Officials with Houston Parks Board and the city of Houston joined the Houston Heights Association and community members Oct. 24 for a ribbon cutting for $1.1 million in improvements to Love Park in the Heights.

The big picture

Love Park, located at 1000 W. 12th St., Houston, was one of 22 parks that have been targeted for improvements in the HPB's 50/50 Park Partners initiative, which seeks to make improvements to city of Houston parks with an emphasis on seeking partnership funding and incorporating community feedback.

The city of Houston has put more than $14 million into the program in total, and the Houston City Council voted to approve $1.8 million in funding in January, including $203,000 for Love Park. The Love Park improvements were funded in part by a $250,000 contribution from ExxonMobil, according to an Oct. 23 news release from the city, and the Houston Endowment has also made significant improvements to the overall program, officials said.

A look back

The Houston Parks Board and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department hosted a listening session in late 2021 to gather feedback from Heights residents on park improvements. At the time, residents identified new playground equipment and new exercise station as the top needs, as well as the park's baseball field and realigning its walking trail.

The details

Improvements at Love Park included:
  • new playground equipment for ages 5-12
  • a new exercise station
  • consolidating the picnic area to increase open green space
  • regrading and smoothing the surface of the large multiuse field
  • resurfacing and replacing the walking trail
  • added five new LED lights throughout the park
  • improving drainage with a new detention area and improved drainage swales
  • installing new benches, picnic tables and trash cans
  • pruning trees
  • repairing building floodlights
  • refreshing park signage and painting of buildings and pool area
Quote of note

"We all came together and really centered our work on three things: park equity, community engagement and longterm sustainable impact, and that's what we think we're delivering with all of these projects, including this Love Park renovation," said Cullen Geiselman Muse, chair-elect of the Houston Parks Board, at the Oct. 24 ribbon cutting.

What's next

Houston Mayor Sylevester Turner, who spoke at the Oct. 24 ribbon cutting, said the city has completed improvements at 13 of the 22 targeted parks and will aim to complete the remaining nine before the end of the year. Learn more about the other city parks in the program here.