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