BUILDING A GREENER AND MORE RESILIENT FUTURE
The Land Bridge and Prairie project, coming to Memorial Park in 2022, is the next major project of the Memorial Park Master Plan to be delivered, and is among the set of accelerated projects made possible by the Ten-Year Plan. This transformative, nearly 100-acre project will reunite the north and south sides of the Park by creating a land bridge over Memorial Drive to establish a dynamic new community space and enhance recreation opportunities for Park users.
The prairie restoration, which adjoins the Land Bridge, re-introduces endangered native Gulf Coast prairie and additional wetlands to areas north and south of Memorial Drive. A new network of trails will provide safe crossing for people and wildlife. Both prairie and wetlands serve important habitat and stormwater management functions and are a key part of the Park’s ecological restoration to ensure resiliency.
Together, the Land Bridge and Prairie will distinguish Memorial Park and Houston, serving as an icon to all of a greener and more resilient future. Completion is projected for late 2022. Memorial Drive will remain open throughout the duration of the project.
PROJECT UPDATE: February 2020
Soil Production Trials Begin
Construction EcoServices is pleased to be supporting the Memorial Park Conservancy’s (MPC) Soil Production Trials for the upcoming Memorial Park Land Bridge & Prairie Project. CES provided site work spreading various mulch and compost mixtures, developed onsite by MPC; and Profile Products’ ProGanics Biotic Soil Media, on 30 sampling plots at the large soils stockpile. CES seeded all the plots with a select seed mix chosen by Memorial Park Conservancy in conjunction with the Wildlife Habitat Federation. We then applied Profile’s Flexterra Flexible Growth Medium to all plots, providing erosion control on the slopes during the test period, which will extend into the spring and summer seasons. Stay tuned for updates on this important aspect of the Memorial Park Master Plan!
PROJECT UPDATE: September 2020
Erosion Control Spraying Begins
Those trials allowed the project team to test a wide variety of soil solutions, testing everything from mulch made from park trees that died as a result of Hurricane Harvey, to scientifically developed soil. These tests resulted in Profile Products’ ProGanics Biotic Soil Media and Flexterra Flexible Growth Medium being specified by the Memorial Park Conservancy.
Today, with a good amount of construction completed on the tunnels and a healthy amount of the new soil in place, the process of seeding the Land Bridge Project has begun. Construction EcoServices (CES) has partnered with hydroseeding company K4E to provide a majority of the project’s seeding requirements. CES also provided consulting for many aspects of this part of the project, including the selection of over 30+ seeds, the seasonal overseeding schedule, the spray rate, and more.
One interesting and complicated aspect of the project recently crept up of the project team. The areas around the tunnel headwalls needed special attention, given the slope and the inconveniently located areas right above the middle of the tunnels. Not only would the slopes require a more robust erosion control solution, but whatever solution was chosen will need to be applied while above an 80+ foot tall tunnel – thus, applying any solution was going to be a safety concern. Very similar to the 2019 soil tests, the project team has set up a test area for the desired solution, Profile’s Green Armor, which consists of a combination of Futerra Permanent Turf Reinforcement Mat (TRM) and Flexterra Flexible Growth Medium. If the test is successful, the next hurdle will be to determine how to apply this solution around the headwalls in a safe and secure way.
- Construction began in August 2020
- Completion is slated for late 2022
- Cost: $70 million project
- Most of the funding is from private philanthropy