By Lawanda Maxwell, MBA
The West Houston Association’s Parks, Recreation, and Open Spaces Committee has started working on a Master Park Plan. This document will serve as a comprehensive framework for the classification, usage, size, and facility recommendations for parks and greenspaces in the Greater West Houston area.
“We wanted to build a template that can be used in all West Houston developments and expand on conservation through open spaces,” said Christina Cole, Chair of the WHA Parks, Recreation, and Open Spaces Committee. The idea is that the Master Park Plan will be a guidance doctrine for park planning.
This inclusive plan will serve as a guide for the planning and development of parks, open spaces, and recreational facilities.
“This pandemic has really emphasized the need for parks and well-developed outdoor spaces,” said DeKécha P. Shepherd, P.E, Costello Inc. Chief Operating Officer. “The Master Parks Plan will connect communities, expand the number of recreational areas and play a role in the beautification of the Houston area”.
The master plan will also include visual elements, like charts and graphs that help communicate the data and facts concerning the various components of each park and open space listed. The final piece will include a district map that comprehensively ties the entire document together.
This project, a collaborative effort between WHA member organizations and community partners, is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022.
Tricia Brasseaux, Co-Chair of the Parks, Recreation, and Open Spaces Committee and Senior Project Manager at The Howard Hughes Corporation-Bridgeland added, “Upon completion, this document will be used as a tool to discuss parks and trail connectivity with utility, management, and school districts along with Homeowner Associations to improve regional connectivity, parks and open space.”
The committee is now working on the first phase of the project, outlining the vision, goals, and community partnerships to make this plan a reality.
The mission of the WHA Parks, Recreation, and Open Spaces committee is to promote the inclusion and effective use of open space with the growth of the Greater West Houston area population and land development.
“This plan will allow the West Houston Association to continue to work towards quality greenspace development within the region for years to come,” said Alan Steinberg, President/CEO of the West Houston Association.
WHA has a history of leading ideas for parks and open spaces starting with the Green Ribbons Trail in the 1980s, the predecessor to what is now known as Terry Hershey Park. Creating connecting trails and parkland along major bayous has becoming increasingly popular across the Houston region thanks to Houston Parks Board’s Bayou Greenways 2020 initiative.