League City WaterSmart Park Award H-GAC Award

Concept 11The City of League City’s Ghirardi WaterSmart Park has been named the winner of the of the 2014 Houston Galveston Area Council Parks & Natural Areas Award in the “On-the-Ground Projects Over $500,000” category.

The project serves as a model for other projects in the 13 county region.

Ghiradi WaterSmart Park is a 3.75-acre space that features a pavilion, walking trails and a playground, but it’s more than just another park. It also has special conservation and educational features including rain gardens, an outdoor classroom, cistern to collect rainwater for irrigation, a green roof on the pavilion and WaterSmart landscapes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe park was funded through the City of League City’s Park Dedication Fund and a grant through the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The TCEQ grant for Ghirardi WaterSmart Park gives the city and other area entities the opportunity to study, showcase and improve water management.

The Ghirardi WaterSmart Park is also home to the 100-year-old Ghirardi Compton Oak, which was moved to the site in 2012. The Ghirardi Family of League City donated the 3/4 of an acre site where the tree is now located.

“The city is very honored to receive this award. We continually strive to implement programs and projects that benefit our residents and we look for cost effective and practical ways in which to implement those ideas,” said City Manager Mark Rohr.

“The WaterSmart Park not only serves as a place for children to play and families to gather, but it’s educational, and the city was able to create it using grants and park dedication fees.”

The H-GAC Parks & Natural Areas Subcommittee established the Parks Award Program in 2006 to highlight best practices and innovative approaches to parks planning and implementation.

Concept 3H-GAC honors projects in the categories of: Projects over $500,000, Projects under $500,000, Planning Process, and Policy Tools. Winning entries demonstrate best practices and collaboration between developers, local government, engineering and planning agencies, businesses, resources, environmental groups, and citizens. Entries are evaluated on innovation, merit, and regional impact. These projects serve as models for planning and project implementation for parks and natural areas in the region.

H-GAC is the region-wide voluntary association of local governments in the 13 county Gulf Coast regions of Texas. Its service area is 12,500 square miles, and contains more than 6 million people.

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