District I

Gus Wortham Restoration & Botanic Garden Creation

In January 2015, City Council unanimously approved long-term lease agreements and partnerships with the Houston Golf Association (HGA) to restore and operate Gus Wortham Park Golf Course, and with the Houston Botanic Garden (HBG) to transform the Glenbrook golf course into a world-class botanic garden. Both non-profit organizations are expected to invest $50 million in private dollars to improve and operate these two public greenspaces.

The two public-private partnerships will be similar to the successful partnerships the city has had in place at other iconic public greenspaces: Hermann Park and the Houston Zoo. Both city-owned properties are privately managed and operated, and the revenues generated are reinvested within the properties for operations, maintenance, and to ensure the visiting public has an exceptional experience.

When completed, the Botanic Garden and renovated Gus Wortham Golf Course will help attract tourism and spur economic development throughout the community and city. In fact, studies by the Greater Houston Partnership and East End Management District projected a botanic garden alone in Houston could pump as much as $25 million per year to the local economy.

Timeline and progress

HGA – Gus Wortham

  • HGA must raise $5M by December 31, 2015 – Goal Met
  • Broke ground on Phase I (course restoration) in Jan. 2017, re-opening expected summer 2018
  • The club house and other improvements (Phase II) must be completed by the end of 2019
  • Fundraising is ongoing for Phase II

HBG – Botanic Garden at Glenbrook

  • HBG must raise $5M by December 31, 2015 – Goal Met
  • HBG must raise $20M by December 31, 2017 Goal Met
  • HBG assumed management of site in April 2018 (must complete construction of first phase no later than 4 years after gaining control of site)
  • Phase I grand opening expected at the end of 2020
  • Fundraising is ongoing for subsequent phases
Gus Wortham Golf Course
Houston Botanic Garden

Moving forward
The HGA and HBG will continue to update the community through meetings and regular updates on their website. You can also visit www.houstontx.gov/council/i or sign up to receive Councilman Gallegos’ monthly e-newsletter (or text districti to 22828.)

For additional information, please contact the District I office at 832.393.3011.

Public announcements / presentations