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The Park People Records

Identifier: 2005-004

The Park People’s Records include standard organizational documents, including meeting minutes, personnel management, and financial records, plus city planning proposals and reports covering thirty years. Records include grant applications for federal and state programs. They also include details about local programs such as Treescape, a collaborative effort among Trees for Houston, Scenic Houston, and City of Houston in a program to provide incentives and enforcement of the Tree and Shrub ordinances. The Park People’s records provide evidence of collaborative programs with other non-profits, government entities, and private participants. Other documents include citizen education initiatives on planting, preservation, and propagation of trees as well as instruction on legal strategies for park acquisition. The Park People’s records also include plans and reports on park celebrations aimed at children for both entertainment and instructional purposes. Fundraising records illuminate the degree and kind of support from corporate, government, and private entities.

The Park People’s Collection offers historical evidence of Houston’s environmental planning at the city and county levels and interface with state and federal agencies. Park preservation and development intersects with the issues of flooding, urban green space, urban development, and city management. Although these records cover only thirty years of Houston’s history, they provide a view of Houston’s city management from the perspective of environmental concern.


  • 1970-2009
  • Majority of material found within 1978-2005

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, obtaining permission to publish from copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian. Reproduction decisions will be made by Special Collections staff on a case-by-case basis.


97.0 linear feet

Historical Information

The Park People (TPP) was a nonprofit citizens’ organization established in 1979 as a local response to a National Urban Recreation study that found Houston and Harris County deficient in park space. The Park People’s mission included raising Harris County residents’ awareness of the importance of urban parks, communicating a park ethic, and preserving and augmenting park space through fundraising (close to $4M total), public education programs, workshops, and seminars.

The Park People was an active organization whose projects included Jesse H. Jones Park, drainage and irrigation for San Jacinto Battleground, landscaping for Project Row Houses, and Wildflower planting programs, to name just a very few. A recent project was Tony Marron Park, named after a beloved eastside activist. For Tony Marron Park, city, county, and private entities collaborated to raise $2M to develop 19 acres bordering Buffalo Bayou and North York Street. Another recent accomplishment is the Greenway Trails Map for Houston-Harris County, a map showing 600 miles of actual and proposed greenway trails, parks of more than 5 acres, and parking areas for trails and parks. In September 2009, the Houston Parks Board absorbed The Park People.

Custodial History

The Park People Records were acquired for the University of Houston Libraries in partnership with the Houston History Archives initiative of the UH Center for Public History.

Acquisition Information

Donated by the Park People (Organization) on October 21, 2005.

Digital Collections

The Park People Annual Awards Dinner Invitations digital collection (

Related Materials

Sarah and Army Emmott Environmental Papers

Hana Ginzbarg Papers

Guide to The Park People Records
Nelly Bonilla, Fangyi Lu, Chinh Doan, Anubhuti Tandon, David Brown, and Stephanie Tate
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Houston Libraries Special Collections Repository

University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
MD Anderson Library
4333 University Drive
Houston TX 77204-2000 USA