A 12-mile-long hike and bike trail. A dreamy garden on the water. Fruit trees, wildflowers and butterfly gardens. These aren't your typical municipal utility district (MUD) amenities.
Originally established by the state to provide water and sewer infrastructure, MUDs now pay for everything from recreational amenities and parks to trash pickup and security. They pay for these services using the tax revenue from residents within their district. They typically serve residents of unincorporated areas who do not receive city services.
MUDs started to expand their offerings in 2004, when Texas passed a law allowing them to sell park bonds. A flurry of development ensued, giving rise to more neighborhood parks and trails across the state. Many MUDs now partner with government agencies like Harris County Precinct 4 and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) to pay for such large-scale public projects as connected trail systems, bridges and community centers.
Although Harris County Precinct 4 features many active MUDs, the ones below stand out for their large-scale public projects, green space conservation and sustainable practices.
Timber Lane Utility District
Terranova West MUD