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.
Designed by landscape architects Michael Van Valkenburgh, the thousands of new trees and plants to the Commons will create vital habitats for the more than 600 species of birds that come through Houston.
Click here to download our Commons Nature Fact Sheet.
The first step in preparing the Commons site for the new plantings is to restore the compacted soil that has felt over 100 years of Park use.
Unique to our inner-city, the Conservancy has planted seven acres of crops in rotation – first Daikon radishes followed by cereal rye – to restore the soil. The deep roots of the new habitat plantings help manage rain water more effectively than traditional turf. The Conservancy is steering away from synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, regerative agriculture will be used to restore seven acres of soil, and one of the first major parks in Houston to do so.
Included in the plans are the experiential Wetland Garden which will take the water flowing through the water-based play features and filtered as it travels through the natural prairie to McGovern Lake, where it will eventually be recycled for irrigation needs throughout the area.