New Park in Katy ISD

A new SPARK Park was dedicated at Memorial Parkway Elementary in Katy ISD.  This is the seventh of 3o parks to be constructed with a grant from Houston Endowment, the Kinder Foundation, and the Powell Foundation to help with the City of Houston’s park desert initiative — for every resident to be within one-half mile or a ten-minute walk of a park.

Houston Chronicle article

Memorial Parkway Elementary School, Katy ISD

sparkparkNew Park in Katy ISD

New SPARK Park in Friendswood

The new SPARK Park at Wedgewood Elementary is the first in the city of Friendswood.  The mayor joined officials from Clear Creek ISD in the celebration of the grand opening.  The park, part of the SPARK’s park desert initiative funded by Houston Endowment, Kinder Foundation, and Powell Foundation, is located in a neighborhood that was hit hard by Hurrican Harvey.

Clear Creek ISD News Release

Clear Creek ISD Photo Album

Video Highlights of the Dedication

sparkparkNew SPARK Park in Friendswood

Phoenix & Dragon SPARK Park Opens at MIMS

The Phoenix & Dragon SPARK Park at the Mandarin Immersion Magnet School in Houston ISD was dedicated on Friday, October 27.  The unique playground equipment and Chinese art will help to introduce the Mandarin culture to community members who use the park.

HISD Article

HISD Photo Gallery

sparkparkPhoenix & Dragon SPARK Park Opens at MIMS

Eleven Parks to Be Dedicated

Eleven new SPARK Parks will be dedicated over the next month.  Join us for one or more of the celebrations!

  • Friday, Oct 27 – 4 PM – Mandarin Immersion Magnet School – Houston ISD
  • Monday, Nov 13 – 9 AM – Outley Elementary – Alief ISD
  • Monday, Nov 13 – 1:30 PM – Wedgewood Elementary – Clear Creek ISD
  • Wednesday, Nov 15 – 9 AM – Franz Elementary – Katy ISD – POSTPONED until Dec 14
  • Wednesday, Nov 15 – 1:45 PM – Hancock Elementary – Pasadena ISD
  • Thursday, Nov 16 – 10 AM – Clifton Middle School – Houston ISD
  • Thursday, Nov 16 – 1:45 PM – Jessup Elementary – Pasadena ISD
  • Friday, Nov 17 – 9 AM – Mark Twain Elementary – Houston ISD
  • Friday, Nov 17 – 2:30 PM – Hartsfield Elementary – Houston ISD
  • Thursday, Nov 30 – 2:00 PM – Memorial Parkway Elementary – Katy ISD
  • Friday, Dec 8 – 9:30 AM – Bush  Elementary – Alief ISD
  • Thursday, Dec 14 – 9:00 AM – Franz Elementary – Katy ISD (new date)

Read More

sparkparkEleven Parks to Be Dedicated

10-Minute Walk to a Park Campaign

The National Recreation and Park Association, Trust for Public Land and mayors from 134 cities have created a “10-minute walk” effort, seeking to help all people to live within a half-mile of green space. The mayors signed on during the past year, endorsing the goal of providing every neighborhood with a quality park that improves life for city residents, serves as a safe place for people to gather, and adds to the beauty of the city.

This article from the Huffington Post highlights the partnership between the City of Houston and SPARK that will help achieve this goal in Houston.

sparkpark10-Minute Walk to a Park Campaign

First SPARK Park in Crosby ISD

The dedication of the Drew Elementary SPARK Park marked the first SPARK Park to be constructed in Crosby ISD.  In addition to a quarter-mile walking track and playground equipment, the park features an art component with plaques highlighting the history of the Barrett Station community.

Houston Chronicle Article

sparkparkFirst SPARK Park in Crosby ISD

Spring 2017 Dedications

Four new SPARK Parks in three school districts are being dedicated this spring.  We hope that you can join us for one one or more of the celebrations!

