West 11th Street Park
West 11th Street Park, 2400 West 11th Street, 77008
For over 50 years, the West 11th Street property served as a de facto park for the community. Owned by HISD and leased to the City of Houston Parks Department, the property was deemed surplus in 2005 and released for sale. The Houston Parks Board negotiated a $9 million sales price (less than the property’s value) for park purposes. Mayor White agreed to provide $4 million in public funds to purchase the property with the understanding that the private sector would raise the remainder. In the fall of 2007, thanks to the efforts of Senator John Whitmire, a $3.75 million matching grant was allocated in the Texas Legislature to fund the remaining 5-acres of West 11th Street Park along with the individual private donations raised.
West 11th Street Park is a true natural treasure and completion of the acquisition meant this natural treasure will be preserved. This action protected over 1,800 mature trees, a rapidly growing and diverse understory and wooded trails for generations to come. The park is a haven for herons, owls, woodpeckers, butterflies, squirrels, and countless other creatures. Over 100 bird species and 33 species of butterflies have been identified in the park. Two of the six woodpecker species (the dramatic and uncommon red-headed woodpecker and the huge pileated woodpecker), as well as the Great horned owls that currently live in the park, all need this large undisturbed tract of land to thrive.
Since the acquisition of West 11th Street Park, the Houston Parks Board has worked with the surrounding community to make sensitive improvements in the park to aid in the enjoyment of passive recreation activities in the 20.2 acre nature park. A new 1,100 linear foot long decomposed granite trail now provides dry, stable footing for bird watching and enjoying the respite of nature.