When two major floods struck Mercer less than two years apart, one message became clear: Mercer needs a master plan.
“This is the perfect opportunity to reimagine and rebuild Mercer stronger than before,” said Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner R. Jack Cagle. “Mercer wasn’t built to handle severe flooding. We can fix that this time around.”
Since 1982, Mercer has experienced flooding of different degrees once or twice every decade. With the likelihood of flooding expected to increase, The Mercer Society (TMS), the nonprofit providing philanthropic support to Mercer, is seeking to acquire 34 acres on higher ground. Harris County Precinct 4 is working to develop a master plan to limit future flood damage.
“After the Tax Day Flood in 2016, we began work on a master plan for rebuilding Mercer,” said Commissioner Cagle. “The lessons we learned during Harvey will help us improve this master plan so we can prevent this level of damage in the future. We are in the process of reviewing plans from two competing architectural firms that both incorporate ways to provide greenspace and natural flood relief for surrounding areas.”
Without the necessary funds to purchase the land outright, TMS launched the Rebuild Mercer Campaign and partnered with Commissioner Cagle, who agreed to provide a matching donation. So far, 10 of those acres have been acquired.
“Our goal is to move vulnerable gardens and greenhouses to higher ground and redesign low-lying areas to better withstand floodwaters,” said Commissioner Cagle. “A master plan will help us map out all areas of the garden and redevelop the entire facility to reduce damage future flooding could cause.”
While TMS will continue to play a central role in Mercer’s reimagining, the nonprofit’s priority is now to raise funds for Mercer’s recovery.
“Things are finally starting to improve,” said TMS President Maryanne Esser. “We’ve successfully hosted several offsite fundraisers and launched a social media campaign this past fall. Even after the campaign’s completion, we continue to take in donations online thanks to our new, updated website. Best of all, we reopened the Gift Shoppe just in time for the holidays at a new location in Old Town Spring.”
Anyone who would like to donate toward Mercer’s recovery can visit http://themercersociety.org/ways-to-give/donate/. Checks made out to The Mercer Society can be mailed to 22306 Aldine Westfield, Humble, Texas 77338 OR dropped off at The Mercer Gift Shoppe at 400 Main Street in Old Town Spring Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, click here http://themercersociety.org/.
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Harris County Precinct 4
1001 Preston, Suite 950
Houston, Texas 77002