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

SPARK Parks Address Park Equity

Research provided by The Trust for Public Land will help SPARK target park desert areas and increase park equity.  An interactive map shows areas of greatest need for parks.

Houston Chronicle:

sparkparkSPARK Parks Address Park Equity

H-E-B and EarthShare of Texas Support SPARK

HEB Tear Pad image 2016-large

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

Vince Wilfork Foundation Supports Looscan SPARK Park

Vince Wilfork, defensive tackle of the Houston Texans, attended ceremonies on September 29 at Looscan Elementary to dedicate new playground equipment that the Vince Wilfork Foundation and United Healthcare provided for the new SPARK Park. Construction of a concrete walking trail and picnic areas will start this fall.

Texans’ Wilfork All About Helping the Kids

Defensive Tackle Surprises Students

Texans DT Wilfork Gives Back to Local Students

Wilfork-LooscanLooscan Marquee


sparkparkVince Wilfork Foundation Supports Looscan SPARK Park

Artwork Revitalizes Helms SPARK Park



The artwork at Helms Elementary SPARK Park  was featured in a recent article in the Houston Chronicle. Local artist Reginald Adams worked with art teacher Mrs. Che Rickman and students on tiles which adorn the seat wall around the existing play equipment, as well as on the pillars at the entrance to the park. A labyrinth design was also painted at the entrance to the park.




sparkparkArtwork Revitalizes Helms SPARK Park

SPARK Art Underway

Hartsfield Elementary SPARK Park

Hartsfield Elementary SPARK Park

Artist Marsha Dorsey Outlaw, featured in the Houston ISD news blog, is currently working on an art project at Piney Point Elementary School’s new SPARK Park.  She also recently refurbished some benches at the Hartsfield Elementary SPARK Park.

sparkparkSPARK Art Underway

Houstonia Magazine Highlights Wilson SPARK Park

The August edition of Houstonia magazine, their 2014 family guide, includes an article on “7 Great Small Houston Parks.”  One of the featured parks is the Wilson Wonderground SPARK Park at Woodrow Wilson Montessori School, 2100 Yaupon Street, which the reviewer describes as “extraordinarily extraordinary.”  The Wilson SPARK Park was also highlighted in a recent post on “Big Kid, Small City,” a local blog on kid-friendly things to do in Houston.


sparkparkHoustonia Magazine Highlights Wilson SPARK Park

New Walking Trail at Ketelsen Elementary

Ketelsen Trail Healthy Living Matters, working to address the Near Northside community’s recommendation and increase physical activity among children and families, funded a new walking trail at the Ketelsen Elementary School SPARK Park.  The trail provides a safe and inexpensive option for physical activity for a wide range of residents, including parents, children, youth, and older adults.  Click here for story.

sparkparkNew Walking Trail at Ketelsen Elementary