Discovery Green an Attraction for everyone in Houston

Like most big cities, Houston is blessed with innumerable parks spread across its urban landscape. The latest addition is ‘Discovery Green” located in downtown Houston opposite the George R. Brown Convention Center. This 12 acre park opened on April 13, 2008 with much pomp and fanfare given its prime location and its myraid offerings. It is flanked on one side by the “Toyota Center”, the home of the ‘Houston Rockets’ and on the other by “Minute Maid Park” where the famed ‘Houston Astros’ play their baseball games.

The park was designed by Hargreaves Associates, PageSoutherlandPage and Lauren Griffith associates. Although the park is still in its developmental stages, it draws Houstonians in droves from all over the city. There are a variety of features at the park that cater to almost everyone. On weekends, the park is packed with visitors enjoying a hot mocha on a chilly winter day or a cool slushy on a scorching summer afternoon. Or if people watching is your flair, well, “Discovery Green” is the just place for you. For families with children, there is a wonderful playground and a fourteen foot high fountain for kids to have some fun in the spray. There are also free games for park visitors, like shuffleboard, horseshoe and chess among others. During the holidays, there is an outdoor skating rink which opens on Thanksgiving day and runs through Martin Luther King day in January.

Discovery Green is also a great place for nature enthusiasts who can walk through spacious green lawns and a shaded walkway featuring 100 year old oak trees. The lawn area provides a large space to host major events during the summer season, like concerts, pick up sports etc. It also offers a stunning 360 degree view of the Houston skyline. At night, with its shimmering lights, Houston appears particularly fetching.

Besides, its natural, eco-friendly environment, Discovery Green has a unique and entertaining menu of other activities for the visitors to the park. There is a one acre lake, a one-half mile jogging trail and dog runs for large and small breeds. Park visitors can also enjoy the culinary offerings of gourmet chefs at the two restaurants ion the premises, “The Grove” and “The Lake House”. Patrons of the restaurants can also order packed picnic lunches or dinners for families to enjoy in the park. The highlight of the park, however, are the art works by local artists dotted all along the park’s pathways. Of special mention are Margo Sawyer’s artistic creations and sculptures by Doug Hollis and Jean Dubuffet.

During the week, the park also is used for activities such as yoga, taichi and pilates. The park was designed for the very purpose of creating a green space amid a sprawling urban jungle where the flora and fauna indigenous to the state of Texas, would flourish in their natural surroundings. More importantly, it was seen as an attraction that would greatly enhance the aesthetic appeal of Houston as a city. With that in mind, I believe the designers exceeded their goals and “Discovery Green” is indeed a park worth visiting as a tourist to this thriving, growing, vibrant metropolis.