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The Woodlands Township Board meets, approves 50th Anniversary Mural Location, Reforestation Update

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The Woodlands Township shared the following recap of The Woodlands Township’s regularly scheduled Board of Directors meeting held on Wednesday, May 22, 2024. 


Consent Agenda Item 7.c., approval of a preliminary location for a mural commemorating The Woodlands 50th Anniversary, was pulled from the Consent Agenda and moved to the Regular Agenda for additional discussion and consideration. 

APPROVED – Preliminary Location for a Mural Commemorating The Woodlands 50th Anniversary

Nick Wolda, President of Visit The Woodlands, discussed a commemorative mural for The Woodlands 50th Anniversary with the Board. The 50th Anniversary Task Force has proposed placing the mural at the base of the Millennium Sculpture that fronts The Woodlands Waterway and is in close proximity to The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. This location, owned by The Woodlands Township, requires Board approval for mural placement. Howard Hughes will fund the mural and the artist’s commission, while the Township will cover lighting installation costs, estimated at $10,000 initially and $500 annually for maintenance. The mural is planned to be displayed for two years, with the option for three one-year extensions.

The Board unanimously approved the preliminary mural location as proposed by the task force. An agreement between the artist, Howard Hughes and The Woodlands Township will be reviewed at a future board meeting.

“Our community has been very generous,” said Chairman Dr. Ann K. Snyder. “We have raised over $800,000 to help offset costs for the community event on October 19 and items such as this.” 


TABLED – Award of Bid to McKenna Contracting, Using Existing Contractors Miam Electric and Marquee Property Services, to Build Tennis Courts at Forestgate Park, Pickleball Courts at Windvale Park and Creekwood Park and Parking at Windvale Park 
Parks and Recreation Director John McGowan discussed the 2022 Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment with the Board, highlighting the history of tennis and pickleball court construction and improvements over the past 11 years. Given the community desire for additional courts, staff and contractors have identified three parks that can accommodate the courts: Forestgate, Windvale and Creekwood Parks. The Township received a Buy Board proposal for the construction of the courts along with a parking lot at Windvale from McKenna Contracting and other on-call contractors for a total project cost of $1,626,588. This is a planned and budgeted expense within the Township Capital Reserve fund. The project would construct two tennis courts at Forestgate Park, six pickleball courts at Windvale Park and five pickleball courts at Creekwood Park. 

Township staff mailed a total of 3,466 affected resident letters to homes within a half-mile radius of each park. The letter encouraged residents to complete an online survey so that interest and concerns about the project could be identified. In addition, project signage detailing the proposal was posted at each park. In total, 816 surveys were completed and the results are as follows:   

  • Forestage Park- 295 surveys completed.
    • 85% support the addition of new tennis courts overall.
    • 71% of Indian Springs residents support the addition of new tennis courts.
    • 85% feel additional tennis courts will enhance the community.
  • Creekwood Park- 236 surveys completed.
    • 86% support the addition of new pickleball courts overall.
    • 74% of Panther Creek residents support the addition of new pickleball courts.
    • 86% feel additional pickleball courts will enhance the community.
  • Windvale Park- 285 surveys completed.
    • 83% support the addition of new pickleball courts overall.
    • 74% of Alden Bridge residents support the addition of new pickleball courts.
    • 84% feel additional pickleball courts will enhance the community.

Following Board discussion, a motion was made to table the project, requesting additional research on alternative locations for the tennis and pickleball courts. The motion passed with a five-to-one vote, with Director Linda Nelson opposing the motion. 

“I would like to give the Parks department huge praise on this,” said Director Cindy Heiser in reference to the affected resident letters distributed by staff. “We talked about doing this in January, and you did it; you guys did a phenomenal job.”

“I understand the need, the want and the desire for additional courts, and I want to be able to put these courts in the right places,” said Director Brad Bailey. “I would like to step back and pause the project so that we can explore these locations.” 

Update on Reforestation and Invasive Vine Removal Efforts
Parks and Recreation Director John McGowan reviewed the Township’s Integrated Forest Management Plan (IFMP) with the Board. The plan includes strategies to plant additional trees of various sizes in the community to address reforestation needs and to provide further screening of roads, parks and parking lots. From 2013 to 2023, an average of 2,000 to 3,000 trees were planted annually, and in 2024, the Board approved $1 million in funding to plant 5,155 trees to help combat drought impacts. This number excludes the numerous trees planted to mitigate project impacts and the more than 1.5 million seedlings distributed through the Arbor Day events. The reforestation process involves site identification, tree selection and installation, followed by maintenance activities like watering and monitoring by the Township’s Forestry Foreman.

The vine removal program, initially piloted in the High Oaks neighborhoods, has expanded from 60 to 240 days per year to combat invasive species, including Chinese Tallow. The vine removal program costs $790 per day and includes site identification and vine removal by contractors. This process is coordinated with the reforestation plan to ensure healthy forest regeneration. Public education efforts include large signs at removal sites and Invasive Species classes provided by the Environmental Services Department, in addition to collaboration with community partners through a volunteer Invasives Task Force.

After the discussion, the Board unanimously accepted the report and requested that staff provide more details on the specific locations of the tree plantings at a future meeting.

