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PARKlife THE MEMORIAL PARK CONSERVANCY NEWSLETTER

Memorial Park is Growing!

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mplementation of the Memorial Park Master Plan began with the Eastern Glades in August. The 113-acre area located north of Memorial Drive between Memorial Park Golf Course and the eastern boundary of Memorial Park will create a passive recreation area surrounded by restored savannah and pine-hardwood forest. According to Thomas L. Woltz, owner of the firm Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects (NBWLA) which is leading the design of the park’s Master Plan, the inspiration for the Eastern Glades came from an unrealized portion of the original Hare & Hare master plan, the Park’s first master plan drafted in the 1920s. Incorporating the gently curving paths and geometries of that era, Woltz planned the Eastern Glades, framing a public space within the “urban wilds” of the park. The design draws upon the Park’s own history, re-establishing a pedestrian entry at one of the original entrances to Camp Logan, a World War I-era training facility which occupied the site nearly 100 years ago. continued on page 7

IN THIS ISSUE

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Forestry Work in the Park

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Memorial Park Conservancy’s Annual Golf Tournament

OUR PARK MISSION: Restore. Preserve. Enhance.

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Urban Wild: Membership with a Mission

2015 • WINTER ISSUE www.memorialparkconservancy.org


letter from the

VOLUNTEER

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

SPOTLIGHT AT MEMORIAL PARK MEMORIAL

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he mission of the Memorial Park Conservancy is to preserve, restore and enhance Memorial Park for the enjoyment of all Houstonians, today and tomorrow. Our vision is to implement principles of world-class park management and stewardship in partnership with the Houston community. In the last year alone the Conservancy took major steps in making Memorial Park, Your Park, a premier park in Houston and beyond. The Seymour Lieberman Exer-Trail, affectionately known as the SLT, sees thousands of users every day. The SLT Refurbishment project refurbished the trail with new surfacing to provide an improved running and walking experience. Four inches of compacted decomposed granite was added to the existing trail and gave users a more pleasant and safer “walk in the Park.” The project was completed in May 2015, and the trail is looking better than ever. Many thanks to the Uptown Houston Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone and our partners at Houston Parks and Recreation Department for leading this effort. The next major improvement to the Park is the installation of a new waterline. This development is critical to improving the Park’s basic infrastructure and will improve fire protection, increase

water pressure to existing park facilities and provide added capacity for future facilities. The most exciting project of the Memorial Park Conservancy with Houston Parks and Recreation Department and Uptown Houston is the ongoing work developing the Eastern Glades. The Memorial Park Master Plan is a dynamic plan that seeks to reconnect, consolidate, restore, enhance and responsibly manage the Park that was unanimously approved by City Council on April 1, 2015. The Eastern Glades is the first project that will be implemented from the Master Plan and we are excited to see its progress in the coming months.

What is your favorite thing about Memorial Park? I love how

Memorial Park brings people of all backgrounds and socioeconomic status together. Houston is the most diverse city in the United States and Memorial Park unites these diverse groups better than any other place in town.

What are you looking forward to most in Park? I always look forward to the annual Bayou City Art Festival, held in Memorial Park every spring, but this year I absolutely cannot wait for Bridge Bash on November 12. It’s going to be a blast! Why did you select Memorial Park for your volunteer time?

Thanks to supporters like you, the Conservancy and partners will continue to provide all Houstonians with the premier park it deserves. We are thrilled to serve you and greater Houston as we improve Memorial Park…TOGETHER. From the heart,

Memorial Park is one of the cornerstones of what makes Houston great and it is close to my house! What is your favorite memory from Memorial Park? I actually learned how to “golf” at the Memorial Park driving range. I say “golf” in quotations, because I’m still pretty terrible, but I have lots of fun at the range!!

