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Houston Lifestyle

OPENING OF MEMORIAL PARK’S EASTERN GLADES

Reclaiming 100 acres of previously inaccessible parkland and inspired by the original 1930s Master Plan for Memorial Park by landscape architects Hare & Hare, the Eastern Glades provides something for everyone – from runners on the Seymour Lieberman Trail, picnicking families, students of ecology and those interested in Houston’s and the nation’s cultural history. Eastern Glades is home to over 150 native species which add biodiversity and wildlife habitat to the Park.

The three leading habitats of Eastern Glades include:

HINES LAKE AND WETLAND EDGE: The Lake supports an open water habitat. When constructed, large logs and concrete box structures were anchored to the bottom to provide fish habitat. While fishing is not allowed, the Conservancy plans on stocking the Lake with native fish. The Lake supports 1.5 acres of emergent wetlands. The wetland plants provide habitat and also clean the storm water that flows through the Lake on its way to Memorial Park’s largest tributary to Buffalo Bayou. Wetland plants include: California bulrush, pickerelweed, maidencane, soft rush, bulltongue, smartweed, lily, iris, and thalia.

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FLATWOOD WETLANDS: These Wetlands are characterized by mixed-hardwood pine forests growing through a soil with high clay content. When the soil becomes saturated with rainfall during the winter and early spring months, they hold shallow standing water. This habitat is critical to certain plant and wildlife species and provides a natural means of temporarily storing stormwater onsite. Forested wetlands are rapidly disappearing from this region due to factors like urbanization, making this space a rare Houston gem.

SAVANNA: Memorial Park, once dominated by grasslands, was a savanna habitat over much of its landscape. Savannas are characterized by sparse trees with an open canopy that supports grasses and wildflowers. Eastern Glades features 14 pocket islands totaling 4.5 acres of native savanna habitat interspersed with turfed social pathways. Savanna habitat is also being restored at the Eastern Forest near the Outer Loop Trail at the Blossom Street Entrance.

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This is the first major project of the Ten-Year Plan, which enables the Conservancy to accelerate the design and construction of significant components of the Memorial Park Master Plan and was made possible by a $70-million catalyst gift from the Kinder Foundation. Execution of the Ten-Year Plan is overseen by the Memorial Park Standards Committee, a partnership comprised of Houston Parks and Recreation Department, the Kinder Foundation, Memorial Park Conservancy, and Uptown Development Authority.

For more, please visit www.memorialparkconservancy.org/discover/master-plan/eastern-glades/

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