As you may be aware, Museum Area Municipal Association (MAMA) is raising money to restore the gardens and trim the trees in Bell Park based on a solid plan developed by Carvel Glenn, a MAMA member. We need to raise an additional $10,000 by the end of June to reach our goal of $31,000, and we are hoping you will support our efforts by making a contribution. There is a summary below that includes how you can make a tax-deductible donation through the Houston Parks Board. If the summary does not answer all of your questions, please do not hesitate to let us know. If you do choose to donate, also please send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org to assist us in monitoring our progress. Thank you!
BELL PARK RESTORATION PROJECT
Bell Park is a jewel. Located on Montrose Boulevard in Houston’s Museum District, this one-block city park combines shade trees, water, art and gardens into a charming urban oasis that is rare in Houston. A gift of the Bell family four decades ago, the park’s unique design has survived changing tastes and attitudes to remain as loved today as when it was first created.
The Houston Parks & Recreation Department (HPARD) has done a commendable job of maintaining Bell Park’s unique features despite a steadily shrinking budget. Unfortunately, the park’s aging infrastructure is making it harder to keep the gardens green and the trees healthy. Hastening the decline, Hurricane Ike in 2008 and the drought in 2011 were a one-two punch from which the park never recovered. Unlike many parks in Houston, Bell Park does not need to be redesigned; it just needs some tender, loving care.
The Bell Park Restoration Project will overcome these challenges and restore its unique landscape. First, the original irrigation system will be replaced, ensuring adequate water to maintain healthy plants. Second, the park’s gardens will be restored with a variety of native and drought-tolerant but still beautiful garden plantings. Finally, trees will be trimmed, and damage dating from Hurricane Ike will be addressed.
Funds will be set aside to ensure any malfunctioning irrigation components can be repaired quickly in the future, before damage to the park’s landscaping occurs. There also will be funding to augment the always-stretched resources of HPARD with regard to seasonal care of the gardens. With these simple and cost-effective steps, one of Houston’s true jewels can be restored for the enjoyment of Houston’s residents and visitors to the Museum District for many decades to come.
The budget for the project is $31,000 thanks in part to a challenge grant of $8,000 from the Montrose Management District. Please consider a gift that will allow the irrigation project to move forward this summer. The goal is to begin the planting in Fall 2013.
The Bell Park Restoration Project is a neighborhood partnership project with the Houston Parks Board. This non-profit 501c(3) can accept your tax-deductible contributions online at www.houstonparksboard.org. On the homepage you will see the large “Donate” circle in the upper right corner. This will direct you to the donation page where you can pay with major credit cards or electronic checks. Please be sure to select “Bell Park” on the drop down menu under your gift amount.
As an individual donor, if you prefer to send a check, your tax-deductible check should be made to the Houston Parks Board, with a notation on the check for “Bell Park Restoration“. Checks made directly to MAMA, with notation for the Bell Park Restoration Project, will benefit the project but will not be tax deductible. You can mail your check to MAMA, P. O. Box 66735, Houston, Texas 77266 or give it to a MAMA member.
Thank you for helping to restore Bell Park!
For more news on Houston parks, see Mandel, Hagstette: Houston’s parks enjoy a resurgence published in the Houston Chronicle May 4, 2013