NEWS Discovery Green recognized

Discovery Green has been named a “Frontline Park” by the national urban park advocacy organization City Parks Alliance.

Each month, City Parks Alliance recognizes a “Frontline Park” to promote and highlight inspiring examples of urban park excellence, innovation and stewardship across the country. The program also seeks to highlight examples of the challenges facing our cities’ parks as a result of shrinking municipal budgets, land use pressures, and urban neighborhood decay.

“We selected Discovery Green for recognition because it exemplifies the power of partnerships to create and maintain urban parks that build community and make our cities sustainable and vibrant,” said Catherine Nagel, executive director of City Parks Alliance. “We hope that by shining the spotlight on this park that we can raise awareness about both the necessity and the promise of these kinds of partnerships to spur investment in our nation’s urban parks.”

Discovery Green is a 12-acre park created from a downtown parking lot by a public-private partnership between the City of Houston and the non-profit Discovery Green Conservancy. In less than four years, the site that became Discovery Green was transformed from an undeveloped, concrete eyesore into one of the most beautiful and vibrant destinations in the City of Houston.

The park features an outdoor concert pavilion, restaurants, a mist fountain for hot summer days, several distinct gardens featuring public art, and outdoor “reading rooms.” In its first three years, the park welcomed more than three million visitors and hosted more than 800 public and private events. The Discovery Green Conservancy works with hundreds of programming partners to present three dynamic seasons each year. The Conservancy raises all the funds needed for the programming and ensures that the park remains an accessible and inviting public gathering space.

Discovery Green was conceived not only as a public park, but as a landmark to attract convention revenue to the City, and as an anchor for downtown development. That goal was achieved as adjacent development, a residential high rise, a commercial office tower, hotel and a mixed-use development–a combined $500 million investment–all came to fruition. Since the park opened, the adjacent George R. Brown Convention Center has hosted major conventions such as Microsoft and Society of American Travel Writers.

Discovery Green is being featured on CPA’s website, www.cityparksalliance.org, during the month of April.

The “Frontline Parks” program is made possible with generous support from DuMor, Inc. (www.dumor.com) and PlayCore (www.playcore.com).

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