A long-awaited addition to Houston’s park system has taken an important first step. Hermann Park Conservancy and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department officially opened the the citiesthe new 26-acre multipurpose space at Hermann Park.
The Commons is bordered by the Texas Medical Center, the Houston Zoo, Rice University and the Museum District and is located in the southwest of the park – at the corner of Fannin and Cambridge streets – and will serve as an indispensable connector for these bustling destinations.
This groundbreaking center will include several play areas for children, a central lawn, new barbecue and picnic areas, and more, according to a press release. Plans include several new pavilions and a carousel, designed by American Institute of Architecture award winner Marlon Blackwell.
Construction on the Commons is expected to begin this month and be completed in January 2024, a press release notes.
Families – especially those visiting the zoo – will no doubt be delighted with the Play gardensa nearly three-acre playground that will reinvent the Buddy Carruth Playground for all children.
Key features of the Play Gardens multi-sensory experience include a 45-foot slide and space capsule in the “Space Adventure” area; a classic carousel with a modern twist; and “The Bayou,” which will offer an interactive look at Houston’s natural water features.
More green space comes via the Welcome Garden, located across from Memorial Hermann Hospital. The six-acre garden will flourish with native plantings and century-old live oak trees on the Live Oak decking.
Meanwhile, the history Fannin Pavilion will have a facelift with more natural light, food stations, and custom wood tables and benches.
a bigger one central lawn will provide a place to relax or play sports; two new shade pavilions offer respite from the Houston sun. Visitors can camp on picnic tables, barbecue on the grills, or stroll along Lake McGovern and rest in one of the new rock coves and watch the ducks.
This grand plan also includes a push for large-scale habitat restoration, which means adding thousands of new trees and plants that are expected to create habitats for the more than 600 species of birds that pass through Houston each year. . The eco-friendly planting includes regenerative agriculture, where seven acres of crops will be instilled in rotations to restore the park’s soil – a move away from artificial fertilizers and pesticides.
Funding for this new project began in 2019 through the $51 million Play Your Park campaign; currently 73% of the funding has been secured, a statement added.
“Hermann Park is already a special place,” Kenneth Allen, director of the Houston Department of Parks and Recreation, said in a statement, “but the addition of amenities for all age groups, plans for natural waters and a 45 foot rocket will take this park to a new level. I applaud the talented team effort that has worked to make this project a reality. There is no doubt in my mind that this project will be a hit with all Hermann Park visitors.
More information on the municipalities can be found here.