Bayland Park Marina
Drivers cruising across the new Fred Hartman Bridge may notice, just to the south of Highway 146, a small armada of colorful boats congregating at a sparkling new marina. Behind the moored vessels, the sharp-eyed driver might catch a glimpse of a crowded boardwalk, where sightseers stroll between Tiki Bay Bar and Grill, ship store and harbor master facility. The Bayland Park Marina project, developed on an eight-acre island near the mouth of Goose Creek, is one of the first sights of Baytown after crossing the bridge from La Porte and becomes one of the new front doors of Baytown.
Fred Hartman BridgeCompleted in September 1995, this magnificent structure’s double-diamond towers soar to the height of a 45-story building. The main span of the bridge is an impressive 2,475 feet (the length of eight football fields). The cable-stayed bridge spans the Houston Ship Channel with a capacity of 200,000 vehicles per day.
Historic Goose CreekTake a stroll down the avenue for a day of antique shopping or just browsing in the historic part of old Goose Creek, Texas (Texas Avenue and Defee between Pruett and Commerce).
|Eagle Pointe Golf Course ||(281) 385-6666|
Located at 12440 Eagle Pointe Drive in Mt. Belvieu, the Eagle Pointe Golf Club & Recreation Complex opened its doors for business in 2001. The complex provides not only the ideal setting for family health and recreational needs, but also a conveniently located conference center for area businesses and civic groups. The facility has already received widespread praise for its number-7-ranked golf course, which combines dramatic elevation changes and cascading waterfalls to provide a truly unique golfing experience. A wave pool, open during summer months, provides another facet of this versatile complex and continues to offer a wonderful venue for corporate and group outings, as well as for families in search of a different kind of water entertainment. The recreation complex offers a wide variety of amenities including a state-of-the-art fitness center, aerobics and personal training, two indoor basketball courts, racquetball, indoor lap pool, restaurant and four outdoor tennis courts. Family, individual and corporate memberships are available.
|Goose Creek Country Club || |
|& Golf Course|| (281) 424-5534|
Located at 5000 Country Club Drive in Baytown, Goose Creek Country Club is a member-owned private club that offers a unique value of activities and facilities. Year-round activities offer the opportunity for social and entertainment outings.
The club hosts non-members for business meetings, luncheons, banquets, wedding and social receptions.
A challenging golf course, lighted tennis courts, and an Olympic-size swimming pool provide family and individual activities. A Class A PGA professional and an accomplished tennis pro help members improve their playing skills. No need for tee times – show up, choose teams and play! Special valued memberships are available for youth, individuals and families.
|Evergreen Point Golf Course |
Located in Baytown at 1530 Evergreen Road, this 18-hole golf club is located in an area steeped in Texas history and just minutes from the San Jacinto Battlefield where Sam Houston and his army defeated the Mexican Army to gain independence for Texas.
In 1848, Dr. Ashbel Smith, Surgeon General of the Texas Army and friend of Sam Houston, became the owner of the thousand-acre Evergreen plantation, becoming the largest land owner in the vicinity. In the mid 1990s, the Hazelwood family obtained 205 acres of the land from the Ashbel Smith Foundation to build the golf course at Evergreen Point.
Don’t let the beauty of the magnolias, creeks, and stone bridges catch you off guard; Evergreen Point is a demanding course that requires concentration on every shot. With water coming into play on 15 of the 18 holes, and more than 40 bunkers, accuracy is a must.
Eddie V. Gray Wetlands Center
Written by the Eddie V. Gray Wetlands Center
The Eddie V. Gray Wetlands Education and Recreation Center officially opened on January 26, 1998. The property, on the banks of Goose Creek, encompasses six acres. The 14,000-square-foot building includes staff offices, meeting rooms, a science lab, computer lab and a 9,000-square-foot exhibit area.
The Wetlands Center has several ongoing educational programs. In cooperation with Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District, the center offers two day-long educational field trips to every fifth-grader in the school system. The first is the award-winning program, “Making Science Make Sense,” sponsored by Bayer Corporation and taught by Bayer scientists. The second is the ExxonMobil-sponsored program, “Wetlands Ecology.” In addition to the environmental curriculum studied at the Wetlands Center, students travel to the nearby Baytown Nature Center for bird-watching and seining activities. More than 1,400 students visited the center in 2001 to take advantage of these two programs.