ACCEPTED REPORT – Township Financial Report
Chief Financial Officer Kellan Shaw reviewed the financial report for the four months ending April 30, 2024, with the Board. Through April 2024, budgeted revenue was $73.1 million, while actual revenue collected was $73.4 million, showing a favorable variance of $257,000 primarily due to higher interest revenue and timely program revenues, despite lower sales tax collections. General Fund expenditures were budgeted at $40.5 million while actual expenditures reached $34.7 million, resulting in a favorable variance of $5.8 million largely due to timing of expenditures. Sales tax deposits fell short by $978,000 although major sectors like retail, accommodation and food services, information and manufacturing have shown slight increases. Hotel occupancy tax deposits exceeded expectations by $150,000, totaling over $3 million, and the mixed beverage tax is performing well.

The Board unanimously accepted the report. 


The Board recessed the regular meeting to conduct a Public Hearing for consideration of Resolution No. 009-24, guidelines and criteria for considering tax abatement agreements by the Township.  

No public comments were made during the Public Hearing period. The Chairman closed the Public Hearing, and the Board reconvened the regular meeting. 

Resolution No. 009-24 – Guidelines and Criteria for Considering Tax Abatement Agreements by the Township
During the Public Hearing, Todd Stephens reviewed the process necessary for taxing units, including the Township. Taxing units must adopt Tax Abatement guidelines and criteria before offering tax abatements. Since 2009, the Township has periodically adopted Montgomery County’s Tax Abatement Policy Guidelines and Criteria, aligning with revisions made by the County, most recently updated on January 24, 2023. The Township’s enabling legislation allows it to enter into tax abatement agreements under the same conditions as other taxing units, but these agreements must align with existing agreements with Montgomery County. Any tax abatement provided by the Township must follow the terms and duration of the County’s agreement.

Tax abatement guidelines are valid for two years unless amended earlier, and adopting these guidelines does not obligate the Township to grant abatements. The Township only considers tax abatement requests after Montgomery County has approved a county tax abatement agreement. Even then, each request is reviewed individually by the Township Board. The Township is not required to adopt a tax abatement policy or enter into agreements, but if it does, it must follow the County’s policy.

The Board unanimously approved Resolution No. 009-24, adopting guidelines and criteria for considering tax abatement agreements by the Township. 

DEFERRED – Tax Abatement Agreement between The Woodlands Township, Bionova Scientific, LLC and Aventus Development, LLC
The Board deferred this agenda item to be considered at a future meeting.  

ACCEPTED REPORT – Quarterly Update from Visit The Woodlands
President of Visit The Woodlands Nick Wolda gave the Board a quarterly update. In the first quarter, the sales team promoted The Woodlands as a premier destination for conferences and events, participating in various tradeshows and networking events to develop client relationships and partnerships. Wolda said The Woodlands has 2,254 hotel room each and every night and discussed the importance conventions and corporate meetings play in filling these rooms that add to The Woodlands Township’s overall economic success. Wolda particularly noted the 55th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, attracting over 2,000 international scientists, that brings participants from countries from around the world. The conference was additionally enhanced with a food truck village. The Backyard Sales Campaign has been launched and encourages local residents to promote The Woodlands for business events. The team achieved a 2:1 return on advertisement spend, particularly excelling in online travel agency ads, and now has over 62K followers in social media channels. Marketing efforts included monthly sales emails, social media campaigns and collaborations with local partners. Visit The Woodlands also supported several local events and earned recognition with three Texas Travel Awards.

The Board unanimously accepted the report. 

Budget Amendment Related Payments to College Park and Grogan’s Mill Village Associations for Prior Years’ Service Agreements 
Grogan’s Mill and College Park Village Associations each requested $12,500 from the Township, aimed to recover funds from 2022 when these village associations did not receive Township funding due to non-compliance.

The Board voted five-to-one in favor of allocating $12,500 in recovery funds for FY2022 to both Grogan’s Mill and College Park Village Associations, totaling $25,000. Director Dr. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs was in opposition of the request.


ACCEPTED REPORT – Update on the One Water Task Force
Director Cindy Heiser gave an update on the newly reestablished One Water Task Force. The task force is chaired by Woodlands Water and the group is in the process of determining their purpose and focus. The task force, including several medical directors and Dr. Neil Gaynor, is considering various aspects of water management, from sourcing to usage. They aim to educate the community about water resources through platforms like Additionally, they are discussing regional flood planning in anticipation of a state flood plan expected in 2025. More details will be shared as progress is made, with another meeting scheduled soon.

The Board unanimously accepted the report. 

ACCEPTED REPORT – Update on the Village Presidents’ Council
Treasurer Richard Franks reported that the Village Presidents’ Council held a meeting on April 29, 2024. During the meeting, Township President and CEO Monique Sharp presented the 2023 overview and gave a glimpse of upcoming projects for 2024. The report was well received and several of the villages were represented at the meeting.  

The Board unanimously accepted the report. 


The Consent Agenda consists of non-controversial, or “housekeeping” items required by law. One motion with modifications, if applicable, approves for action, all items contained within the Consent Agenda. Items may be moved from the Consent Agenda to the Regular Agenda by a Board Member making such a request prior to a motion and vote. To view more information about each item, please review the Meeting Agenda online.  

The following items were unanimously approved by the Board of Directors:


Village association presidents report to the Board each month regarding activities and news from the villages. The following gave reports for their respective village associations:

  • Aaron Hoffstader, Grogan’s Mill Village Association
  • Nancy Becker, Creekside Park Village Association 
  • Ted Stanley, College Park Village Association 
  • JC Harville, Cochran’s Crossing Village Association

Meeting agendas, videos and more are available online at

Source: The Woodlands Township