The Memorial Park Conservancy has a master plan but not everyone is thrilled with the way they intend to reshape Memorial Park.
Some people love the Memorial Park Conservancy's master plan that will guide how the park will evolve over the next 20 years and some people hate it. Since the Houston City Council is set to vote on the plan at 9 a.m. Wednesday morning, the council heard from both sides during the final public comment phase on Tuesday afternoon.
Officials at Memorial Park Conservancy say that they decided to come up with a new master plan -- one that would replace the plan that was decided on over a decade ago -- due to the changes in the park caused by the drought that killed half the trees and the damage from Hurricane Ike.This new master plan is acting as a sort of expansion of the old one that was put together in 2003. The old master plan mentioned the need to improve park drainage, infrastructure and conservation but it didn't actually manage to accomplish all of these goals. The new master plan will reshape the park in all kinds of ways, doing everything from adding parking to moving the ball fields and adding in land bridges to better connect the park for pedestrians.
So many people wanted to speak Tuesday that the commenters were limited to one minute each. Some got to spend a little more time in front of the council if council members asked questions, but most were being moved on through after making their statement. (The meeting still lasted for more than two hours.)
The first half of public commenters was almost entirely comprised of Memorial Park Conservancy volunteers, board members and supporters who spoke in glowing terms about their "strong support" for the master plan and the quest to save Memorial Park. They mentioned the 20 public meetings that Memorial Park Conservancy has held to gather information and input from various groups about the changes coming to the park. Becky Houston noted that some people always have reservations about making changes to Houston's parks, but said that this project will change Memorial Park for the better. "It's become abundantly clear that change is always for the better when it comes to our parks," she said.More »