New Kid in Town

New Parks Board director meets Houston's greenspace movers and shakers

New Parks Board director meets city's greenspace movers and shakers

Houston Parks Board event, 7/16, Sheryl Kolasinski, Beth White, Frank Briscoe
Sheryl Kolasinski, Beth White, Frank Briscoe. Photo by Tiffany Norman
Houston Parks Board bayou map
Houston bayous in the Bayou Greenways study plan. Courtesy of Houston Parks Board
Houston Parks Board event, 7/16, Gary Zika, Kathy Lord
Gary Zika, Kathy Lord. Photo by Tiffany Norman
Houston Parks Board event, 7/16, Michael Skelly, Doreen Stoller, Shafik Rifaat
Michael Skelly, Doreen Stoller, Shafik Rifaat. Photo by Tiffany Norman
Houston Parks Board event, 7/16, Lee Ehmke, Anne Whitlock
Lee Ehmke, Anne Whitlock. Photo by Tiffany Norman
Houston Parks Board event, 7/16, Linda Sylvan, Shellye Arnold
Linda Sylvan, Shellye Arnold. Photo by Tiffany Norman
Houston Parks Board event, 7/16, John Long, Caitlin McNeely, Carter Stern
John Long, Caitlin McNeely, Carter Stern. Photo by Tiffany Norman
Houston Parks Board event, 7/16, Jeri Nordbrock, Kelly Dowe
Jeri Nordbrock, Kelly Dowe. Photo by Tiffany Norman
Houston Parks Board event, 7/16, Trudi Smith, Pat Jasper
Trudi Smith, Pat Jasper. Photo by Tiffany Norman
Houston Parks Board event, 7/16, Nick Espinosa, John Long, Leigh McBurnett
Nick Espinosa, John Long, Leigh McBurnett. Photo by Tiffany Norman
Houston Parks Board event, 7/16, Susan Bono, Anne Whitlock
Susan Bono, Anne Whitlock. Photo by Tiffany Norman
Houston Parks Board event, 7/16, Sheryl Kolasinski, Beth White, Frank Briscoe
Houston Parks Board bayou map
Houston Parks Board event, 7/16, Gary Zika, Kathy Lord
Houston Parks Board event, 7/16, Michael Skelly, Doreen Stoller, Shafik Rifaat
Houston Parks Board event, 7/16, Lee Ehmke, Anne Whitlock
Houston Parks Board event, 7/16, Linda Sylvan, Shellye Arnold
Houston Parks Board event, 7/16, John Long, Caitlin McNeely, Carter Stern
Houston Parks Board event, 7/16, Jeri Nordbrock, Kelly Dowe
Houston Parks Board event, 7/16, Trudi Smith, Pat Jasper
Houston Parks Board event, 7/16, Nick Espinosa, John Long, Leigh McBurnett
Houston Parks Board event, 7/16, Susan Bono, Anne Whitlock

H-Town's green leadership turned out in force recently to get a fix on the new head of the Houston Parks Board, Beth White. More than 70 interested parties greeted the powerhouse CEO, arriving from Chicago where she oversaw the development of the super cool, award-winning innovative park and elevated trail system known as The 606.

Since mid-June, White has been sharing her expertise, much of it honed in her position with The Trust for Public Land, and her vision with the non-profit parks board which is leading the highly-touted Bayou Greenways 2020

The notably forward-thinking Michael Skelly and Anne Whitlock opened their historic home, Fire State #2 in the East End, for the event. The heavy-hitter guest list included Hermann Park Conservancy president Doreen Stoller, Houston Zoo CEO Lee Ehmke, Bike Houston's John Long, Memorial Park Conservancy's Shellye Arnold, and the Bayou Preservation Association's Kathy Lord.

"All of these groups are doing important work in quality of life issues," White told CultureMap. "What's going on in Houston is extraordinary."

She applauded the collaboration between so many organizations working toward the goal of transforming the city's 150 mile network of bayous. As for the parks board, White said, "This board doesn't rest on its laurels. We're already looking beyond 2020."

Among the who's who of green group representatives were Rice Design Alliance's Linda Sylvan, Carter Stern of Houston Bike Share, Doug Overman of Levy Park, The Menil Collection's Sheryl Kolasinski, SPARK School Park Program's Kathleen Ownby, new deputy director of the city's Public Works Department Carol Haddock,  Pat Jasper and Sara Kellner with the Houston Arts Alliance, Deborah January-Bevers of Houston Wilderness, Trudi Smith of the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Houston Parks Boards' Chip and Mary Place, and Gary Zika of Harris County Flood Control District.

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