Landscape Architecture Magazine examines Houston’s soon-to-open Levy Park in the December issue. The park was reimagined by OJB and features a redesigned dog park and community garden and additions including a 22,000-SF activity lawn, an event lawn, an 8,600-SF rain garden which serves as city-required stormwater detention, a vibrant playground, a restaurant and a farmers’ market. Several legacy live oaks were preserved at the site and thoughtfully incorporated into the design. An elevated boardwalk created in collaboration with architect Natalye Appel weaves throughout the trees allowing visitors a birds’ eye view from amongst the branches.
The article further examines the Levy Park Conservancy’s hybrid public-private partnership created to govern the park, maintain the grounds and fund programming initiatives.
“By and large, public-private partnerships have been a godsend for urban parks throughout America,” says Charles Birnbaum, FASLA, president and CEO of the Cultural Landscape Foundation. “They’ve shown the public how a park should be maintained and programmed. They’ve taught us that we should expect more of our municipalities.” And, he says, “they’re elevating the art of landscape architecture.”