News Categories: News Release

01 Jul
By: Communications 0

State of Qatar Donates $3.3 Million to Build Eight Soccer Fields in Harris County

The State of Qatar, through its $30 million Qatar Harvey Fund, today announced a gift of $3.3 million for the construction of eight soccer fields in Harris Country, five in Precinct 1 and three in Precinct 4. The soccer fields will also be designed as water collection basins to mitigate future flooding.

The announcement was made today at BBVA Stadium by H.E. Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani, Qatar’s Ambassador to the U.S. He was joined by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Precinct 4 Commissioner R. Jack Cagle, and Licia Green Ellis, representing Precinct 1 and her husband, Commissioner Rodney Ellis.

The five soccer fields in Precinct 1 will be built in Blue Ridge Park, located in far southwest Harris County between the Sam Houston Tollway and FM 2234.

The three soccer fields in Precinct 4 will be constructed in Alabonson Park along Bingle Road between Alabonson Road and White Oak Bayou in northwest Houston.

Planned amenities at Alabonson Park, a 50-acre multi-use facility, also include softball and football fields, parking lots, maintenance facilities, picnic areas, and playgrounds, as well as paved multi-use trails and natural surface trails that could one day connect to additional trail systems along White Oak Bayou. Construction is scheduled to begin in August 2019.

Ambassador Al-Thani, who chairs the Qatar Harvey Fund, said during the announcement: “Qatar has relationships in Houston and southeast Texas that go back decades and the Qatar Harvey Fund is a gesture of solidarity, designed to support long-term recovery and resilience. These fields serve that purpose by using land vulnerable to flooding to bring recreation access closer to these communities.”

The Qatar Harvey Fund has already announced approximately $16 million in Harvey recovery projects in southeast Texas, including a $2.5 million donation announced last October to help restore Harris County’s Riverside Hospital in Houston’s Third Ward.

Harris County Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis said: “I’m extremely grateful that Qatar has been here for our city after we faced one of the greatest challenges in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. On behalf of Precinct One, I sincerely thank Ambassador Al-Thani and the Qatar Harvey Fund for their generous gift that will provide soccer fields at Blue Ridge Park for our families to enjoy. Also, the flood mitigation component of this project will help protect thousands of people who live in the Sims Bayou watershed from future flooding.”

“Thank you, Ambassador Al-Thani, for this generous donation,” said Commissioner R. Jack Cagle. “This important step in our recovery from Hurricane Harvey provides recreational opportunities and flood relief for the area.”

Ambassador Al-Thani visited Houston and Harris County in October 2018 to announce the first round of grants to support education, housing and community development projects, including a $622,000 gift to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Texas via the Rebuild Texas Fund. During his current visit, the Ambassador will announce the remaining approximately $14 million in donations from the Qatar Harvey Fund. These announcements will fulfill Qatar’s pledge of $30 million in funding long-term recovery projects in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

About the Qatar Harvey Fund and the State of Qatar
Following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, the State of Qatar announced a gift of $30 million for the long-term recovery of the storm’s victims in Texas. The Qatar Harvey Fund was created to administer the gift. For more information, visit

Qatar is an independent state in the southern Arabian Gulf. It has a population of approximately 2.7 million people, the majority of whom live in and around Doha, the capital. Diplomatic relations with the United States were established in 1972; in the same year, Qatar’s first diplomatic mission in Washington, D.C. opened. The relationship between the two countries has always been friendly, highly productive and reciprocal. Qatar is home to many Americans, and the United States is both Qatar’s largest foreign investor and its largest source of imports. Qatar-U.S. relations are growing continuously in multiple areas: economic, political, military, educational and cultural. Qatar is a close ally of the United States and a strong advocate of building a peaceful, prosperous and stable Middle East. Qatar has provided significant humanitarian and development assistance to countries around the world, including the United States.

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21 Jun
By: Communications 0

Summer Events at Levy Park

Precinct 4 programs are now in even more locations! Guests will explore local fishing, nature, herb gardening, and urban wildlife. Check out these four action-packed events throughout June, July, and August at the City of Houston’s Levy Park.

  • Backyard Bass. Wednesday, June 26, from 10 a.m. to noon. Practice casting a fishing rod while on land and learn about common freshwater fish species in Harris County. Ashley DeLeon Torres, outdoor education coordinator at Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve, leads this fun-filled activity.
  • Walk in Nature. Tuesday, July 9, from 10 a.m. to noon. Walk on the wild side with Precinct 4’s Trails As Parks. Explore animal skins, skulls, and tracks with Kristina Linberk, director of the Trails As Parks program.
  • Herbs: Your Own Scratch ‘n Sniff Garden. Wednesday, July 17, from 10 a.m. to noon. Explore the colors, textures, and fragrances of an assortment of herbs during this hands-on presentation from Jennifer Garrison, education director at Mercer Botanic Gardens, and Jamie Hartwell, Mercer’s volunteer coordinator. Learn about the cultural requirements, culinary inspiration, historical aspects, and folklore of different herbs.
  • Tall Tails: Urban Wildlife Myth Busters Tuesday, July 23, from 10 a.m. to noon. Anni Ranck, Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center’s outreach coordinator, dispels common myths concerning local urban wildlife. Participants will discover how myths begin, solutions to common wildlife problems, and that truth really is stranger than fiction.
  • Nature Night. Saturday, Aug. 17, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Celebrate the end of the Summer Nature Series with an evening filled with outdoor fun! Enjoy a showing of Disney’s Monkey Kingdom on the big screen, along with a variety of outdoor activities. Nature enthusiasts will fall in love with this documentary following a family of monkeys navigating the complex social hierarchies of the jungle.

