The Play Your Park campaign is the Conservancy's latest endeavor in its mission to improve and maintain Hermann Park. This $51 million initative is focused on four exceptional projects: the Commons at Hermann Park, the McWilliams Dog Park, enhanced natural habitats, and a renewed public art initiative.
As the next phase in Hermann Park Conservancy's 20-year master plan, the Play Your Park campaign will create a more welcoming space in Hermann Park today, and for future generations to enjoy.
The Commons at Hermann Park will reinvigorate a prominent 26-acre area in the Park’s southwest corner. Bordered by the Texas Medical Center, Houston Zoo, Rice University, the Museum District and Innovation District (ION), the Commons will provide a much-needed connector—both civically and physically—among these dynamic institutions.
The Commons contains a wide variety of places designed for visitors of all ages – from the tiniest children to health care workers to older guests out for a stroll. We have focused intently on large-scale habitat restoration to create significant natural areas which will sustain native birds and animals and provide visitors a meaningful connection to nature. The striking amenities will be set within acres of increased native habitats with the addition of over a thousand trees and ten thousand plants.
For the Park’s younger visitors, unique-to-Houston play experiences will maximize opportunities for learning through play, and encourage exploration and cooperation.
When polled about what features users wanted to see in Hermann Park, a new dog park was at the top of the list! Thanks to a leading gift from Laura and Brad McWilliams, the McWilliams Dog Park will be a two-acre site for you and your best friend.
With designs for the dog park complete, and permitting with the City of Houston currently submitted, the McWilliams Dog Park will begin construction in mid-2022, with an opening scheduled for Fall 2022.
As part of the Play Your Park campaign, thousands of new trees and native plants will be added to the Commons to create a thriving natural habitat for local wildlife, including more than 600 species of birds that fly through Houston.
A priority of the Commons project is to invigorate the presence of nature by bringing native plants back to Hermann Park where they once thrived as tall grass prairie.
A centerpiece of Hermann Park's enhanced and expanded 20-year master plan, the Commons also gives public art pride of place in dedicated "art zones."
These dedicated zones give a previously non-descript area of Hermann Park a new identity and draw. For many coming from the north side of the Park, these zones will mark the entry into the new area. Visible from Fannin Street, the artwork announces the presence and activity of the Park to people driving past.
If you would like to play your part for Play Your Park, please consider making a donation and selecting which of the campaign initiatives you would like to support (Dog Park, Fund for Public Art, Play Your Park Campaign, or The Commons at Hermann Park).