Braeburn Valley West Civic Association Board requested that the 40-year-old paved trail leading to Keegan Bayou be repaired. City Councilman Mike Laster allotted $50,000 from the City Council District J Service Funds to be applied toward trail improvements. CM Laster, collaborated with Harris County Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis, to fund the new trail. The Brays Oaks Trail North was financed and completed in January 2021 by District J’s Capital Improvement Fund ($50,000) and Harris County Precinct 1 ($200,000+). It was built under the supervision of Precinct One of the Harris County Commissioners Court. In November 2020 construction began to connect Keegans Bayou Trail from the bridge to the Braeburn Valley West neighborhood at Willow Meadow Drive. Neighborhood to Trails first wrote plans for the trail in 2015. In 2017 Friends of Keegans produced a brief promotional video at the Bridge in 2017. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Neighborhoods+to+Trails+SW
The 10’ wide concrete Trail runs for 1500 feet from the Bridge at Keegans Bayou Trail to Willow Meadow Drive. The Brays Oaks Trail entrance is at the marked street crossing on Willow Meadow Drive between 9000 Raydell Drive and 9100 Silkwood Drive in the Braeburn Valley West subdivision.
● Gustine Lane Apartments, 8800 Gustine
● Crescent Place, 10222 South Gessner
● Sapling Street apartments and others
Maintenance of Brays Oaks Trail
The City of Houston and Brays Oaks Management District established a Maintenance Agreement for “Brays Oaks Trail” (aka Keegan Bayou Tributary (D 118-02-00)) dated August 17, 2021. The motion was made by Director Sherri Cortez and seconded by Director Cindy Chapman; the Board voted unanimously to approve.
The agreement reads:
The Maintenance shall always include, but not be limited to mowing the ground within 5 feet of the either side of the Trail, edging, and removal of trash on the ground, including collection of trash from trash and recycling bins (BOMD Board Book, August 17, 2021, page 136-147). This portion of the maintenance will be done monthly by BOMD. Occasionally, graffiti or other issues may be spotted on the trail. These issues related to graffiti and maintenance should be referred to BOMD.
Beautification along Brays Oaks Trail
Friends of Keegans Bayou Trails and Parks advocated for wildflowers to be sown along the Brays Oaks Trail. Jeff Jowell, Turf Management Coordinator of the Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) agreed to plant wildflower seeds in November 2021 on the banks of the Trail. According to communication with Jeff Jowell on October 7, 2021:
The planting will involve the use of a tractor and an implement called a Drill Seeder. Sometime after we have completed the last mowing of the season, our contractor will mobilize to the site and complete the planting of the wildflowers. After that, we hope for a good fall and winter season, with adequate rainfall, and cold, but not extreme cold weather, and hope for some nice blooms beginning in late February through around May. The 1st year seedings sometimes are not very prolific but year after year, the blooming wildflowers produce more and more seed, and the blooms increase. Since we want to maximize the amount of seeds produced, we will skip the 1st mowing cycle of the year that occurs in the May-June time frame, so that the seeds produced have enough time to properly develop and get dispersed for the following fall and winter season.
HCFCD will mow three times a year leaving a season of no mow for the wildflowers. Friends of Keegans will coordinate with HCFCD to protect the Wildflower Program. The HCFCD mowing is limited to the bayou tributary bank.
HCFCD Mowing Schedule is online:
3. Brays Oaks Trail South D118-02-00 (3033)
Advocacy has been in progress since 2015. Continuing south from Willow Meadow Drive to West Bellfort is a 3466- foot grassy footpath on the east side of the Tributary in the Westbrae Park Subdivision. This is not the property of CenterPoint Energy, but HCFCD. Twelve properties including single family homes, apartments, a church, and a school are along this Tributary. Information about property ownership is available at Harris County Appraisal District, the Block Book Maps online at -http://ww.hctax.net/Property/Resources.
The trail will be an improved community asset as active transportation to retail, local schools, cultural centers, and METRO bus routes. The proposed trail will provide a safe route rather than using streets that lack sidewalks such as Offer Drive and reduced bus service on Westbrae Parkway. Children and their guardians walked on Offer Drive to Westbrae Parkway to access the METRO bus for school until the Westbrae Parkway route was cancelled in 2015. Destinations from Brays Oaks Trail South