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Dear Fellow Friend of Memorial Park,

Mark Salvie

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ark Salvie moved to Houston in 2010 and Memorial Park was one of the first places that he embraced as a new Houstonian and the Conservancy is better for it. Mark first learned about Urban Wild, the Conservancy’s young professional’s group, from his friends and Urban Wild Chair Joshua Ibarra and saw it as a great way to get involved with the Park and with likeminded Houstonians. Mark is a valued volunteer for the Conservancy including chairing the upcoming Urban Wild Bridge Bash. Mark has spent hours working with the Bridge Bash committee to secure exciting sponsors and vendors for the event. The Urban Wild Bridge Bash is sure to be a lovely event thanks to Mark’s commitment to the Park. We hope you and your friends join us on November 12 on the Living Bridge for Bridge Bash! Join Urban Wild or purchase tickets at www.memorialparkconservancy.org.

focused on

Shellye Arnold, Chief Executive Officer

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emorial Park’s forested areas have recently received some extra care thanks to the long-range forestry plan being implemented by the Memorial Park Conservancy and in partnership with Houston Parks and Recreation Department (HPARD). Conservation Director Nicholas Butler is leading the charge to care for Memorial Park’s beloved woodlands along with members of the Eco-Tech Panel that provided scientific grounding for the Master Plan. In the first phase of this multiyear endeavor, the team conducted an inventory and assessment of trees near trails and roads. The team also analyzed previously treated areas to assess the ongoing invasive plant control efforts. This provides important data that will help Memorial Park for years to come as we move forward with an exciting ecological restoration plan that was developed as part of the Master Plan. The Conservancy will soon begin removing invasive tree species, clearing dead hazardous trees while leaving as many as feasible for ecological reasons. Primary goals of the forestry plan are to increase the Park’s biodiversity and give native plants a competitive advantage

Memorial Park Conservancy

C O N S E RVA N C Y

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Forestry Work in the Park

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PARK

CONSERVATION

so that the Park’s urban wild can better withstand natural disturbances such as droughts and hurricanes, and establish healthier habitat for Memorial Park’s animal and insect residents.

Newsletter • WINTER 2015

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what’s happening

AROUND THE PARK

Mark Your Calendars and Join Us! .................................................

Thursday, November 12, 2015 Urban Wild Bridge Bash Chaired by Mark Salvie Memorial Park Living Bridge Saturday, December 5, 2015 Conservation Conversation Park Walk Exclusive for Friends of Memorial Park and Urban Wild Members Memorial Park Thursday, February 4, 2016 Memorial Park Conservancy’s Green Gala Chaired by Anita Smith Tickets begin at $500

Memorial Park Running Trails Center

Share Your Passion for the Park with Friends of Memorial Park!

Memorial Park Conservancy’s Annual Golf Tournament

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he 2015 Memorial Park Conservancy Annual Golf Tournament was a great success! Co-chaired by Russell Brown and Randall Grace, the tournament raised more than $134,000 and was attended by 40 teams from the Houston area. We would like to thank our generous sponsors for their support: Gold Sponsors: Anonymous, HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. Silver Sponsors: Polly and Murry Bowden, IndemCo, HEB Bronze Sponsors: Axia Partners, Chicago Title Commercial, Chilton Capital Management, CobbFendley, Dan Loc Group, Friends of Russell Brown, Tracy and Doug Glass, Randall Grace, Green Bank, Gorrondona & Associates, Inc., Iberia Bank, John Knapp, Kayser Foundation/The Jeff B. & Katherine B. Love Foundation,

Lockton, McCombs Energy, Moss Landscaping, Renaissance Offshore, Adam Newar, Dennis Johnston & Larry Shryock, Tadd Tellepsen, Uptown Houston Cart Sponsor: West Point Lincoln Buick GMC Golf Ball Sponsor: Chilton Capital Management Beverage Cart Sponsor: O’Rourke Petroleum.

