What: Memorial Park Conservancy’s Picnic for the Park: At Home in our Habitat
Where: Homes across Houston
The scoop: More than 280 park supporters joined Memorial Park Conservancy for a virtual “Picnic for the Park.” The annual gala, which honored Tammy and Steve Jenkins, celebrated another banner year for the conservancy, which manages and operates Memorial Park in partnership with Houston Parks and Recreation Department.
With the highly anticipated July 2020 opening of the 100-acre Clay Family Eastern Glades’ 5.5-acre lake and wetlands, boardwalks, walking trails, and picnicking areas, Memorial Park has been a huge draw for Houstonians. As the first major project to be completed as part of the Ten-Year Plan, Eastern Glades only adds to the Park’s longstanding nature and recreation offerings that have proved so important to the public over the past year.
Emceed by former KHOU 11 news anchor Lisa Foronda Harper, the evening, chaired by Pam and Ken Huewitt, highlighted the progress of the Master Plan currently underway in the park, including the transformational Land Bridge and Prairie project. Together, the Land Bridge and Prairie, slated for substantial completion by October 2022, comprise green infrastructure that will provide a community space for park users, safe passage for wildlife, and help better manage stormwater for the benefit of the city.
Prior to the program, ticketholders received al-fresco boxed picnic meals complete with a DIY seasonal cocktail. Jackson & Company prepared a spread of picnic-friendly, no-heat-required items for the boxes including tomato caprese with balsamic vinaigrette glaze; chicken breast with spiced peach compote; garlic and herb roasted potato salad; honey roasted carrots; marinated and grilled artichokes; and for dessert, fruit and lemon curd tarts with blueberries.
The virtual pre-show featured a jazz-accompanied “waiting room,” setting the relaxed vibe for the feel-good evening while guests viewed highlights of the new Clay Family Eastern Glades and celebrated the work of the Conservancy from the comfort of their own “home habitats.” A surprise video thanked honoree Steve Jenkins in his last year as board chair of the conservancy.
Gala chairs Pam and Ken Huewitt were praised and thanked for helming the event in the most challenging of years, and even a late transition to an all-virtual platform never caused the conservancy to break stride toward an ambitious goal.
The evening garnered more than $300,000 for the conservancy. Gala goers had the opportunity to bid on a variety of online auction items including unique Memorial Park experiences, beautiful artwork, and beer, cider, and wine packages.
Who: Pam and Ken Huewitt, Tammy and Steve Jenkins, Margaret and Ben Morris, Angela and Albert Myres, Susanne and James Maida, Carrie and Al Pepi, Chinhui and Eddie Allen, Tadd Tellepsen, Sandi and Jim Lemming, Stephanie and Brad Tucker, Duyen and Marc Nguyen, and Kalinda Campbell.