The Woodlands Township board of directors is moving forward on surveying 208 acres of land for the future South Gosling Park after approving Halff Associates to begin work at the board's Sept. 27 meeting.

How we got here

The township acquired roughly 200 acres of land from real estate development company Howard Hughes in conjunction with the takeover of The Woodlands Waterway. Township Chief Operating Officer Chris Nunes said the township is obligated to take some kind of action on the property within 18 months; otherwise, ownership will revert back to Howard Hughes.

The details

The proposed South Gosling Park could become the largest park in the township’s system and have opportunities for a variety of amenities. However, Nunes told the board surveying the land is necessary to understand what kind of amenities would be best for the area.

Halff Engineering will begin Phase 1 of surveying and engineering, which includes:
  • Preliminary engineering design
  • Wetland analysis
  • Flood plain analysis
  • Topographical mapping
  • Conceptual design
Board members also agreed to a programming analysis because the park will be within Harris County. An analysis is required to ensure proper consideration of downstream impacts, according to information at the meeting. The study will take roughly six months to complete, and the results of the environmental study may limit what the township can do with the land.

What else?

With portions of Gosling Road within the Harris County flood plain and floodway, the township will need to meet a number of related standards to move forward. There is no designated funding for the project outside of the engineering services, which Nunes quoted at $308,000. A study completed in 2022 indicated a potential $36 million cost to develop South Gosling Park, and officials identified that area as a priority moving forward.

Quote of note

“We need to know what is there and what can be used; we don’t know exactly right now what on the north side can be used,” Nunes said. “This is the blank slate for the board and the community to figure out what it needs and what the community is missing right now in terms of recreational amenities.”