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hether for recreation or simply enjoying the outdoors, more than four million people have access to Memorial Park each year. A select group of these users are Friends of Memorial Park – Memorial Park Conservancy’s vibrant membership program. Since its launch in the fall of last year, membership has grown to more than 100 active members. On June 6 several of those members enjoyed our first guided walking tour, exploring remains of Camp Logan, the WWI-era training camp that Memorial Park is named for. More recently, members enjoyed Free Shower

Happy Hour on September 3 at the new Memorial Park Running Trails Center. Through Friends of Memorial Park activities, the Park comes alive and unites passionate Park supporters. The next exclusive event is the Conservation Conversation Park Walk with Memorial Park Conservancy’s Conservation Director. This tour and talk will take you behind the scenes at Memorial Park to discover what lies behind the woodland curtain. More details about Friends of Memorial Park can be found on Memorial Park Conservancy’s website.

Saturday, March 26, 2016 Brunch Run Co-chaired by David Doherty and Bill Schneidau

thank you to our RECENT SUPPORTERS Abbott & Leslie Sprague Family Foundation Jacob Abshire Roy Adams Russell Adams Edward Allen AmazonSmile Foundation Marilyn & Bolivar Andrews Anonymous Michael Appel Joseph Argue Shellye Arnold & Tina Sabuco AT&T Foundation Toby Atkinson Atlantic Trust Molly Atlas Gregory Attrep Axia Partners Vic Baldridge Bank of Texas Roger Bare Zachary Barilleau Matt Barker Mary & Mike Bass The Bayou Fund Becks Prime Mayra Bedigan The Benevity Community Impact Fund Patricia Biggers Margaret & Edlar Blanton Justin Blumberg L. Joe Braun Breathe Physical Fitness Jennifer & John Briscoe Ben Brown John Brown Deborah & Russell Brown Will Brown Gyongyi Buday Clyde Burleson Don Burney Joseph Carey Gayl & William Carlberg Claire & John Caudill CenterPoint Energy

Sponsorships Available

Memorial Park

Details about Conservancy events can be found on our website.

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South Side Trails Improvements and Volunteer Efforts

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he South Side Trails of Memorial Park provide an urban wilderness escape to many Houstonians. It is the place where the city hum is quieted by the sounds of wildlife and the flowing bayou. Mountain bikers and hikers use these trails every day for exercise and recreation. The trails have been in need of repair due to wear and tear. Thanks to the tremendous efforts of Conservancy volunteers, the Greater Houston Off-Road Biking Association (GHORBA), Houston Trail Runners Extreme, Trail Running Over Texas and S&S Trails and through the generous funding of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, many South Side Trails have been rehabilitated and greatly improved in recent months. Major improvements can be seen on the purple, red, blue and orange trails. Contractor S&S Trails uses trail building techniques that help ensure longevity and provide a quality experience for mountain bikers and hikers.

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Memorial Park Conservancy

If you have not visited this side of the Park recently we encourage you to do so — it is part of Houston’s “wild” side.

Orange Trail Before

Orange Trail After

Urban Wild: Membership with a Mission

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rban Wild’s biggest event of the year is just around the corner! On the evening of Thursday, November 12, 2015 the Urban Wild of Memorial Park Conservancy will host its inaugural Bridge Bash. This lively and lovely evening under the stars, chaired by Urban Wild member Mark Salvie, will take place on the Living Bridge, near the Running Trails Center in Memorial Park. Anyone age 21 and up is invited to join other community-driven young Houstonians as we help build deep relationships with Memorial Park and the people who care for it. Bridge Bash is FREE for members and $50 for guests. Memberships and tickets may be purchased on Memorial Park Conservancy’s website. This party was named by Culture Map as one of the “Top 11 Fall Parties Not to Miss” – so be sure YOU are there and bring your friends!

soldier at base camp. The group traveled back almost 100 years to September 1917, guided by archeologists and historians, and learned more about the young men who trained here in Houston and women who worked at the camp, and what they left behind.

On September 26, 2015 several Urban Wilders explored Memorial Park in a new way — through the eyes of a WWI Newsletter • WINTER 2015

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Memorial Park is Growing!

