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lockmat

Memorial Park looks awful

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I don't know if this topic has been brought up already, after all this is not breaking news. But every time I drive by or through it, I can't help but be in awe at how many trees have died and at how awful it looks. The restoration process is going to take 20-30 years at least. I'll be an old man by the time it returns to its old form.

Does anyone know what their plan is and when they will start replanting trees? This is going to take a huge philanthropic endeavor.

I'm assuming they all died from the drought or was there a disease as well?

While driving by yesterday it looks like the mulch they put in the medians was wood chips. Are they from the dead trees?

Edited by lockmat

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Couldn't agree more.  The volume of trees removed is staggering... and ongoing (the view from 610 is starting to look pretty horrendous as the dead-wood is dragged out).  A 'replant Memorial Park' campaign started last year, and you can see the baby trees around the loop.  I read somewhere that volunteers have planted thousands of trees in Memorial, but It's a drop in the bucket and will take 30 years to get the canopy back to what it was.  Stupid drought.

 

Link to the Memorial Park conservancy website:  http://www.memorialparkconservancy.org/

(Side note, the rodeo gave them $250,000 which is pretty great)

 

I love that park.  

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I don't think it looks that bad!

It looks bad if you compare it to what it was before, but you're right, it's still pretty great as urban parks go.

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Really? It looks like a nuke landed there

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True. I guess it would look a lot better if they removed all signs of dead trees

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Give them a couple of years.   Remember,  it's basically a giant construction zone right now.    Being worked on my mainly non-profits.      Won't have the same expediency as if say Hines was in there directing construction and waiting on the payoff at the finish.

 

It WILL look a lot diffent than the old overgrown jungle of invasive species that it was.   It will be much more open  (and usable - nice bonus) and healthy and in five years barring more droughts of a lifetime - it should look pretty good.      It will have a mix of the surviving old large trees and a lot of new young trees that will mature over time.

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Give them a couple of years.   Remember,  it's basically a giant construction zone right now.    Being worked on my mainly non-profits.      Won't have the same expediency as if say Hines was in there directing construction and waiting on the payoff at the finish.

 

It WILL look a lot diffent than the old overgrown jungle of invasive species that it was.   It will be much more open  (and usable - nice bonus) and healthy and in five years barring more droughts of a lifetime - it should look pretty good.      It will have a mix of the surviving old large trees and a lot of new young trees that will mature over time.

 

The Mayor mentioned that it hadn't been quite managed right over the last few decades, and not only had invasive species, but also had way too many trees planted at the same time and the same age, so they were all vulnerable simultaneously.  Evidently they have a much smarter management plan in place now and it should do much better over the next few years.

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Parts of it are worst than others.  North of memorial drive it is really bad.  I walked some of the mountain bike trailers a few weeks ago.  It is pretty healthy there.  Probably due to how close it is to the bayou.  It looks very bad in some parts.  Especially, when driving down memorial.  We are having a drought right now.  It has not rained in weeks. 



Parts of it are worst than others.  North of memorial drive it is really bad.  I walked some of the mountain bike trailers a few weeks ago.  It is pretty healthy there.  Probably due to how close it is to the bayou.  It looks very bad in some parts.  Especially, when driving down memorial.  We are having a drought right now.  It has not rained in weeks. 

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I was shocked at Memorial Park's appearance. Maybe more than some people due to the fact that I hardly ever pass by the Galleria. I couldn't believe it. My heart sunk. A drought after the last hurricane took it's toll. I feel the same way when traveling down the Gulf Freeway. Winter time makes everything look desolate, as well. Hopefully, we wll see a lot of rain this Spring.

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Does anyone know what kind of trees they planted along I-10 between downtown and 610?

I'm really glad they put in irrigation

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Hopefully, they're going to re-look at the trail network before they plant new trees. This would be a perfect time to extend the jogging trails.

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I have heard rumors that the Uptown area is going to create a TIRZ (tax increment reinvestment zone) that includes Memorial Park, for the purposes of rehabilitiating it. If you are unfamilar with how a TIRZ works, basically once a TIRZ is established, instead of all the property tax revenues from the properties just going into the general coffers at the county tax office, a portion is earmarked for reinvestment within the TIRZ, for infrastructure improvement, beautification, etc. If this rumor is true, it is a very, very promising development.

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I have heard rumors that the Uptown area is going to create a TIRZ (tax increment reinvestment zone) that includes Memorial Park, for the purposes of rehabilitiating it. If you are unfamilar with how a TIRZ works, basically once a TIRZ is established, instead of all the property tax revenues from the properties just going into the general coffers at the county tax office, a portion is earmarked for reinvestment within the TIRZ, for infrastructure improvement, beautification, etc. If this rumor is true, it is a very, very promising development.

 

Technically, they are annexing Memorial Park into the existing Uptown TIRZ.

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I read somewhere last week that people in charge of the park are concerned about this happening. I guess they don't want people who know nothing about parks making decisions without community/their input.

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I read somewhere last week that people in charge of the park are concerned about this happening. I guess they don't want people who know nothing about parks making decisions without community/their input.

I guess that leads to the question of who controls the uptown tirz.

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I read somewhere last week that people in charge of the park are concerned about this happening. I guess they don't want people who know nothing about parks making decisions without community/their input.

 

I don't know, maybe I am wrong, and there is something to that concern, but it seems unlikely. It's not like the uptown park shopping center owners, et al will suddenly own or control the park and do whatever they want with it. The plan the TIRZ board proposes will have to go through public comment period and city council approval, and it will still be the city using the money and doing the work. The Parks department has to answer to the city now, it will have to answer to the city then, it will just be following a plan that it gave plenty of input on and the public and city approved.

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I found the article www.google.com/m?q=+Houston+memoril+parrlkvtirz+concerns

It's the fourth from the top. Chron April 26

Edited by lockmat

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Their concerns seem pretty vague, and I don't see them really making a case for how the public has any more say in how the park is managed now than it would be under the TIRZ. I also see them not coming up with an alternative - the city doesn't have the money under the status quo. Forgive my cynism, but as an environmental scientist who has worked in the environmental field for going on 15 years now, too often have I seen how "environmentalist's" poor understanding of environmental issues, heavy on emotion, light on facts and understanding of environmental science, regulations, and risk, can really foul up projects to the detriment of the environment. So, I am pretty skeptical when environmentalists oppose plans with nebulous concerns like the ones I see here.

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