Construction to Begin on Hartman Park as Part of 50/50 Park Partners
50/50 Park Partners is pleased to announce the start of construction on Hartman Park, the first neighborhood park to receive improvements and long-term support as part of the 50/50 Park Partners initiative. The 50/50 Park Partners initiative was created by Mayor Sylvester Turner. He tasked the Greater Houston Partnership, Houston Parks Board, and Houston Parks and Recreation Department, to bring together a city-wide coalition of business partners to provide ideas, monetary contributions, in-kind support and volunteers to improve neighborhood parks.
“Neighborhood parks are the heart and soul of our community. I thank the Valero Energy Foundation for investing in Hartman Park and for being an early supporter of the 50/50 Park Partners Initiative,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “We are just getting started with our work to improve greenspace, transform parks, and enhance the quality of life for every Houstonian. I encourage all organizations and companies to join our momentum.”
Improvements to Hartman Park are made possible by Valero Energy Foundation funding and through City of Houston Park Bond funds. Valero has committed over $600,000 in grants and in-kind services as a founding member of the 50/50 Park Partners initiative. In addition to the financial support, Valero is also committing to additional park improvements through volunteer resources and in-kind support.
“At Valero, we are committed to being a good neighbor,” said Rob Moore, Vice President and General Manager Valero Houston Refinery. “This gift is another example of Valero’s commitment to the Manchester community. Over the last decade, we have invested more than $5 million in charitable contributions for our local area,” added Moore. “Children throughout Houston deserve safe, attractive and fun places to learn and play. Valero is proud to support Mayor Turner’s 50/50 Park Partners program.”
Hartman Park is a key gathering place for the Manchester community in Houston’s East End. Updates to the park include redevelopment of the playground area including the colorful playground units for children ages 2-5 and 5-12, multiple swings and spinners, new concrete border, ramp and walks, new playground surfacing, subsurface drainage, new benches, a new bike rack, and required detention. A meeting was held in January to discuss the project and gather input from the community. Construction is expected to be completed by Fall 2021.
“Thank you to Valero Energy Foundation for their commitment to Hartman Park and the Manchester Community it serves,” said Steve Wright, Director Houston Parks and Recreation Department. “50/50 Park Partners initiative is such an important project for this city. It is what Houston Strong means, it is how we support each other, and it is how we promote park equity in neighborhood parks all across our system.”
“The 50/50 Park Partners program is a great example of how corporate partners can come together with the city and our communities to support neighborhood resources and promote park equity across Houston,” said Bob Harvey, President and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership. “I’m proud of the role the business community continues to play in making Houston a better place to live and work for everyone.”
“Our city continues to grow as a greenspace leader with increased accessibility and advancements to our parks and trails, and I am excited to see these park improvements expand to our neighborhood parks through 50/50 Park Partners,” said Beth White, President and CEO of Houston Parks Board. “Parks are at the heart of every neighborhood, and it is important that Houston’s green renaissance touches every member of our community.”
The 50/50 Park Partners framework provides an opportunity for corporations to play a leadership role in supporting neighborhood parks and their surrounding communities, catalyzing the process of reinvigorating an under-resourced park. The initiative includes a coordinated process for determining park improvements focused on close collaboration with local communities. Project funds will be invested based on priorities of need and distributed citywide across the identified neighborhood parks operated by the Houston Parks and Recreation Department.
To learn more about 50/50 Park Partners, please visit Houston5050parkpartners.com.