural
Funding TypePublic
Habitat FocusPlanted/Cultivated, Wetlands
Organizations InvolvedThe Trust for Public Land
ValuesWater Supply, Water Quality, Floodplains/Flood Prevention, Open Space/Habitat, Recreation, Rural Character
Stakeholder InvolvementStakeholders were informed and involved; the team held public stakeholder meetings as well as a Strategy Exchange week, helping keep stakeholders involved during the entire process.
Planning ProcessThe project was led by a Coordinating Committee, advised by a Technical Advisory Committee, and implemented by a Strategy Exchange Team. TPL began by compiling data describing the county's natural resources, and subsequently assigning weights to those data and criteria through stakeholder interviews and public meetings. Community members then refined the goals and their relevant weights, and TPL mapped the resulting model using GIS tools. The Strategy Exchange Team hosted a week-long effort to coordinate with local experts and stakeholders focused on solving four implementation issues for the Greenprint's goals. Ultimately, these teams selected 39 recommendations along with planned actions, 10 of which were selected as the highest community priorities.
Desired OutcomesBased on stakeholder input, the conservation goals included preserving and restoring habitat, protecting water quality and natural drainage, maintaining the rural character of the county, and enhancing recreation for its residents. In addition to the community's listed goals, TPL hoped their report would focus growth away from key resources, encourage green infrastructure projects such as natural floodplains, and preserve the open space that attracts many people to the region.
What It AccomplishedThis Greenprint came at the perfect time to be incorporated into a larger Hurricane Ike recovery plan funded by the federal government. Because the community was prepared with a list of priorities and the lands that maximized those goals, Chambers County was able to help FEMA direct funds towards the natural resources that were most important.