To be a more resilient city and drive improvements to quality of life, Houston must have thriving parks to support thriving neighborhoods.
Public and private investment in the development and improvement of Houston parks, greenways, and public spaces has solidified Houston’s national reputation as a greenspace leader. Signature parks such as Memorial Park, Hermann Park, Discovery Green, Emancipation Park, Levy Park, MacGregor Park, and the Bayou Greenways initiative have transformed the city.
The work to uplift neighborhood parks, however, is just beginning. Mayor Sylvester Turner’s announcement for this new city initiative, 50/50 Park Partners, challenged the private sector to join the city in driving improvements to neighborhood parks.
BECOME A 50/50 PARK PARTNER TO JOIN THE COALITION OF BUSINESSES MAKING AN IMPACT ON HOUSTON’S NEIGHBORHOODS AND THEIR PARKS.
THANK YOU TO OUR CURRENT PARTNERS
WHAT IS 50/50 PARK PARTNERS?
Led by the Office of the Mayor, Houston Parks & Recreation Department, Greater Houston Partnership, and Houston Parks Board, 50/50 Park Partners will improve Houston’s neighborhoods, one park at a time. By becoming a Park Partner, you can help drive positive social, environmental, and economic change.
The 50/50 Park Partners initiative brings together private businesses through monetary contributions, in-kind support, ideas, and volunteers, for improvements to neighborhood parks in a 50/50 split of costs with the City of Houston. The heart of 50/50 Park Partners is the creation of long-term relationships for sustained impact between businesses, communities, and parks, improving the quality of life for Houstonians for decades to come.
To strengthen this innovative public-private partnership, the City of Houston, through the Parks Dedication Fund, has committed a multimillion-dollar contribution.
BASED ON THREE FOUNDING PRINCIPLES:
- Park Equity: Neighborhood parks are selected and improved based on need and citywide distribution.
- Community Engagement: Improvements, projects, and volunteer support are responsive to the community and focus on existing parks.
- Long-term Sustainable Impact: The 50/50 Park Partners initiative provides a multi-year investment, starting a long-term partnership between businesses, neighborhood parks, and the community.
50/50 PARK PARTNERS FRAMEWORK
50/50 Park Partners has been designed to create both business and social value in countless ways, maximizing the impact of becoming a Park Partner.
The 50/50 Park Partners framework provides an opportunity to play a leadership role in supporting neighborhood parks and their surrounding communities across Houston, catalyzing the process of reinvigorating an under-resourced park. The coalition of Park Partners, the City of Houston, Houston Parks & Recreation Department, and Houston Parks Board will determine a coordinated process for park improvement and design focusing on close collaboration with local communities.
Financial support from Park Partners will be held by Houston Parks Board in a centralized and coordinated fund to deliver maximum impact. Project funds will be invested based on priorities of need and distributed citywide across the identified neighborhood parks.
- Relationship Building: 50/50 Park Partners are paired with a neighborhood park through a highly personalized process that considers both the community and the company priorities. These connections are drawn after careful analysis of existing relationships, company initiatives, and community needs.
- Community Engagement: Community members care deeply for their neighborhood and their parks. Community input is critical to the success and longevity of 50/50 Park Partner initiative projects. Neighbors are engaged throughout the planning process to ensure that park improvements reflect the desires and needs of current and future residents. 50/50 Park Partners also catalyze long-term care of the parks by inspiring and equipping the community to form stewardship groups.
“Civic engagement and investment within our neighborhoods greatly improves quality of life, strengthening the region as a whole.” – Bob Harvey, President & CEO, Greater Houston Partnership
EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT & VOLUNTEERING
Like parks, volunteers are at the heart of every strong community, and employees are at the heart of every strong business. Whether you have an active volunteer program or not, we will work with you to customize employee engagement opportunities in parks for teambuilding and giving back.
- Constructing improvements
- Planting landscaped areas
- Identifying and building nature trails
- Refurbishing existing facilities
With many businesses now including volunteerism in their employee benefits program, 50/50 Park Partners provides meaningful opportunities for an organization and its employees to make a tangible, sustainable difference. This approach will enable Park Partners to directly tie their support of this initiative with their corporate strategies by increasing brand recognition, improving corporate culture and boosting employee morale.
Businesses can further support this initiative by providing in-kind value and expertise to projects that will uplift multiple neighborhood parks at a time (e.g., infrastructure lighting improvements, WiFi connectivity, community engagement).
Beyond physical improvements to parks, Park Partners support events and the activation of parks, helping them to become more livable spaces and meet their full potential as vibrant centers of community life.
Park Partners will get the opportunity to celebrate the opening of parks with the community with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
As Houston’s reputation as a park-centric city continues to grow nationally and internationally, Park Partners will be recognized as integral to our city’s success. 50/50 Park Partners will be acknowledged in marketing content designed to promote their investment as well as celebrate their success. Park Partners will also be recognized at signage at each park.
“50/50 Park Partners connects businesses with neighborhoods, city agencies, and nonprofit organizations to enrich communities and strengthen our city.” – Beth White, President & CEO, Houston Parks Board
50/50 PARK PARTNERS BENEFITS
- Centrally Managed 50/50 Park Partner Company Employee Engagement Day(s)
- External Marketing – Use of 50/50 Park Partners branding and content in related marketing materials
- Recognition in print and online 50/50 Park Partners materials (e.g., press release, website)
- Recognition in all 50/50 Park Partners neighborhood parks
- Greater Houston Partnership event recognition (e.g., printed materials, signage, 50/50 Park Partners exclusive opportunities)
- Priority selection of park engagement opportunities
50/50 PARK PARTNERS NEIGHBORHOOD PARKS
WHY NEIGHBORHOOD PARKS?
Support of 50/50 Park Partners sends a strong message about a company’s commitment to improving quality of life for Houstonians and investing in the vitality of their city.
Parks have extraordinary reach and bring many benefits to our communities. Neighborhood parks serve as hubs for recreation and civic engagement. Regular access to neighborhood parks is critical to quality of life in urban areas in many tangible ways, including:
- Improving mental and physical health
- Promoting civic pride and neighborhood cohesion
- Spurring economic development
- Mitigating flood risks and improving air quality
Parks, trails, and open spaces have become essential urban amenities in today’s competitive economy and are now key considerations for employers and the talent they seek to recruit and retain.
Support of 50/50 Park Partners sends a strong message about a company’s commitment to their quality of life and the vitality of their city.
PARK SELECTION PROCESS
Houston is home to more than 180 neighborhood parks which are between 1 and 15 acres in size.
Those neighborhood parks most in need were identified through a detailed assessment process to ensure investments are equitably targeted. The criteria used evaluated the overarching condition of each neighborhood park alongside population and equity metrics for those Houstonians living within a 10-minute walk of each park.
50/50 Park Partners is an initiative led by Houston Parks Board, Houston Parks and Recreation Department, and Greater Houston Partnership.