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Transforming Memorial Park
Wednesday, March 20, 4:00–6:00 P.M. Subscribers will meet at the Club House located at 1001 E. Memorial Loop Drive, 77007.
The drought of 2011 revealed that the Park’s long-standing challenges of overuse, under-investment, vehicular traffic, and environmental decline had damaged it almost beyond repair.
In 2013, in partnership with the Houston Parks and Recreation Department and Uptown Development Authority, the Memorial Park Conservancy hired Nelson Byrd Woltz, an award-winning landscape architecture firm, to develop a master plan to be informed by advice from the public, scientists in relevant fields, and other experts. The resulting plan permits both human use and ecological restoration. Funding from the City of Houston and the Uptown Development Authority TIRZ as well as significant individual and foundation support have enabled the conservancy to raise the $205 million necessary to implement the master plan.
Shellye Arnold, Conservancy President and CEO, will outline the ten-year master plan, explain its philosophical foundations, and describe the first visible steps of its implementation. By 2020, there will be a new 100-acre “park within the Park” featuring a 5-acre lake and wetlands area, boardwalks, and new picnic space. By 2022, a new 20-acre nature bridge over Memorial Drive will connect the north and south sides of the park. Many additional improvements will be delivered by 2028.
Ms. Arnold joined the Conservancy in 2013 from a twenty-year career in change management at Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard, Compaq Computer Corporation, and McKinsey & Company, and has led the creation and adoption of the 2015 Memorial Park Master Plan, launched its associated capital campaign, and initiated project execution. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master in Public Policy degree from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. A native Houstonian, Ms. Arnold is deeply committed to the city’s parks, bayous, green spaces, and the wildlife that inhabit them.