Prairie restoration goal in $10 million pledge to Memorial Park conservancy

The Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Family Foundation has committed $10 million toward the reintroduction of native Gulf Coast prairie to Memorial Park. (Courtesy Nelson Byrd Woltz)
The Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Family Foundation has committed $10 million toward the reintroduction of native Gulf Coast prairie to Memorial Park. (Courtesy Nelson Byrd Woltz)

The Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Family Foundation has committed $10 million toward the reintroduction of native Gulf Coast prairie to Memorial Park. (Courtesy Nelson Byrd Woltz)

Memorial Park Conservancy has received a $10 million pledge toward the reintroduction of native Gulf Coast prairie to Memorial Park, the conservancy group announced in a Sept. 30 news release.

The commitment comes from the Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Family Foundation and will serve as a defining element of the Memorial Park Master Plan’s Land Bridge and Prairie project that is aimed at establishing a more resilient ecology; enhancing animal habitats; improving stormwater management; and providing a beautiful, immersive and accessible experience for the park’s visitors, according to the news release.

“The transformation of Memorial Park is vitally important to our city and our foundation,” Cyvia Wolff said in the news release. “We are honored to be part of this incredible effort and proud to join the Kinders and others who have funded the vision for the park. Together, we are creating one of the largest urban prairie reclamation efforts in Texas so that Houstonians can experience a native landscape that has largely been lost.”

The prairie will extend from the basin south of the land bridge, up and over the mounds, and into the area north of Memorial Drive, and it will restore nearly 45 acres of endangered Gulf Coast prairie that once thrived in the Texas and Louisiana region for thousands of years, according to the release. Today, that Gulf Coast Prairie habitat is one of the most endangered ecosystems in North America, with less than 1% of its historic range remaining.

Memorial Park will achieve this large-scale restoration by taking seeds from the existing prairie along the railroad tracks and adding them to thousands of pounds of additional seeds The Nature Conservancy is collecting from other regional prairies.


With the restoration, Memorial Park expects to increase its resiliency during times of drought and in times of flood, with the prairie’s deep root system that will allow for greater absorption and the south prairie basin that will detain more of the stormwater that flows through Memorial Park to Buffalo Bayou during heavy rain events, according to the release.
By Hunter Marrow
Hunter Marrow came to Community Impact Newspaper in January 2020. Before that, Hunter covered local news in Ontario, OR for three years, covering municipal issues, crime, and education across Malheur County and across the border into Idaho.


MOST RECENT

A conceptual rendering shows what a high-speed rail station in Dallas could look like. A final design on the station has not yet been released. (Courtesy Texas Central)
Reversing course, Texas Supreme Court grants rehearing for high-speed rail eminent domain case

In the Oct. 15 order granting a rehearing, the Supreme Court set a date of Jan. 11 to hear oral arguments.

The amended version of the planned development unit will now go to the Austin Planning Commission for review. (Rendering courtesy Austin Environmental Commission)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Austin commission OKs development plan near Lady Bird Lake; shopping center coming to Porter and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 15.

Through most of 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of apartments were offering some kind of concession as a way to entice renters. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Rising apartment rent continues to be trend in Houston region

​​​​​​​According to data from ApartmentData.com, Houston has seen an average 12.8% rental rate growth in the past year.

Avenue 360 Health and Wellness is up and running in the Midtown area. (Courtesy Avenue Health and Wellness)
Ribbon-cutting celebrates new Midtown location of Avenue 360 Health and Wellness

Services include primary care, behavioral health, HIV specialty care, adult day activities and dentistry.

The Houston-Harris County Emergency Rental Assistance Program has helped local families avoid eviction during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Courtesy Pixabay)
Harris County evictions trending up as federal moratorium ends

More than 1,200 eviction cases were filed in Harris County the week of Sept. 20—the highest weekly number since before the pandemic.

A successful composting program in the Heights has spurred a new pilot program being carried out the city of Houston. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Houston composting pilot program kicks off Oct. 20 with location in the Heights

The cost-neutral program is intended to build off the momentum of an existing composting program that has been underway in the Heights since mid-April.

The Smoking Joint is now open under the umbrella of Click Click Chew virtual food hall in Cypress. (Courtesy Kirsten Gilliam)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: More restaurant, retail space could be coming to north Frisco development; Locatelli’s owners launch virtual food hall in Cypress, and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 14.

Jewish Federation of Greater Houston names new executive

The Jewish Federation of Greater Houston has a new leader at its head.

State law now requires each county to establish an adult sexual assault response team. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Harris County to establish state-mandated sexual abuse response team

State law now requires each county to establish an adult sexual assault response team.

Year-over-year single-family home sales remained strong in the Houston real estate market in September. (Courtesy Houston Association of Realtors)
HAR: Year over year, Houston single-family homes remain strong, on track for record year

Check out the October report for single-family home sales in September, provided by the Houston Association of Realtors.

A rendering is shown of a flexible space inside Panther Creek High School, which includes learning stairs and a collaboration board. The school's attendance zones are drawn to pull from Lone Star and Memorial high schools. (Courtesy Corgan)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Frisco ISD proposes attendance zone modifications; concerns are voiced over Grogan's Mill Village Center vacancies, plus more top stories

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 13.