As the clock ticked over into 2016, Houston Botanic Garden and the Houston Golf Association each had something else to celebrate: both groups met end-of-year 5-million-dollar fundraising goals required by agreements with the City to carry forward their respective plans for 2 east Houston golf courses. The golfers raised enough money to move forward with preservation and renovation of Gus Wortham Golf Course, at 7000 Capitol street (south of the Houston Ship Channel Turning Basin, where Wayside meets Polk). Houston Botanic Garden had initially pushed to add some color to the oldest greens in Texas and redevelop the Brays-Bayou-side space as a public garden.
That garden is now planned instead for above-pictured Glenbrook Golf Course, a semi-maintained set of greens-turned-greenspace along Sims Bayou north of 45 from Hobby Airport (just outside the southeast corner of the Loop).
The Glenbrook spot was leased to the gardeners by the City last January for a green fee of $100 for 30 years, contingent upon Houston Botanic Garden clearing another $20 million fundraising hurdle by the end of 2017 in addition to a smaller goal met last year. The closed Glenbrook course, which Sierra Club rep Evelyn Merz describes as inadvertent space for wildlife, will be reopened by Houston Parks and Recreation in early 2016; tee times will continue until the garden group has enough to fund Phase 1 of what could be a $40 million redo of the course.
- Fundraising goals met for botanic garden, golf course [Chron.com]
- Why Are Neighbors Angry That the Glenbrook Golf Course is Becoming a Botanical Garden? [Houston Press]
- Mission [Houston Botanic Garden]
- Previously on Swamplot: City Council Approves Botanical Garden on Glenbrook Park Golf Course, Gus Wortham Course Renovations; Golfers Appear To Have Won Gus Wortham; Golfers and Gardeners Get Ground Rules for Grabbing Gus Wortham Park; How a Botanical Garden Would Fit on the Gus Wortham Golf Course and Other Tidbits from Last Night’s Hullabaloo
Photo of Glenbrook Golf Course: Tim J. via Yelp
Good news that we’ll get a botanic garden and a better golf course. Bad news is that their locations should be swapped.
Used to love playing at Gus Wortham but I still wish they would switch the locations. Light Rail connecting the botanical and downtown would do more for the east end than a slightly re-vamped golf course. Time will tell if this was a good decision but it seems like an unfortunate compromise at the end of Anise Parkers reign.
It’s unfortunate that many of the people in the East End (I live in Eastwood) were rallying against the garden being located at Gus Wortham not because they play at the golf course, but because they believed that turning it into a botanic garden would just be pandering to a younger and a more affluent crowd. It would have been a major symbol of the impending gentrification of the area. These people are the worst kind of petty and spiteful.
I don’t think it will make much difference in the success of the garden if it were at Wortham or Glenbrook. They aren’t that far apart.
Gus Wortham is a beautiful green space visible from two main roads, great to see people enjoying life. Glenbrook is not as visible, the botanical garden will be nice and peaceful there. Not a golfer, love flowers.