Enhancing green spaces can significantly increase access to exercise, introduce different sports, and lead to better health indicators for an entire community. Port Houston is a community ally, engaged in supporting the communities near the Houston Ship Channel through partnerships and positive impact.
In 2022, Port Houston committed two million dollars towards two community green space initiatives focused on health equity through green spaces.
The first program is carried out in partnership with the Houston Parks Board through the 50/50 Parks initiative. Port Houston is sponsoring two parks, at $500,000 each. The first is Hidalgo Park, right across from our Sam Houston Pavilion, and the second one is Oak Meadow Park, a block away from Pasadena and close to one of our dredged material placement sites. These parks will get additional funds through the Parks Initiative, which will result in a significant revitalization.
In 2023, Port Houston was honored to join the ribbon cutting ceremony for Hidalgo Park. Port Houston helped provide funding for improvements to the park which included a new splash pad, new maritime themed playground, improved sidewalks, improved lighting, painting, and more!
The second program, with an investment of one million dollars, is done in partnership with the small cities and unincorporated areas in East Harris County. We are currently planning to invest in green spaces in Shore Acres, Galena Park, Jacinto City, and multiple SPARK parks throughout the Houston Ship Channel area. This program is grassroots focused and consists of green space needs assessments conducted per city, with input from city officials and community members, and prioritization of needs in those communities.
Both programs are grounded in community engagement with a goal of improving health equity. We are focused on being intentional and listening to the communities we are hoping to support. These programs are scheduled to run until 2024.
Additionally, Port Houston has awarded money to other greenspace initiatives through the 2022 Community Grants Program. Non-profit organizations like Rebuilding Together Houston, Houston Botanic Garden, Native Plant Society of Texas, and Target Hunger are helping provide green programs to improve the local community.