Project Aims To Increase Access To Green Spaces In Part Of Harris County’s Urban Area

Precinct One’s “Park Smart” initiative is under way and expected to culminate in 2019

In part of Harris County's more urban area, there is an effort to increase access to green spaces and trails, as well as investing in future parks.

The main goal of Precinct One's "Park-Smart" project is making it easier for residents to enjoy parks and trails, not only in the precinct, but in the greater Houston region through the networks that are being developed.

The first stage of the project will assess existing green spaces in the precinct, which is led by Commissioner Rodney Ellis and covers 375 square miles, including parts of urban Houston, such as the NRG Park complex, the Texas Medical Center and the University of Houston's main and downtown campuses.

The initiative also involves workshops with the community starting in December.

Ellis said they will inform residents about what they have now and also ask for their input on what they would like in the future.

“They will see how far they are from a trail, how far they are from some public green space. Give them a sense of, if there are buyouts as a result of Hurricane Harvey, if there’s land that may be available that could be turned into green space,” Ellis told Houston Public Media.

The project is in collaboration with the Houston Parks Board and the Trust for Public Land, and it's partially funded with a grant from the Houston Endowment.

Precinct One currently owns and manages 22 parks and the initiative is scheduled to be completed in early 2019.

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