Board of Directors Regular Meeting Agenda


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Meeting Date: 01/15/2020  

SUBJECT MATTER:
Receive, consider and act upon a Trail Maintenance and Development Agreement with the Greater Houston Off-Road Biking Association (GHORBA) (C-2019-0618);
FISCAL IMPACT:
Per the terms of the proposed agreement, The Woodlands Township would fund $10,000 of the development of a bike trail to the east of The Recreation Center at Rob Fleming Park. The funding was allocated in the Township's Parks and Recreation Department 2020 Budget.
BACKGROUND:
The George Mitchell Nature Preserve is a 1,800 acre natural area dedicated on the 33rd Anniversary of the opening of The Woodlands, October 19, 2007, along with the dedication of the Village of Creekside Park.  Nestled within the Spring Creek Greenway and George Mitchell Nature Preserve is the Recreation Center at Rob Fleming Park. One of the goals when purchasing and activating the Recreation Center was for this facility to serve as a gateway to the Greenway and Preserve.  To date, activating this area has included: developing an archery range, opening Texas TreeVentures, providing outdoor based programming and hiring a part-time trail specialist.
 
The Greater Houston Off Road Biking Association (GHORBA) submitted a trail development proposal for a mountain bike course on Township and The Woodlands Development Company property adjacent to the Recreation Center.  The Woodlands Development Company has provided preliminary approval for this course on a small section of their land that adjoins the Recreation Center parcel and the trail easements. 
 
The overall concept is to build a mountain bike trail 3 to 4 feet wide, similar to the mountain bike trails at located near the Flintridge Trail head. The trail could be extended on special occasions (races) which may permit the annual Cyclocross race to be relocated from Terramont Park. The approximate length of the proposed Day Use loop is 1.8 miles and when using the race loop along with existing trail connections, the total bike trail system length would be 2.5 to 2.8 miles.   It should be noted that a portion of the trail would be approximately 50 feet from the rear of a residential fence line (Aventura Place).

A draft Trail Maintenance and Development Agreement with the Greater Houston Off-Road Biking Association has been prepared for consideration (Attachment A).
 
A second component of this proposal would be to formalize the relationship with GHORBA in terms of a maintenance agreement.  The purpose of the maintenance agreement is for GHORBA to coordinate routine maintenance of the proposed trail and the existing bike trails near the Flintridge Trail Head. This maintenance agreement provides expert community stewardship of the mountain bike trails while limiting the need for Township staff. A similar agreement was approved with Bayou Land Conversancy.
 
The bike trail concept was presented to and approved by the Board of Directors as a Budget Initiative in August 2019 as part of the 2020 Budget process. The Township would provide $10,000 for the development of a bike trail to the east of The Recreation Center at Rob Fleming and GHORBA would build the trail to specifications with Township approval. The purchase of trail building materials and supplies would be coordinated by The Township. If approved, it is anticipated the trails would be in service by early to mid-Summer 2020.
 
RECOMMENDATION:
Approve the Trail Maintenance and Development Agreement with the Greater Houston Off-Road Biking Association and authorize the President/General Manager to execute the agreement as approved to final form by the Township Attorney.
 
Attachments
Attachment A - GHORBA Trail Maintenance Agreement


    

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