Barron Wallace completed five years of service as the Board Chairman of the HPB Board of Directors in June 2024. He has been an extraordinary leader, and we are so grateful for his leadership.

Barron took on the Chairmanship role as we were nearing the end of ‘Bayou Greenways 2020’ and planning major city-wide celebrations. Then, we all abruptly entered the ‘COVID era.’ Barron guided us through this challenging time with a steady hand and grace, lending his wise counsel and thoughtful guidance.

Barron’s commitment to equity and inclusion made a strong mark on HPB. He encouraged us to think deeply about how equity drives our work, noting that everyone will have a different definition of equity, but encouraging a discussion about it nonetheless. His focus on park equity led the organization to use this lens as a guiding principle for the direction of our work.

HPB doubled down on community engagement during Barron’s tenure, getting into communities to learn about them and what they want in their parks and greenspace. The interactions with communities continue to be the foundation of each project. When the community has a voice when developing a new park or greenspace, it empowers them to feel ownership of the space, which Barron championed.

On an organizational level, Barron’s leadership allowed HPB to nearly double the size of our staff and build an executive team. This growth attracted talented professionals who brought fresh approaches and diverse experiences. He helped build the organization, getting our policies and procedures in place, and ensuring we’re doing everything that keeps an organization strong and fresh. He also took Board succession seriously, recruiting extraordinary Board members and codifying our governance processes.

Barron takes immense pride in HPB’s position as a leader in park development and advocacy. His vision propelled HPB to the “think and do” tank for parks in the Houston region and guided our work to create a comprehensive plan for Houston’s park system. This continues to be an important part of our work as we work to make parks a priority with our public partners and ensure we have good data on region-wide park investment.

A shining example of Barron’s tenacious leadership, and perhaps the perfect culmination of this work, is the exciting revitalization of MacGregor Park. Known as a historical destination park in Houston, MacGregor Park is long overdue for upgrades. Under Barron’s leadership, HPB led thoughtful community engagement and sought partnerships that have not only allowed for this work to happen but kept the community it serves at the forefront of the park’s new vision.

Below is a brief snapshot of Barron’s remarkable service and leadership:

  • Ensured Bayou Greenways achieved over 150 miles of connected trails
  • Led the improvement of more than 22 neighborhood parks
  • Progressed two major regional park projects in the revitalization of MacGregor Park and the creation of a new park at Hill at Sims
  • Heralded a new strategic plan to chart HPB’s path forward for commissioning new projects

Barron’s passion for parks and greenspace will continue to make its mark throughout Houston. Whether he is commissioning new art for Houstonians to enjoy along the Bayou Greenways trail system or taking his daily walk along Brays Bayou, his enthusiasm will continue to be part of the fabric of our work.

HPB is deeply grateful for Barron’s service since he joined the Board 20 years ago, and through his tenure as Board Chairman. Thankfully, Barron will remain on our Board for another year in an Immediate Past Chair officer role and is ecstatic about the direction set forth for his successor.