Parking is available along the park or on Wakeforest Avenue and Eastside Street. Additional public parking is available in the parking garage located at 2925 Richmond for a fee.

Levy Park is a vibrant six-acre City of Houston park located in the heart of the Upper Kirby District that leverages innovative environmental practices and hosts a multitude of family-friendly and community inclusive programming. The maintenance, operation, and programming of the Park is managed by the Levy Park Conservancy, an affiliate of the Upper Kirby District Foundation, a private, nonprofit organization.

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21 Jun
By: Communications 0

Countywide Voting Planned for November General Election

Harris County voters may notice changes during the next general election.

Commissioners Court unanimously approved a request by the county clerk for state approval to launch the Countywide Polling Place Program for the November election and subsequent elections. Approval of the program would mean voters could cast their ballots at any county polling location on Election Day. In the past, voters could vote at countywide polling places only during early voting.

A trial run of the program kicked off in March when Texas Secretary of State David Whitley approved Harris County as one of six Texas counties with a population of more than 100,000 to participate in the Countywide Polling Place Program for the May 4, 2019, election. Whitley will now decide whether to approve Harris County to continue the program for all subsequent elections.

With more than 2 million registered voters, Harris County is the largest county in the country to implement the program.

“The voters of Harris County have made it clear that a Countywide Polling Place Program would have a positive impact on elections, and I am confident that the transition to a Countywide Polling Place Program will be successful,” said Harris County Clerk Diane Trautman.

Lubbock County was the first Texas county to participate in the program during the November 2006 general election. That number has now grown to 52 counties designated as “successful” under the countywide polling place program.

For more information, visit




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23 May
By: Communications 0

Assistance Still Available for Hurricane Harvey Repairs

Federal funding is still available for Harris County residents affected by Hurricane Harvey. Unincorporated Harris County residents who suffered damage during Hurricane Harvey are invited to visit and fill out a pre-application for assistance.

Eligible residents may qualify for the following:

  • Up to $80,000 for help repairing a damaged property.
  • Up to $160,000 for reconstruction on your own property.
  • Up to an additional $40,000 on homes qualifying for reconstruction that require elevation.
  • Up to $50,000 for reimbursements on repairs already made.
  • Opportunities for buy-outs and relocation for those who qualify.
  • A help line is available at 832-927-4961 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to answer questions.  Residents who would like in-person assistance with their application may visit permanent intake centers at the following addresses:
  • 13101 Northwest Freeway, Suite 215 Houston, TX 77040
  • 12941 North Freeway Suite 600 Houston, TX  77060
  • 14700 FM 2100 Suite 2 Crosby, TX  77532
  • 3315 Burke Road, Suite 204 Pasadena, TX 77504

Also, to apply online, click here For more information, visit

Houston residents can apply for assistance by clicking here.



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23 May
By: Communications 0

New Public Flood Warning System

The Harris County Flood Control District’s 10-year old Flood Warning System website is getting updates that could prove invaluable during the next storm.

“Our current Flood Warning System website is 10 years old, and this grant will allow us the ability to provide the residents of Harris and surrounding counties a more modern and user-friendly experience,” said Jeff Lindner, director of hydraulic operations and meteorologist for the Harris County Flood Control District.

The new website will include enhanced functionality and viewing capabilities, updated and modernized graphics, and features that allow residents to sign up for information via email, text message, and automated calls.

Critical mapping features such as channel status and near real-time inundation mapping will be displayed in more prominent locations of the new website. It will take a more regional approach, allowing residents in nearby counties to easily view rainfall and water-level information in most jurisdictions.

Earlier in the year, Harris County Commissioners Court approved a State Award letter to allow the Harris County Flood Control District to begin work on the new website.

Funding for the website will come from a $1.7 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

HCFCD encourages county residents to bookmark the website URL ( ), for simplified access to timely information during potential flooding events.

In addition to building a new website, the grant will pay for an internal dashboard that will give staff with the Harris County Flood Control District and selected partner agencies access to current and forecasted flooding conditions throughout the county. The dashboard will display the county bayou and stream network and flood forecasted model data, such as future water levels and flooding extents.

To learn more about the Flood Control District, click here: .

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