In the summer of 2000, the center introduced the ChevronPhillips Summer Science Program, an eight-week program designed for students in grades six through ten. Each week-long session provides students with hands-on experience (both indoors and outdoors) in identifying a variety of wetlands species, including birds, fish and plants. Two separate sessions are offered, “Wading Into Wetlands” and “Gone Fishing.”
Other partners also use the Wetlands Center for classes. Texas Parks & Wildlife Department holds its Boaters Safety, Hunter Safety and Angler Education classes at the facility, and Lee College uses its meeting rooms for a variety of nature-oriented continuing education classes.
The Wetlands Center is growing rapidly with several recent improvements. The front of the building hosts a native-plant butterfly garden, completed in 2001. The exhibit area has a new “Butterfly Encounter,” housing live butterflies and an observational beehive.
Baytown Nature Center
The area now known as the Baytown Nature Center was formerly the Brownwood subdivision. A peninsula surrounded by Burnett, Crystal and Scott bays, the subdivision had frequent trouble with flooding. High tides, subsidence and hurricanes all contributed to these problems. Brownwood was condemned for habitation following Hurricane Alicia, which destroyed much of the subdivision in August 1983. Shortly thereafter, the City of Baytown began the process of buying out the Brownwood properties, and in 1991, after most of the property had been purchased, funding was approved for creating a nature center. In November 1997, the Baytown City Council approved the master plan for the Baytown Nature Center, which was formally opened in 2002. The Baytown Nature Center consists of approximately 400 acres of hardwood uplands, high-quality tidal marsh, and freshwater wetlands. This unique site is listed on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. It provides habitat for 317 species of resident and neo-tropical migrant birds. The American Bird Conservancy designated the BNC as a nationally important bird area.
One of the first major restoration projects to take place at the Baytown Nature Center was the French Limited
Marsh Creation Project, a mitigation project which was largely completed by 1995. As part of this project, workers removed most of the remaining houses, utilities and roads from the area. Sixty acres of high-quality tidal marsh were created with three channels surrounding the marsh to allow tidal flow from the surrounding bays. Two islands and four freshwater ponds were also created.
A variety of other mitigation projects have been completed or are currently underway at the Nature Center. The San Jacinto Point Recreation Area contains three fishing piers, picnic areas and a Children’s Nature Discovery Area. The Crystal Bay Butterfly Garden is a beautiful spot for visitors to observe the life cycle of butterflies, and is also a great spot for hummingbird watching during their fall and spring migrations.
A new entry to the nature center will be complete in early 2005, and will house a gazebo, information building, gardens and a new waterfall. Improvements are also being planned for the Myra C. Brown Bird Sanctuary. The “natural” area of the Nature Center contains the Brownwood Education Pavilion, where visitors can enjoy a 360-degree view of the Baytown area, with great views of the Houston Ship Channel, Fred Hartman Bridge, and San Jacinto Monument.
The Baytown Nature Center is currently used for both educational and recreational purposes. Members of the public routinely use the area for picnics, walking/jogging, fishing and birdwatching. The Eddie V. Gray Wetlands Education and Recreation Center utilizes the nature center as an outdoor classroom for its Wetlands Ecology Program. Each year, every fifth-grade student in the GCCISD system is taken through the BNC and introduced to the importance of this ecosystem through their studies of the marsh plants, animal and aquatic life found there.
The Baytown Nature Center is open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset. There is a small admission fee for adults, or annual passes may be purchased for unlimited entry.
Goose Creek Stream GreenbeltMuch of Baytown’s historical growth happened along the shores of Goose Creek Stream. After decades of turning its back to the waterway, the community has once again found the creek and much of its shoreline has been earmarked for a greenbelt park.
Bond funds started the job, but hard work and grant money are expanding the effort. Breaking the chore into three parts, the Goose Creek Stream committee has seen completion of Phase One, covering the portion of the stream from Texas Avenue to Highway 146 North. The City received a grant from Texas Parks and Wildlife to help fund development. Further development and expansion of an existing park, construction of a birding overlook, pavilion, trails and canoe launches have been completed.
City officials have applied for another grant to fund work on Phase Two, which includes portions of the stream banks between Highway 146 and the Bayland Park Marina.