Katy Prairie Conservancy

Every great city has a great green space nearby. This was the philosophy of the group of people who founded the Katy Prairie Conservancy in 1992—a group composed of conservationists, farmers, ranchers, hunters and birdwatchers who wanted to make sure, no matter how much Houston grew, a portion of the natural prairie would always be protected.

"We're part of a coastal prairie system that originally spanned 9 million acres from the Gulf of Mexico and into Louisiana," KPC Executive Director Mary Anne Piacentini said. "About 15 percent of that prairie still exists and about one percent of it is left in pristine condition."

A little more than 19,000 acres of the prairie in western Harris County have been saved, 13,000 of which are owned by KPC. Another 6,200 acres are protected, but through conservation easements and public-private partnerships with entities such as the Harris County Flood Control District.

As a nonprofit, KPC looks for ways to protect the prairie ecosystem while also giving people opportunities to enjoy it through programs and tours. Birdwatching is popular on the prairie, where more than 300 species have been spotted, including hawks, eagles and owls. The challenge, conservation stewardship director Wesley Newman said, is coming up with ways to let people enjoy the prairie while making sure they are safe. As a private landowner, KPC is liable if someone gets hurt.

"Some people like to go on guided tours, but some people just want to go out on their own," he said. "We have all the things out here that make this place interesting but some of them, if you're not careful, can hurt you."

Newman said KPC still has a ways to go in terms of opening things up for the public to explore, but the staff is working to provide as much access as possible.

"We're working diligently and cautiously trying to figure out the logistics to provide relatively unfettered access so people can appreciate this without having to be supervised," he said.

In addition to providing educational and recreational opportunities to people, the prairie and wetlands also serve important environmental purposes, improving air and water quality and absorbing rainwater, which reduces flooding.

"The wetlands are called 'nature's kidneys' because they capture and break down pollutants from road sediments," Piacentini said. "The water that comes out is cleaner than the water that goes in."

Whether the KPC grows to 50,000 acres or only gets to 25,000, Piacentini said the goal will always be to serve as a green space giving animals a place to live and Houstonians a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Katy Prairie Conservancy

Katy 713-523-6135




Katy ISD rooted in excellence
Katy ISD begins improvement plans for Bear Creek Elementary, Raines High schools

The two schools require additional support to meet STAAR score and four-year graduation goals.

KISD Police Department
Katy ISD trustees OK $5.6M of athletic facilities improvements, new junior high principal

Several high school sports teams will soon see new turf, fencing and safety netting at their fields.

The projects target segments of South Mayde Creek west of Addicks Reservoir. (Courtesy Harris County Flood Control District)
Series of flood-control projects target South Mayde Creek in western Harris County

The projects could lower peak surface water elevation by more than one foot in certain areas during a 100-year rainfall event.

Eliz Markowitz and Gary Gates received the most votes in the race for state House District 28, and they will advance to a runoff election.
Texas House District 28 runoff special election date set for Jan. 28

Democrat Eliz Markowitz and Republican Gary Gates will be on the ballot.

At the annual State of the County address Nov. 15, County Judge Lina Hidalgo spoke on several initiatives launched in 2019, including criminal justice reform and emergency recovery, among other topics. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lina Hidalgo reflects on boundary-pushing first year in State of the County address

Early childhood development will be major focus of 2020, Hidalgo said.

Tropical Diner West
At Tropical Diner West in Katy, Jamaican couple shares food, culture across national borders

"The same meal we would put on the table for our family is what we present to our customers.”

From left: co-owers Deb Haring, Angie McClelland and Robin Ebrecht opened Yaya Club Clothing in November 2018. (Jen Para/Community Impact Newspaper)
Katy boutique Yaya Club Clothing sells women’s fashion, teaches style to all

“My parents always told me, ‘Look good, you feel good, there’s a chance you might act good.'"

Candidates are gearing up for the 2020 elections. (Courtesy Element5 Digital/Pexels)
2020 primaries: Here's who has filed for Katy-area county races

On March 3, citizens in the Katy area can head to polling centers to cast a vote in the primaries, which includes several races in local counties.

Willow Fork of Buffalo Bayou, which runs from the city of Katy to Cinco Ranch and inside Barker Reservoir., includes a main channel and diversion channel. Both channels are undergoing desilting projects. (Courtesy Wendy Duncan)
Willow Fork of Buffalo Bayou: Desilting of main channel finishes; Phase 2 of desilting diversion channel begins

Work is progressing on desilting the Willow Fork of Buffalo Bayou, which runs from the city of Katy to Cinco Ranch and inside Barker Reservoir.

DaddyO’s Pizza opened a new location in Katy. (Courtesy DaddyO's Pizza)
DaddyO’s Pizza opens in Katy area on Peek Road

The restaurant offers a menu of pizza, calzones, subs, wings, pastas and salad.

Petco opened in Katy. (Coutesy Petco)
Petco opens new store in Katy area

This location includes a pet hospital, cat adoptions, dog grooming services, self-serve dog wash station and pet trainings.

Back to top