Officials with local nonprofit Deep Cypress Alliance announced plans Feb. 15 for Deep Cypress Gardens, a 7.5-acre project located north of Grant and Louetta roads on Kathy Lane. Early plans include abundant green space, a banquet hall, a restaurant with a patio and a greenhouse.
The concept was introduced by Deep Cypress Conservancy—a new initiative within the DCA dedicated to building a greener Cypress and preserving green space for future generations.
“[Green space] in Cypress is quickly disappearing, and if we don’t do something, it will disappear altogether,” said Teri Quance, president and CEO of Deep Cypress Alliance and a 30-year Cypress resident. “By bonding together, we can withstand fragmented development and save what little green space we have left.”
Officials emphasized DCA, formerly known as Celebrating Soul, is not opposed to economic development but want to make sure it is done responsibly.
“We’re doing this because there is no entity of the governmental sort [in Cypress] to protect us,” said Wayne Schilleci, a local Realtor and founder of community group The Cypress Circle. “It’s about the residents of Cypress standing up, having a voice and claiming Cypress once and for all.”
In addition to the banquet hall and restaurant, the project will include a welcome center, a citrus grove and legacy tree, which is a monument where each person or group who contributed to the project will be recognized with their own leaves.
The garden will also host different types of programs, including garden workshops, community workdays, culinary classes and a summer camp for children to learn about the importance of preservation.
Antonio Flamenco, an architect working on the project who also runs INsite Architecture on Telge Road, said the goal is to create a place where people can socialize, learn about preservation and spend time with family.
“What we’re leaving for generations to come is something very unique,” he said.
Deep Cypress Alliance also launched a capital campaign Feb. 15 to help raise funds for the project and is accepting donations from the community. Interested individuals can sign up to become founding members and be recognized in a variety of ways, including on the legacy tree, in legacy pavers along the garden path and other memorials and dedications.
Income generated from the events center and restaurant pad site will also help with ongoing costs, officials said.
Additional fundraising events will take place over the course of 2017, including a Dinner in the Field event Oct. 7. A volunteer general meeting will take place March 29 at Rock Creek Community Center, at 14223 Winding Springs Drive, Cypress.
A shovel ceremony and a ground breaking celebration is planned for April 29. The initial goal is to have a grand opening for the public Dec. 31, although certain elements like the banquet hall will likely be completed in 2018.