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Harris County
Houston-Galveston Area Council
News Release
Tuesday, January 17, 2012

H-GAC Announces Parks, Natural Areas Award Winners 

The Houston-Galveston Area Council is pleased to announce the winners of the 2011 Parks and Natural Areas Award competition. These projects serve as models for planning and project implementation for parks and natural areas in the region. H-GAC received applications in four categories: the Planning Process; Policy Tools; On-the-Ground Projects Under $500,000; and On-the-Ground Projects over $500,000.

On Tuesday, January 17, the H-GAC Board of Directors honored the outstanding parks and natural areas projects.

Playbook 2020 - The Strategic Parks and Recreation Master Plan for Baytown, a project by the City of Baytown-Parks and Recreation Department, is the winner in the Planning category. Playbook 2020 is the 10-year roadmap for the future of Baytown's parks and covers every aspect of the system from park facility needs, to trails, to enhancement of the waterfront and the unique Baytown Nature Center. Planning Honorable Mention project is Alden Bridge Sports Park-Community Garden/ Veggie Village Garden, a project of The Woodlands Township-Parks and Recreation Department.

The City of Missouri City's Three for Trees is the winner in the Policy Tools category. When golfers and enthusiasts purchase three rounds of golf at the Quail Valley Golf Course, the Three for Trees promotion gives them a 20 percent golf discount and a $10 donation is made toward tree planting and care. Policy Tools Honorable Mention project is the City of Sugar Land's Comprehensive Streetscape Policy.

The winner in the On-the-Ground Projects Under $500,000 category is the Galveston Bay Foundation's Clear Lake Forest Park Living Shoreline. "Living Shorelines" are shoreline management options that provide erosion control benefits while working with nature to enhance shoreline habitats. This project included elevation changes and the creation of a marsh habitat on Mud Lake. On-the-Ground Projects Under $500,000 Honorable Mention project is the City of Missouri City's Edible Arbor Trail.

The winner in the On-the-Ground Projects over $500,000 category is the Lake Houston Wilderness Park Phase I Improvements, a project by the City of Houston-Parks and Recreation Department. This project improves access to a nearly 5,000-acre, mostly undeveloped park, including overnight use facilities, new infrastructure, recreational amenities, and a new park entry. On-the-Ground Projects over $500,000 Honorable Mention project is Mandolin Gardens Park, a project of the Harris County Municipal Utility District 230.

Special recognition is also given in the following categories:


MUD 55 Regional Basin and Overlook at Heritage Park (Harris County Municipal Utility District No. 55)

Greens Bayou Canoe Launch Park (Greens Bayou Corridor Coalition)

Buffalo Bayou Park - Shepherd to Sabine Master Plan (Buffalo Bayou Partnership)

Memorial Park Planned Forestry Conservation & Management Program Demonstration Project (City of Houston-Parks and Recreation Department and Memorial Park Conservancy)

Community Roots Project (City of Missouri City)

WaterSmart Park (City of League City-Parks and Cultural Services)

On-the-Ground Projects Under $500,000

Shopping Cart Graveyard (Bayou Preservation Association)

On-the-Ground Projects Over $500,000

Market Square Park (Houston Downtown Management District and Main Street/Market Square TIRZ)

Rosemont Bridge (City of Houston-Parks and Recreation Department)

Phase 1 of Outer Loop Trail for Memorial Park (Memorial Park Conservancy and City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department)

Since 2006, the Parks and Natural Areas subcommittee, an extension of H-GAC’s Natural Resources Advisory Committee, has recognized creative and innovative park and natural area projects that implement best management practices in planning, policy and development.

For information about H-GAC’s Parks and Natural Areas planning program, contact Kelly Porter at or 713-993-4529. For complete descriptions and photos of all the winners, visit

Houston-Galveston Area Council
The Houston-Galveston Area Council ( is a voluntary association of local governments in the 13-county Gulf Coast Planning Region—an area of 12,500 square miles and more than 5.7 million people. H-GAC works to promote efficient and accountable use of local, state, and federal tax dollars and serves as a problem-solving and information forum for local government needs.


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