A Bigger and More Automated Greenhouse for Memorial Park

The original greenhouse in Memorial Park — birthplace of thousands of plants sent regularly to city properties around town — lasted from 1946 until 3 years ago, though it was in bad shape even before Hurricane Ike blew away the makeshift plastic put in place of some missing windows. The new greenhouse — designed by local landscape architecture firm Clark Condon Associates, opened officially late last week, and paid for in part with federal hurricane-recovery funds — measures 8,600 sq. ft. and includes a cistern and automated watering and shading systems. A separate headhouse was also renovated as part of the project, and a brand-new prefab restroom set up nearby.

Photo: KUHF News

4 Comment

  • If the old greenhouse was a Cadillac in the 1940’s, then this one is a Rolls Royce today. The $1.5 million pricetag is VERY high for a greenhouse the is used to grow well less than 100k plants annually. The city could afford to buy all the plants it needs from local growers. Even amortizing the cost out over 5 years and assuming 70k plants per year, that’s over $4 per plant in sunk costs. A finished 4″ pansy, or vinca, or other flowering plant could be procured at wholesale for .85 or less.

  • ‘Grow your own’ Houston! Plus, I believe they will be holding classes a la Urban Harvest. I’m looking forward to seeing the facility.

  • I volunteered at Memorial Park last year, and a city worker arrived with a truckload of city-grown plants. Most of the plants were natives that are not commercially available, so I do see the utility of the greenhouse, though the price tag was hefty.

  • “federal hurricane-recovery funds” don’t amortize in the same manner that COH money does. the fed isn’t going to spend hurricane recovery dollars on trees and shrubs, let alone native species. think of it as the rest of the USA paying for [a portion of] our greenhouse. spread that wealth, captain O.