Officials released additional details yesterday on plans for Deep Cypress Gardens, a 7.5-acre project located north of Grant and Louetta roads on Kathy Lane. Early plans include abundant greenspace, a banquet hall, a restaurant with patio and a greenhouse.
The concept was introduced by Deep Cypress Conservancy—a new initiative of local nonprofit Deep Cypress Alliance dedicated to building a greener Cypress and preserving greenspace for future generations.
"[Greenspace] 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 30-year Cypress resident. "By bonding together, we can withstand fragmented development and save what little greenspace we have left."
Officials emphasized that the group is not opposed to economic development, but want to do more 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 the banquet hall and restaurant the project will include a welcome center, citrus grove and legacy tree—a monument where each person or group who contributed to the project will be recognized with their own leaf.
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. Schilleci, former owner of Schilleci's New Orleans Kitchen in The Woodlands, will serve as the director of culinary programs.
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 yesterday to help raise funds for the project and is accepting donations from the community. Those interested 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 the 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 the Rock Creek Community Center, 14223 Winding Springs Drive, Cypress.
A shovel ceremony originally set to take place Feb. 22 has been rescheduled for April 19 at 10:30 a.m. at the property site. A ground breaking celebration is planned for April 29. The initial goal is to have a grand opening for the public on Dec. 31, although certain elements, such as the banquet hall, will likely be completed in 2018.