A public grand opening celebration is set for Saturday, February 11.
HOUSTON, Texas — Man-made hills that rise 40 feet above Memorial Drive are expected to help people and wildlife easily explore Houston’s largest urban park.
“We only broke ground on this project in August of 2020,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Look where we are now.”
Turner and many others had a ceremonial ribbon cutting Friday atop the new Kinder Land Bridge at Memorial Park where views include downtown Houston in one direction and uptown Houston in the other.
“What we built here today and are dedicating today is going to last and be a benefit to all Houstonians for decades to come,” said donor Rich Kinder.
A generous donation by the Kinder Foundation helped expedite the $70 million project which includes adjoining grasslands. It’s all meant to create new habitats, greater biodiversity and better stormwater management.
“What I wondered was, when it was first in the plan, if it would actually happen during my tenure or lifetime,” said Memorial Park Conservancy CEO Shellye Arnold. “And it did.”
The landscape architect whose firm developed the park’s master plan and the land bridge called it a high point of his career and a benchmark that other cities can emulate.
“I think it’s a new hybrid of how we can build public infrastructure projects for the people with the people that meet many different goals,” said Thomas Woltz of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects. “And do it beautifully.”