'Going green' at South Padre Island Golf Club
LANDMARK's eco-sensitive, water-oriented harbor community in south Texas applies for Urban Land Institute honors based on its wetlands mitigation and other environmental initiatives.
AN ECO-SENSITIVE DEVELOPMENT and master-planned community in Laguna Vista, Texas, South Padre recently applied for an Urban Land Institute award based on its unique water-oriented harbor community and wetlands mitigation. The community, which fronts Laguna Madre Bay and is located on the mainland seven miles from South Padre Island, offers a 27-hole links-style golf course with a fourth nine in the works. Within the development is a 17-acre harbor parcel adjacent to the Laguna Acosta National Wildlife Refuge.
By the time Landmark arrived in the mid-1990s, years of indiscriminate cattle grazing had depleted the sparsely vegetated site. It was considered to have little redeeming value. Undaunted, the Landmark team created a 400-acre corridor for the wild ocelot and later collaborated with the Army Corps of Engineers on a permitting plan to mitigate three acres of wetlands. The goal was to create a bulk-headed saltwater tidal basin, its navigable channel offering Gulf access to the community's boat owners. Due to environmental restrictions, an excavated harbor was deemed "non-achievable" by area pundits, but a solid relationship with the state's Wildlife and Fisheries department and the Army Corps led to a win-win situation.
Landmark's imaginative concept and design for the harbor parcel, specifically tailored to the regional market, had never before been attempted by a developer in south Texas. Against all odds, the golf course and community, unveiled 10 years ago, has grown steadily into a model for an environmentally-sensitive development.