When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas in 2017, news reports detailed the storm’s devastating impacts. The damage inspired Americans’ generosity and a tremendous amount of funding and resources were donated for recovery, and while still underway in some areas, recovery efforts have made great strides. Harvey; however, impacted more than the city of Houston and surrounding communities.
Only 50 miles north of America’s fourth-largest city is the 163,000-acre Sam Houston National Forest. This sprawling woodland hosts campgrounds, wildlife and recreation opportunities that receive heavy use, including the 128-mile Lone Star Trail, a National Recreation Trail.
With its strong winds and torrential rains, Harvey damaged many areas of the Sam Houston. Together with REI, local trail groups, and youth corps, the NFF is working to reopen trails across the Forest. This intense work requires removing downed trees, repairing bridges and stream crossings and surveying other damage.
In addition to the trail work, the crews will also clean and repair developed recreation sites, minimize impacts to watersheds from trail erosion and address public safety concerns. With most of Texas being privately owned, the Sam Houston National Forest, one of only four National Forests in the state, offers critically important opportunities for public recreation.
We are proud to be working with REI and the surrounding communities to heal the damage wrought by Harvey.
Accomplishments (as of 2018, work is continuing in 2019):
- Worked with four different partners
- Rebuilt or maintained 1 mile of trail
- Maintained 20 campsites
- Worked with nine volunteers and nine youth who so far have contributed an incredible 1,816 hours to the project
This project is about half completed. The crews we lined up to work on the project were pulled off to address immediate damage following 2018's Hurricane Florence. Work is continuing through 2019 when we will complete this project.