Hermann Park has seen a lot of change — both good and bad — over nearly a century of serving Houstonians, and the city is giving back this week with facelifts and contributions.
Student and faculty volunteers started planting 100 oak, bald cypress and other native trees in an area of the park hit hard by last year's drought.
"Houston Endowment is proud to invest in Hermann Park Conservancy’s Centennial Gardens project, which will mark the park’s 100th birthday and completion of the 1995 Hanna/Olin master plan, Ann Stern, president of the Houston Endowment, tells CultureMap. "The gardens will transform the north end of Hermann Park into a beautiful and accessible public space, and contribute to enhancing Houston’s quality of place."
Also supporting the park is Rice University, which is celebrating its 100-year anniversary in 2012 and is recognizing its symbiotic relationship with a Rice Centennial Grove project in connection with the Hermann Park Conservancy. On Friday, student and faculty volunteers started planting 100 oak, bald cypress and other native trees in an area of the park hit hard by last year's drought.
"Hermann Park is enjoyed by many in central Houston and is a gathering point for recreation, fitness, the arts, and culture," Mac Griswold, director of the Community Involvement Center at Rice, said in a statement. "The park has also long been a quiet sanctuary for many Rice University students and residents from adjoining neighborhoods."
Late Friday afternoon, celebrants and cyclists marked the dedication of the Bill Coats Bike Bridge, which will serve those who utilize the hike and bike trails along Brays Bayou created by the Harris County Flood Control District. The modern bridge, designed by MC2 Architects, is named for the former lawyer, civic leader and Conservancy founder, who passed away in 2010.
Continuous pathways will eventually stretch the 35 miles between Barker's Reservoir and the Houston Ship Channel, and Doreen Stoller, executive director of the Hermann Park Conservancy, tells CultureMap that she envisions a park-to-port bike ride as part of the park's centennial celebrations in 2014.
To read more about Hermann Park's historic makeover, read the CultureMap exclusive.