SPARK Receives $5 Million For Houston School Park Program

SPARK Receives $5 Million For Houston School Park Program

The SPARK School Park Program has announced gifts totaling $5 million from the Houston Endowment and Kinder Foundation in support of an initiative to increase park equity in the greater Houston area.

Commitments of $2.5 million from each foundation will support phase-two efforts to build and improve parks at thirty Houston-area schools and address the "park desert" phenomenon across the city, including the creation of fifteen new parks and the updating, or "re-SPARKing," of fifteen more over the next four years. The two foundations each committed $2.5 million in support of the first phase of the initiative, which by the end of the year will have developed twenty-five new parks and upgraded an additional five parks across twelve independent school districts and three charter schools.

Each park is designed to reflect the character of its school and the surrounding neighborhood and includes a unique public art component. Ten schools already have been identified as phase-two participants in the program, with additional schools to be announced in the coming months.

"We are grateful to [the] Houston Endowment and Kinder Foundation for again entrusting us with the resources needed to impact neighborhoods across greater Houston," said SPARK executive director Kathleen Ownby. "Their support allows us to reach many more communities with new parks while also updating some of our well-loved parks."