Mayor works to restore Memorial Park

Plans announced to create updated master plan

HOUSTON - Mayor Annise Parker is making a push for Memorial Park.

The devastation left by the drought can be seen throughout this Houston gem. On Thursday, the mayor said she wants to restore the park to its former beauty.

"It's really sad," said Erich Brann, a native Houstonian. "They've been here all my life and won't be here for another 40 years. But I'm glad they're planting some new ones."

For Houstonians like Brann, Memorial Park is a very dear and treasured park. Runners come here every day, rain or shine.

"I run out here weekly," said Emily Hoang, Runner. "And seeing the trees less and less, It's not the same as before."

Mayor Annise Parker wants to bring Memorial Park back to what it once was before the drought killed so many trees. She announced plans to create an updated master plan of restoration including erosion control, removal of invasive non-native plants and the re-establishment of native grasslands and forests.

Texas A&M urban foresters agree with the mayor and hope more can be done to save Memorial Park, especially as we head back into an alarming drought.

The latest Drought Monitor shows parts of Houston are in a moderate to severe drought.

"It is scary, since we experienced what we did and we hope it will never get that bad," said Matthew Weaver, Texas A&M Regional Urban Forester. "But as climatologists and meteorologists say this is our current trend and we may be in it for several years."

The issue of park restoration will go before the city council sometime at the end of the month.

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