McGovern Lake


In 1999, the historic Hermann Park pedal boat lake was enlarged to almost twice its original size, with an extensive portion of the lake dedicated to wildlife habitat – islands, wetland plantings and native meadow. Paths, boardwalks, and a fishing pier provide pedestrian access around the lake. The park’s miniature train route was also integrated into the lake plan. White Oak Studio collaborated with SLA Studio Land on this project.


Mary Gibbs & Jesse Jones Greenway


White Oak Studio transformed a derelict, overgrown parking lot island into a wooded, meandering wetland stream in Houston’s Hermann Park. Working with the client, Hermann Park Conservancy, we incorporated special storm drainage features within the adjacent Lake Plaza to celebrate the urban water cycle. Runoff is collected in decorative runnels and directed to the Greenway to be filtered by native wetland plants on its way toward Braes Bayou. The stream is used as a tool to educate the public about the stormwater cycle through a display of interpretive signage at key overlooks. The Greenway serves as a stormwater detention basin as well.


Keith-Wiess Regional Detention Basin


Keith-Wiess Regional Detention Basin set a new standard for joint-use, outdoor recreation-stormwater detention facilities in Southeast Texas. This 112-acre detention basin includes a riparian system of ponds, wetlands, and streams that filters urban runoff while providing wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities. Acres of new wetland planting, native woodland and grassland plantings have initiated the process of naturalization and integration into the surrounding wooded 400 acre City of Houston park. White Oak Studio provided leadership in the groundbreaking collaboration that involved numerous public agencies and an interdisciplinary group of professionals for most of this decade. PBS&J was the project civil engineer and Harris County Flood Control District was the client.


Bretshire Basin


White Oak Studio was landscape architect for the Harris County Flood Control District development of the Bretshire Basin. Located at Hall’s Bayou and Jensen Road in northeast Houston, the Basin is part of the District’s flood control plans for the Hall’s Bayou watershed. We worked on a team led by McDonough Engineering and were responsible for the design of in-basin water quality features and for recreation amenities along the edge of the basin. While the recreation amenities were constructed, funded by a Tx Parks & Wildlife grant, implementation of the basin was put on hold pending resolution of a broader watershed effort.