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A Flourishing Affair: September 2015

Photo by David Rossman

The River Oaks Country Club was abuzz on September 24, 2015 as a sold out crowd of 530 garden-lovers attended our "Botanical Beginnings" Luncheon.

President and CEO Jeff E. Ross shared that, thanks to Mayor Parker and a unanimous vote of City Council, the Houston Botanic Garden has secured use of the 120-acre site currently inhabited by the Glenbrook Park Golf Course. Ross also shared that the board has worked diligently to select a visionary master planner, urban design and landscape architecture firm West 8 New York, for the project.

West 8 and its founding partner and design director, Adriaan Geuze, have had the honor of winning a number of high profile design competitions such as Governors Island in New York, Toronto's New Central Waterfront, Longwood Gardens near Philadelphia, and Madrid RIO Park. Their team is at the frontline of urban design and landscape architecture by utilizing a technique of relating contemporary culture, urban identity, architecture, public space and engineering within one design, always taking context into account.

Mary Pat Matheson, president and CEO of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, shared with the crowd her enthusiasm for the potential of the Houston Botanic Garden. Its multiple impacts, she opined, include that it will become an important part of improving the quality of life in Houston, will have a significant impact on the city's tourism economy, will be rich in educational opportunities, and will become a beloved destination for Houston area families.

Keynote speaker, West 8's Geuze, shared preliminary design concepts for the garden to an enthusiastic audience.

The luncheon raised $400,000 for the organization, which plans to establish and sustain a premier botanic garden in Houston in the coming years.