Houston's parks flood. That's a good thing.

By Deborah January-Bevers and Lindsey Roche, for the Houston Chronicle

As an example, consider Project Brays, still under construction by Harris County Flood Control. It was actually born as a flood-control project, intended to reduce flooding risks in part by widening miles of Brays Bayou from the Houston Ship Channel to State Highway 6, so that floodwaters can flow more quickly into Galveston Bay.

But along the 31 miles of Brays Bayou, Project Brays also uses parks as a flood-control strategy. It has excavated stormwater detention basins that now collectively can hold up to 3.5 billion gallons of stormwater. Those detention basins double as five parks — the best known is Willow Waterhole — and a trail system. At two retention areas in Arthur Storey Park, wetland grasses significantly clean the water, providing yet another ecosystem service.

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