Renewed push to upgrade Memorial Park after drought

By Mary Benton, Reporter, mbenton@kprc.com
Published On: Sep 12 2013 07:05:55 PM CDT

September 12, 2013: Memorial Park is already one of Houston's popular destinations and now there is a new push to develop a master plan to take the park to the next level. Mary Benton reports.

HOUSTON -

Memorial Park is already one of Houston's popular destinations and now there is a new push to develop a master plan to take the park to the next level.

The Memorial Park Conservancy has announced the selection of Nelson Byrd Woltz, a nationally acclaimed landscape architectural firm, to create the Memorial Park of the future.

"For us, they want to build a long term relationship. They want to come to us year after year and give us a plan and not just walk away. We like that," said Shellye Arnold, executive director of the Memorial Park Conservancy.

Arnold says the conservancy wants to focus on ensuring a healthy and sustainable future for the park.

The group plans to study the park's soil, bio diversity and ecology to determine what the park needs.

"Right now we have a park with a damaged ecology, with a damaged environment. It's damaged by hurricanes, it's damaged by drought and it's damaged by overuse and too much love," said Arnold.

The Memorial Park Conservancy has already launched a reforestation project to fill in the gaps left by the countless trees lost as a result of previous floods.

"We'd like to work on restoring the ecology, that's one of the main focus areas for us," said Arnold. “We’d like to upgrade the amenities and fix some of the infrastructure issues."

Arnold says the conservancy will also seek input from Memorial Park stakeholders as the master plan is developed and implemented, which could take 20 years.

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