RECENT SUPPORTERS {continued from page 5} Chanel Jereann Chaney Charles T. Zimmerman Family Foundation Janet Cheung Chevron Matching Employee Funds Chevron Products Company Chicago Title Insurance Company Chilton Capital Management Jack Chism City Supply Company Karen Clarke Anne & Stuart Coco Shawn Coker Jeanie & Jim Connell Debbie & CM Stephen Costello Almeria Cottingham B.W. Crain Rogers Crain Crestwood Garden Club W.B. Crist Rod Crosby Helen & John Crowe Cumulus Media Bridget Day D.E. Harvey Builders Rosemarie & David Devido Nichole Dittmann Julie & Casey Doherty William Dore Judy & Jim Dougherty Lisa & Stan Duchman Jamie Duffin Sylvia & Jim DuLaney Jane Dunmire Patricia Dunmire Edith H. and C. Hastings Johnson Family Fund Judith & Edward Earle El Meson James Elder, III Virginia Elkins Lisa Ellingsen EP Energy ExxonMobil Foundation Ginger Farrant George Farris Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund Aaron Fink Fisher Trigg Interests Freeport LNG Development Kelly Frels The Garden Club of Houston Randall Gardner Susan & C. Michael Garver George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation Robert Gerry P. Richard Gessinger Robert Gibbs Kate & Steve Gibson Doug Glass Global Impact Nancy Gold Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund Nelsy Gomez Marc Gordon Gorrondona and Associates Joanne Graf Michael Grasley Jean & Donald Gray Greater Houston Community Foundation Green Bank Claire & Joe Greenberg Dennis Greer Richard Grett GRITS Foundation Richard Haberman Nancy Hall Halliburton Giving Choices Carol Anne & C. Leland Hamel The Hanover Company Amy Harberg

Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund HCC Service Company H-E-B Kay & David Hedges Jamie Hendrixson Sandra Herrin Gayle & Richard Hightower Hildebrand Fund Hines Interests Limited Partnership Julia & William Hixon Christi Holligan Katherine Holt Carrie Horne Jennifer House Houston Croquet Association Houston Parks and Recreation Department Houston Trust Company Nancy & E. Wade Hudson Hunters Creek Garden Club Iberia Bank Yael Iffergan IHeartMedia IndemCo, LP Joshua Jackson Alan Jacobson The Jeff B. and Katherine B. Love Foundation Tammy & Steve Jenkins Gerald Johnson Sis & Hasty Johnson Mary & Dennis Johnston Josie & Michael Jones Meena Joshi The Kayser Foundation Pamela & Howard Keenan Scott Kehoe Sarah & Mark Kelly Wendy & Mavis Kelsey Mary & Carl King Robert Kline Koala Health & Wellness Carol Kobb Wendy Korman Michael Krakower Jerry Kutach Jocelyn Lacourse Margot Lance Cynthia Langham Stephen Lasher Legacy Trust Ariel & Doreen Leibovitz Nancy Lerner Joy Lewallen Mrs. William Liedtke Local Houston Lockton Companies Natalie Lowry Luke’s Locker Carmela & Richard Lummis Anna Lynch Lawrence Mangan Michelle Maresh Noah Matthews R.D. Maxson McCombs Energy Judy & Ira Wayne McConnell Mark McCullough Mike McDaniel Margaret & Michael McGowan Gregory McKelvey Rita McKenzie Odette McMurrey Mace & Robert Mace Mike Calvert Toyota Jan & Arnold Miller Michelle Miller Ginny & Richard Mithoff Molitoris Group Roger Moore Julie & Cary Moorhead Margaret & Ben Morris Clinton Morse Louise Andrews & Gary Moss

