Officials mark groundbreaking of Memorial Park renovations

Tuesday, December 8, 2015
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The major development projects will give residents more space to run, bike or just take the dog for a walk. It will also help alleviate a pesky parking problem.

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- These days it's known for running and working out. But Memorial Park is a place with layers of history dating back to hundreds of years ago.

It was once a training camp for soldiers in world war one and once an orchard farm.

"The stories that are embedded in this land have gone forgotten so they know why this land is important," landscape architect Thomas Woltz said.

Soon, this will be called the Eastern Glades in Memorial Park. It will be 113 acres and will include a lake that will supply irrigation water for the park, wetlands, a full three-mile trail and more parking.

"Ultimately, they'll notice a beautiful space where they can come and picnic and enjoy and relaxing in a beautiful green space," said Shellye Arnold, CEO of the Memorial Park Conservancy.

The land will be developed to better survive droughts and floods that evitably happen here in Houston. And, it will take construction. The East Memorial Loop Drive will be moved further east to make room for the glades, with a price tag of $25 million dollars.

The project will take 3 years.

"I think it's gonna be like anything else, roadwork. If they start something I hope they finish it, follow through with it and complete it," jogger Rick Horrocks said.

There's also a special section of Memorial Groves in the works to honor the soldiers of World War I who sacrificed their lives on this same soil.