LOOKING BACK: Officials mark groundbreaking of Memorial Park renovations
City leaders, including Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and members of the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, toured the new 100-acre Clay Family Eastern Glades. The project features more than 550 trees, and over 100,000 newly planted seedlings, including 150 species of native plants.
"This is creating 100 acres of space that celebrates the cultural history of the park," said Shellye Arnold, president of CEO of Memorial Park Conservancy. "This part of the project honors the Camp Logan soldiers that passed through Camp Logan, which was a World War I training camp. This project helps restore and heal the ecology. This project allows for Houstonians to come together safely distanced, of course, but for Houstonians to have a place to go for reflection, for relaxation, for rejuvenation."
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The new portion of the park will also include two miles of newly accessible trails and boardwalks, and five acres of lake and wetlands designed to provide storm water management.
"We have a multi-tiered storm-water management and water quality system in their natural systems," Arnold said. "This lake, the wetlands, the wetlands plantings, the drainage wells the rain gardens -- all of those are intended to slow the water down, hold it onsite, cleanse it before it hits the water table. And then, in the time of high water, great floods, this lake will flow into Buffalo Bayou, but otherwise the water stays onsite and is used onsite actually."
Organizers say the Eastern Glades project will open to the public by the end of July.
SEE MORE: Kinder Foundation donates $70 million to help improve Houston's Memorial Park