Brays Oaks Trail Advocacy

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.

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.

  1. Residents in Braeburn Valley West (1096 single family homes) have access to the Trails from within their neighborhood subdivision at Willow Meadow Drive.
  2. Residents of Glenshire and other surrounding neighborhoods have access to the trail by way of Willow Meadow Drive.
  3. Residents in apartments to the east of the Trail have access including:

● 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: 12b3d

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 -

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

  • YES Prep Brays Oaks Secondary School, 9000 W Bellfort St. and 12000 Westbrae Parkway. Enrollment for grades 6 through 12 is 1000 students in 2021-2022.
  • Welch Middle School opened in 1979 at 11544 South Gessner Road. Welch has always been a Magnet school for grades 6 through 8 for fine arts, lifetime sports, gymnastics, and dance students. Our Magnet Academy of Sports Medicine and Fine Arts program has hosted some of Houston’s top students and we have some of the world’s most famous alumni: Beyonce Knowles – Singer, Actress, and Producer.

  • Houston Community College, Brays Oaks Campus (2016), 8855 West Bellfort. Potential for 2600 workforce training students. The Trail will provide pedestrian access, reduce traffic and parking spaces, limited from the opening day.

  • HISD Future Farmers of America Agriculture Facility at 11611 Riceville School Road. In the school year 2019 Lamar FFA celebrated 60 years at the Ag Facility. Bikes would decrease overflow street parking for events and provide bike access for students. Lamar High School and Bellaire High School each have about half of the property. and
  • India House opened in 2008 at 8888 W. Bellfort St. at 12000 Westbrae Parkway. Offers classes, after-school programs, summer camps for children and youth, and charity medical services Sareen Harris Health Medical Clinic. 6. Philippine Community Center opened in 2018 at 9101 W Bellfort Ave at Riceville School Rd.
  • Residents at Crystal Falls Apartments (167 units) at 10950 Westbrae Parkway backs up to the existing grass foot trail. A trail will provide recreation and access to schools and shopping.
  • METRO Route 8 commutes east on West Bellfort to the Texas Medical Center and west to the West Bellfort Park and Ride at 11415 Roark Road near 59.

  • An additional bus stop on West Bellfort at the terminus of Brays Oaks Trail South could accommodate up to 1000 students who require carpool drop-off and pick up at YES Prep. Route 008 West Bellfort between 9066 – 9098 West Bellfort. The photo is at the terminus of the Brays Oaks Trail South at West Bellfort and the School to the right. Wilfredo Santamaria, Public Affairs Staff for METRO will present this request to other METRO staff.
  • Safety Improvements
  • Addition of street crossing markings and HAWK pedestrian traffic light from the terminus of the trail on West Bellfort (9066 West Bellfort). A three minute video .
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