Memorial Park’s history is not only connected to the history of Houston, but to Texas and beyond.
Memorial Park History
Long before the Memorial Park Conservancy came into existence, the Park benefitted from the leadership and interest of passionate conservationists, beginning with Miss Ima Hogg, sister to the Park’s benefactors, Will and Mike Hogg. The original deed of sale to the city specified that the land remain “for park purposes only,” stipulating that should this not be respected, the land would return to Hogg family ownership or that of their heirs. For fifty years, Miss Ima served as guardian of the Park, saving it from numerous potential encroachments, including proposals for oil wells and construction of Houston’s once-famous Astrodome stadium. She faced down over a hundred such proposals, some with prominent local backers, enabling Memorial Park to remain a haven for Houstonians.
Through the Memorial Park Conservancy, the dreams of a world-class park fostered by illustrious Houstonians of the past are being continued by some of Houston’s most dedicated environmentalists of the present. The Conservancy keeps our Park free for everyone to use, while serving the recreational needs of Houstonians and conducting public education about green space preservation. Thanks to conservation programs during its 90 years of existence, the Park has retained much of its original character, while meeting the recreational needs of a growing city.