Country Club Golf Course On The Edge: Buffalo Bayou Creeping Closer

Bulldozers are at work along Buffalo Bayou where heavy rains this past May washed away soil. But not just any soil.

Earthmovers at River Oaks Country Club


Rip Rap along Buffalo Bayou
Rip Rap along Buffalo Bayou

Where Buffalo Bayou runs alongside Houston’s Memorial Park, you can imagine you’re nowhere near a big city, because you’re surrounded by flora and fauna. But this weekend, on the other side of the bayou the quiet was broken by power shovels and bulldozers.

They were working on the grounds of the River Oaks Country Club whose golf course occupies the bluffs above the bayou.

Floating on the water below was canoeist Tom Helm.

“I’m sure they’re concerned this bank is going to collapse and eventually they’ll lose part of the fairway,” Helm said.

It appeared that the club’s construction crews had poured tons of small boulders called rip rap along the bank.

Susan Chadwick with the group, Save Buffalo Bayou cringed at the sight of the rip rap. She said she would favor a more natural remedy to fight erosion.

This very stretch of the bayou is targeted for a $6 million dollar proposed flood control project to “restore” and stabilize its banks.

“This was not what they were going to do in the project and in fact the project was supposed to show people a better way, a more natural way,” said Chadwick.

We couldn’t reach anyone at the country club, but Kathy Lord with the Bayou Preservation Association said the work is only a temporary fix to hold the banks eroded by the recent flooding. The big project, called the Memorial Park Demonstration Project, is still on hold, awaiting approval by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.


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Dave Fehling

Dave Fehling

Director of News and Public Affairs

As Director of News and Public Affairs, Dave Fehling manages the radio news operation at Houston's NPR station. Previously, he was a reporter at the station, covering the oil & gas industry and its impact on the environment. He won top state honors for in-depth and investigative reporting as well...

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