By any measure, this summer has belonged to Pokémon GO. Millions of people all over the world are playing the location-based, augmented reality game that invites users to "catch 'em all" by searching for their magical creatures with their smartphones.
While the game has a number of positive benefits by exposing users to places they might have never visited otherwise, one of Houston's most popular Pokéstops has decided that benefits of more visitors no longer outweigh the problems of increased trash and a general disregard by some users for its posted hours.
Discovery Green has submitted a request to the creator of the Pokémon GO app to remove all stops, lures and creatures from the park. Our staff does not know how or when these will be removed and is not in direct contact with Niantic to be able to answer these questions.
We hope visitors who have been introduced to Discovery Green through Pokémon GO will return to the park and experience our events and grounds as they were intended: an enriching space in the heart of Houston that serves as a village green, a source of health and happiness and a window into the arts and traditions that enrich life in Houston.
Reaction on social media to the announcement has been highly critical of the park's decision. In a one-star review, Facebook user Andy Allen criticizes the Conservancy for not seeing Pokémon GO players as potential donors. Users on the Pokémon GO Houston Community Facebook group are calling for a boycott of the park.
Other Houston attractions are still welcoming Pokémon GO players. For example, the Astros recently hosted a Pokémon GO-themed night, and the Children's Museum of Houston will host a Pokémon Day on Saturday. The Houston Zoo also remains a popular place for players to gather.