Margarita Martirena & Pablo Motta Doug Murphy Meg & Nelson Murray Kristin Necessary Adam Newar Mark Newell Northern Trust Matching Gift Program Maria & Jim Oakes Patrick O’Connell Beverly & Staman Ogilvie Doyin Olagoke Timothy Opatrny Vivie & Chris O’Sullivan Anne Owen Camille & Grier Patton Lynda & John Paukune Louise Perlitz Susan Garwood & George Peterkin Petrello Family Foundation Alexander Petrovic Phillips 66 Company Daniel Pickering Margaret & Michael Pierce Melissa Pineda Amy & Rob Pierce Anthony Pink Elizabeth & Gregory Pipkin Esther & Gary Polland Carol & John Porter The Powell Foundation Dena Prasher Protiviti Pablo Pusineri Daisy & William Quayle John Randolph Anne Rappold Ray C. Fish Foundation Raymond James Charitable Endowment Fund Rob Reasoner Isla & T. R. Reckling Jennifer Reichek Dianne Render Nicholas Rice The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation Donna Robinson Rockwell Enterprises Kegan Rodrigues Brian Romere Roots Houston Endodontics Polly Roth Rowan Companies Cara & Michael Rudelson Richard Ruiz Phyllis & Edward Sabo Karen Sanchez Schlumberger Technology Corporation Philip Schneidau Schwab Charitable Fund Chalon Fontaine & Pete Seale Kristina Sebesta Kathy Shannon Kay Sheffield Silver Eagle Distributors D`Lisa Simmons Barbara & Louis Sklar Laura & Lee Slataper Carol Slator Smart Scheduling Anita Smith Janette Smith Sue Smith Pat Spillman SPJST Lodge #88 Spring Action Photos Amie & Jeff Springmeyer Neil Stone Strake Foundation Strake Jesuit Booster Club Douglas Suell Dorothy Sumner

Jo Ellen & John Sweeney Janice & Gerald Swonke Raymond Sylvester Susan & Michael Taggart Sharon & Michael Talbert Adam Tepper Philip Tereskiewicz Texas Petroleum Investment Company Terri & Ray Thomas Nancy Thompson Cole Thomson Stephen Tiemann Richard Tomlinson TransCanada Corporation Transwestern Elizabeth Tu Mary Tysor Uptown Houston Harris County Improvement District #16 Anne Vance Vicki Vandaveer Richard Vernotzy The W.T. and Louise J. Moran Foundation Jennifer Waguespack Pamela Wallace Eleanor Walsh John Weber Irene Weingarten Sara White Joanne & Welcome Wilson Vallette & Russell Windham Beth Wolff Penelope Wolter The Wortham Foundation Lorraine & Ed Wulfe Trisha & Jeffrey Young Karen & Alan Ytterberg Juan Zapata Erla & Harry Zuber Henry Zwirek

Memorial Park Conservancy

The Eastern Glades is envisioned as two large greens spaces where existing trees are preserved to create a shady and quiet space for picnicking and other passive recreation uses. Wide promenades around these spaces allow for leisure walking. To the west of the garden spaces, the plan proposes a large pond that will be a visual amenity, providing views to water and wetlands. These areas will adapt the ecological restoration recommendations from the Master Plan to increase habitat quality and diversity – an important part of Memorial Park Conservancy’s mission in balancing conservation and recreation.

Welcome New Members of Friends of Memorial Park and Urban Wild Virginia Albert Caitlin Davis Robert Douglas Abimbola Farinde Laurie & Alfredo Gutierrez John Hagelman Leonard Hardgrave Gayle & Richard Hightower Brittany Hildebrand Meghan Horne Joshua Ibarra Shannon Jack Nealan Kerwin Deja Land Meredith Macnaughton Zeeshan Malik Nina Masterson Cathy Miller Marcus Momie Mosley Momie Juergen Carl Mueller Meg & Nelson Murray Sarah Newbery & Garrett Finney Diane & Stanley Novy The Honorable Ted Poe David Redford Brian Rudelson Holly Samaha Elisabeth Schulz Debra Shetlar Jenny Stevens Rob Todd Tree Care Inc. The Urban Bicycle Gallery Michael Vaughn Cathy & David Wilde David Wilde, Jr.

