‘Parks By You’ Works Towards More Green Space in Houston
Parks By You is an ever-growing societal coalition continuously working towards the increase of access to and improvement of friendly neighborhood parks and bayous in Houston. The initial objective is to pass a $160 million bond initiative on November 6th with the goal of creating a city where a majority of Houstonians will have the privilege to live within 1.5 miles of a park and green space by creating a system of interconnected trails and green spaces to unite our city’s seven main bayous and neighborhood parks. The passing of this bond will help allow communities to improve their public health and safety, build stronger neighborhoods, and support ongoing efforts to enhance water quality and flood control– all great advancements to our city.
The project will require $205 million to complete, and will be financially funded through a public and private partnership. $150 will come from state, federal, and private sector funds; and $100 million will come from the proposed $160 million bond initiative.
Through community engagement and strategic outreach, Parks By Young Professionals, a group of Houstonian Parks By You enthusiasts, hope to build support for the November bond initiative and these other long-terms transformative goals. The group’s kickoff event in July was considered a success– the event co-chair, Divya Brown, thought “it was wonderful to see the diversity of races and ages supporting the initiative, proving that it will benefit all. It is evident that Houstonians are committed to the movement to make Houston an even better place to live and the passing of the referendum is the first step in the right direction.”
Parks By You considers these to be the great benefits to Houston and its residents:
- Doubling Houston’s trails to nearly 150 miles will put over 50 percent of Houstonians within 1.5 miles of a neighborhood park or green space, increasing access to outdoor exercise.
- Green spaces improve air quality, protect Houston’s unique ecosystems, preserve the natural landscape, and improve water-retention and absorption systems.
- Parks By You enhances Houston’s quality of life, which not only encourages companies to relocate to Houston, but will make our city more appealing to retirees—all with no tax rate increase required for funding, AND with over $70 million in economic benefits felt per year in Houston.
“This plan will bring parks to every corner of this city. It will improve the health of our citizens, the safety of our children, and compliment ongoing flood control and water quality efforts–this plan is a win-win for Houston.” -State Senator Rodney Ellis
“I’m proud to support Parks By You. As an avid cyclist and a strong promoter of health, wellness, and fitness I applaud efforts that encourage the community to become active and engage in healthy lifestyles. This plan to create parks and green space along our bayous within 1.5 miles of a majority of our citizens will give us the access to recreation we’ve wanted and a chance to exercise and improve our health. These are not just amenities but important tools for transforming wellness in our communities.” -State Representative Carol Alvarado, District 145
by Erin Dyer