HOUSTON — If you've been to Memorial Park in the past few years, you've no doubt noticed the giant construction fence that lined the track just east of the golf course. Behind that fence, a 100-acre park within a park was being constructed and now you can explore the Clay Family Eastern Glades.
"It’s really worth a look. You won’t feel like you’re in Houston," says HTownRush viewer Mark Bohn, who suggested we visit the new greenspace.
A partnership between the Memorial Park Conservancy, Uptown Development Authority, Houston Parks and Recreation Dept. and Kinder Foundation, the project features a 5.5-acre lake and wetlands, as well as 1.5 miles of boardwalk and trails.
"You feel like you’re transported to another place, but that really is the native landscape. That’s one of the native landscapes of Houston, of Memorial Park in particular," explains Shellye Arnold, president and CEO of the Conservancy. "It’s so big, you can go many different times and explore many different areas. There really are different areas to the space. You’ll find it’s a celebration of Houston’s ecologies and Houston wildlife."
In the middle of the day, the lake is beautiful, but Arnold recommends coming around dusk because that’s when it really comes alive, when you can hear toads and everything else that calls the wetlands home.
"You can watch waterbirds, ducks, toads, frogs, all kinds of animals living in the wetlands," she says.
Right now, she admits her favorite thing to check out while she's at Eastern Glades is the reaction from first-time visitors.
"I’m really enjoying watching people enjoy it," says Arnold. "People love it. They just love it."
You can count Bohn among them.
“With this addition and the revitalization of the golf course and the coming land bridge, this is really becoming the heart of Houston and a gem for the whole city to take advantage of," he says.