Memorial Park is Houston’s 1,500-acre urban wilderness, nearly twice the size of New York City’s Central Park and the crown jewel of Uptown. The perfect location for community and social interaction, exercising, wildlife watching and simply enjoying nature, Memorial Park welcomes nearly 4 million Houstonians and visitors every year.
Historically, Memorial Park dates back to a World War I training camp – Camp Logan – where 70,000 soldiers trained for battle. It is the only such camp remaining in the United States that has not been developed and is an archeologically protected site.
The sport of jogging was popularized nationally in Memorial Park by Seymour Lieberman, the namesake for the Park’s locally popular and nationally acclaimed jogging trail, the Seymour Lieberman Trail. The trail sees an average of 10,000 runners daily and frequent users have included Houston’s professional sports athletes, local celebrities and occasionally star celebrities.
Enjoy nature’s beauty in the heart of the city.
Memorial Park Golf Course is known as one of the best municipal courses in the nation and is visited by more than 60,000 patrons each year. Funded by the non-profit Astros Golf Foundation, the $18.5 million project has produced the promised world-class golf course for all Houstonians and the return of the PGA Tour’s Houston Open to Memorial Park for the first time since 1963.
Designed by renowned golf course architect Tom Doak, the new course includes state-of-the-art storm water irrigation system that can capture and retain 80 million gallons of storm water for irrigation purposes and remove the golf course irrigation from the City’s potable water system, a two-tiered 84-bay hitting structure with 30 new hitting spots, and a new maintenance facility and additional parking. These astounding renovations were pursued with the intention of creating a municipal golf course that could be played by both professionals and the general public.
In 2015, the Memorial Park Master Plan was adopted and focuses on restoring, preserving, and enhancing the park for the enjoyment of all Houstonians and visitors, today and tomorrow.
Reclaiming 100 acres of previously inaccessible parkland, the project expanded picnicking, parking, and restrooms; extended the running trail to a full three-mile loop; established a five-acre lake and wetlands; provided trails and boardwalks to experience Park wildlife and natural habitats; and honors the Park’s military history. Eastern Glades is open to the public.
Sports fields and volleyball courts were relocated to join the recreational facilities in the northeast quadrant of the Park as part of the early phase of the future Memorial Park Sports Complex.
A land bridge over Memorial Drive will reunite the north and south sides of Memorial Park, providing safe crossing for people and wildlife. A restored network of native prairie and savanna will act as a green sponge, helping to absorb stormwater, mitigate flooding, and conquer the effects of concrete in the heart of a densely populated urban environment.
The existing Cullen Running Trails Center will anchor a new timing track, pavilion, and restrooms, and will serve as a gateway to the Park’s southern wilderness for runners, bikers, hikers, and nature enthusiasts alike.
A living memorial to the WWI soldiers who trained at Camp Logan, trees aligned in rows representing a regiment will shelter gathering spaces for reflection and education among the 100-year-old remnants of the camp.
A series of trails and bridges will increase connectivity within and beyond Memorial Park, converting the Park from an isolated urban greenspace into a key connector along Houston’s greenways and hike-and-bike paths, encouraging access and welcoming multi-modal forms of transportation to and through the Park.
The existing multi-modal portion of the Outer Loop Trail will be extended through Memorial Groves, Eastern Glades, and the Sports Complex, completing an important amenity for those pursuing north side recreation, including joggers and cyclists.
An initial phase of improvements to this 30-acre park parcel on the west side of I-610 will include bayou bank stabilization, improved trails, and other upgrades.
Stormwater management improvements will take place throughout the Park and will include ravine and bank stabilization, as well as other erosion analysis and mitigation efforts. Subsequent ecological resiliency will help retain stormwater onsite and reduce erosion into Buffalo Bayou.
The Memorial Park Master Plan is made possible by a catalyst gift from the Kinder Foundation which leveraged funding through the Uptown Development Authority. Execution of the Ten-Year Plan is overseen by the Memorial Park Standards Committee, a partnership comprised of Houston Parks and Recreation Department, Memorial Park Conservancy, the Kinder Foundation, and Uptown Development Authority.
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