  • Monday, April 24 – Bailey Elementary, Pasadena ISD
  • Thursday, April 27 – Drew Elementary, Crosby ISD
  • Friday, May 5 – Looscan Elementary, Houston ISD
  • Saturday, May 6 – Roberts Elementary, Houston ISD

Click invitations below for details

sparkparkSpring 2017 Dedications

H-E-B and EarthShare of Texas Support SPARK

SPARK is pleased to announce that H-E-B, in recognition of Earth Day, has selected EarthShare of Texas to be the April beneficiary for its in-store coupon promotion. This means that customers can tear off and add check-out coupons worth $1, $3, or $5 to their total bill to support environmental work throughout the State of Texas for the entire month of April.

H-E-B supports many EarthShare of Texas organizations with corporate grants or in-kind contributions. The April tear-pad promotion is a bit different as it enables H-E-B customers to bolster the diverse environmental program work of more than three dozen EarthShare of Texas’ organizations, including SPARK. The customers’ dollars will go directly to these organizations, benefitting both the Texas environment and economy.

Throughout the month of April and into the first week of May, look for the EarthShare of Texas display and tear-off coupons at the check-out stands in any Texas H-E-B and Central Market stores. Support EarthShare of Texas and the Texas environment! Click here for more information on the EarthShare of Texas web site.

sparkparkH-E-B and EarthShare of Texas Support SPARK

SPARK Week 2016

Join us during SPARK Week 2016 as we dedicate four SPARK Parks and break ground for two others:

Click links above for addresses and directions.

SPARK Week 2016

SPARK Week 2016

sparkparkSPARK Week 2016

SPARK Receives $5 Million Grant from Houston Endowment & Kinder Foundation

SPARK is honored to be the recipient of a record $5 million donation from Houston Endowment and Kinder Foundation, to be used to increase park equity in the Houston-Harris County area. Each foundation will contribute $2.5 million dollars over the next three years to construct 30 SPARK parks in “park desert” areas of the county.

The City of Houston has also pledged an additional $450,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funding toward the project.

Twenty-five new parks and five re-SPARKS of existing parks will be included in the initiative. Schools will be selected from park desert sites identified through a park evaluation conducted by The Trust for Public Land. A park desert is defined to be more than one-half mile or a ten-minute walk from an existing park.

The first nine sites include:

  • Ashford Elementary – Houston ISD
  • Harvey Brown Elementary – Channelview ISD
  • Audrey Bush Elementary – Alief ISD
  • The Lawson Academy – Charter School
  • Milne Elementary – Houston ISD
  • Wedgewood Elementary – Clear Creek ISD
  • Petersen Elementary – Houston ISD
  • Winborn Elementary – Katy ISD
  • Woodview Elementary – Spring Branch ISD

For more information, see:

News Release – September 21, 2016

Map of Park Locations – Phase 1

News Conference (video) – September 21, 2016, recorded by HTV

Houston Chronicle article – September 22, 2016

Houston Chronicle online – September 22, 2016

Houston Style magazine



From left: Nancy Kinder, Rich Kinder, Ann Stern, Kathleen Ownby, Byron E., Mayor Sylvester Turner












From left: Korey Soderberg, Kris Soderberg, Mark Reynolds, Kathleen Ownby, Joe Turner

From left: Rudy Trevino, Council Member Amanda Edwards, HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza, Kathleen Ownby, Adriana Tamez, HISD Trustee Wanda Adams

From left: Rudy Trevino (HISD), Council Member Amanda Edwards (COH), Superintendent Richard Carranza (HISD), Kathleen Ownby, Adriana Tamez (COH), Trustee Wanda Adams (HISD).









Houston City Council Members

Houston City Council Members show their support for SPARK.

Rich and Nancy Kinder with students from The Lawson Academy.

Rich and Nancy Kinder with students from The Lawson Academy.








Mayor Sylvester Turner with Wedgewood Elementary students and Principal Buffie Johnson.

Bush Elementary students and staff (Alief ISD) with Council Member Mike Laster.

Bush Elementary (Alief ISD) students, parents, and staff with Council Member Mike Laster.



sparkparkSPARK Receives $5 Million Grant from Houston Endowment & Kinder Foundation