Every effort is made to ensure that the information published is accurate and reflects the requests of individual donors. If any inadvertent errors or omissions have occurred, please notify Memorial Park Conservancy at giving@memorialparkconservancy.org. 6

{continued from cover}

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“The Eastern Glades will provide an amenity that we do not have right now,” says Shellye Arnold, Chief Executive Officer of the Memorial Park Conservancy, “a place to put down a blanket and read a book, relax on a park bench, or go for a leisurely walk and just enjoy being outdoors.” Currently, the 113-acre area is bisected by the existing East Memorial Loop Drive. “Shifting the existing road to the east will be the essential first step towards realizing the project,” says Sarah Newbery, Project Director for Memorial Park with the Uptown TIRZ, adding that “the realignment of the road will provide park users with what amounts to 30 new acres of safely accessible parkland.” Realignment of East Memorial Loop Road will also reconnect the surrounding 83 acres that are currently divided providing contiguous habitat areas.

MEMORIAL PARK CONSERVANCY

Q+A QUESTION: What is the Buffalo Bayou Access/Woodway Outfall Project?

Infrastructure improvements will be another important aspect of the project, and include storm water management systems to improve drainage and promote responsible resource management. The creation of a new pond and adjacent wetland will enable the capture and reuse of storm water for irrigation as well as provide new habitat for wildlife and general beautification for park user enjoyment. “A master plan is a detailed road map, not a construction document,” explains Thomas Woltz. “It assures comprehensive coordination of infrastructure, amenities and ecology but does not include engineering and construction details that can be built from. A master plan facilitates fundraising and sequencing of projects and lays well-considered foundations for the in-depth design phases that follow.” For more information about the Memorial Park Master Plan visit Memorial Park Conservancy’s website.

ANSWER: The Woodway Outfall Project is a partnership between the Houston Parks and Recreation Department (HPARD), the Uptown Houston Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) and the Memorial Park Conservancy (MPC). The initial scope of the project upgraded the existing outfall infrastructure and provided necessary erosion control for the area, with the secondary purpose of establishing a public access point to the Buffalo Bayou Paddle Trail.

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QUESTION: How is this project funded? ANSWER: The Uptown TIRZ, in partnership with HPARD and MPC, will fund the work needed to open this area to the public, including parking, guardrails and signage.

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QUESTION: Is this part of the Memorial Park Master Plan? ANSWER: No. These improvements will provide near-term public access to the bayou until implementation of the broader amenities proposed by the longrange Memorial Park Master Plan, are completed.

Newsletter • WINTER 2015

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Memorial Park Conservancy 7575 North Picnic Lane Houston, Texas 77007-7021

BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2015-2016 Chairman - Steve Jenkins Vice Chairman - Meg Murray Secretary - Margaret Pierce Treasurer - Mindy Hildebrand Directors Sadie Gwin Blackburn* Maggie Brown Russell Brown Chuck Carlberg Claire Caudill* CM Stephen Costello Casey Doherty Chalon Fontaine Nelsy Gómez Randall Grace Michael Grasley Richard Hightower

Wendy Hines Dennis Johnston Gary Moss Adam Newar John Paukune Dena Prasher Jim Porter Philip Schneidau Anita Smith Terri Thomas Catherine Wilde Russell Windham

Directors Emeritus Terry Hershey*

Frank C. Smith, Jr.*

MEMORIAL PARK CONSERVANCY TEAM Shellye Arnold Chief Executive Officer Averil Brannen Development & Marketing Associate Nick Butler Conservation Director Suzanne Landau Volunteer & Community Outreach Coordinator Yuliana Longoria Bookkeeper & Administrative Assistant Cara Rudelson Chief Operating Officer Rupal Shah Finance & Administration Director Anne Vance Development Manager

*Life Member Advisory Board Leslie Blanton CM Ellen Cohen Jeanie Connell Rick Dewees, HPARD Don Gray Jamie Hendrixson Mavis P. Kelsey, Jr. Chris Knapp

Odette McMurrey Mace Preston Moore, Jr. Roksan Okan-Vick Tom O’Leary Sharon Talbert Joe Turner, HPARD Marilyn Van Way

CONTACT US 7575 North Picnic Lane Houston, Texas 77007 713.863.8403 phone info@memorialparkconservancy.org

MPC Newsletter - Fall 2015  
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