A Plan For All Seasons
Bridgeland does not take the label “master planned community” lightly. In fact, developers created a road map for the evolution of Bridgeland very early in the community’s history. This blueprint is a multi-layered approach for the placement of residential neighborhoods, a hierarchy of parks and amenities, as well as public and private schools. Additionally, a detailed preservation plan outlines the community’s environmentally conscious approaches to irrigation, energy and wildlife.
Master Environmental Plan
Bridgeland is located within and along the eastern boundaries of the Katy Prairie, an environmental gem that has long provided refuge and foraging areas for resident and migratory birds, as well as various mammals, reptiles and amphibians.
However, settlers to the area heavily managed the land, converting it for agricultural purposes, including cattle grazing and rice farming. The area eventually became agriculturally barren, no longer fit for growing crops or supporting livestock. In planning the community of Bridgeland, developers wanted to embrace the area’s historic and environmental significance.
The result is a multi-faceted and meaningful use plan that gives careful consideration to the environment and details measures to enhance the surrounding landscape.
This strategy not only builds on the legacy of the Katy Prairie, but also supports widespread environmental initiatives, including the 54-mile Cypress Creek watershed, development of regional recreation spaces and the area-wide transition from groundwater to surface water uses.
The conceptual conservation plan focuses on the preservation of the Cypress Creek Corridor and the conversion of two areas into new nature corridors — Central Creek and Langham Creek.
Together, these three areas will not only provide passive and active recreational space for residents, but also will serve as part of the community’s infrastructure, with innovative methods for stormwater storage and use, replacing typical trapezoidal ditches with meandering, naturalistic creeks.
These areas also provide educational opportunities for residents, with a comprehensive signage system detailing indigenous plants and animals, flowers to attract butterflies and “smart” landscape components, such as native plantings to minimize the need for frequent fertilization, irrigation and maintenance. The native grasses and flowering, non-grass plants used in Bridgeland’s landscape also reflect the area’s ecological history.
Other environmentally friendly components could include wildlife-friendly structures designed to support the area’s vast bird, bat and butterfly populations, and lighting standards that minimize the negative effects on wildlife, such as using lighting shields in some areas to direct light toward the ground.
Such sensitive planning is resulting in a community that bridges nature with development, ensuring a compatible space for people and wildlife.