Wortham Restoration & Glenbrook Botanic Garden Proposals
In January 2015, City Council unanimously approved long-term lease agreements with the Houston Golf Association (HGA) to restore and operate Gus Wortham Park Golf Course, and with the Houston Botanic Garden Board (HBG) to transform the existing golf course at Glenbrook into a world-class Houston Botanic Garden.
Over the last decade, municipal golf courses have seen a decline in the number of rounds played and a drop in revenue, making the agreements vitally important to the future success of both green spaces. HGA and HBG have committed to revitalize these underperforming golf courses. In total, both organizations are expected to invest over 50 million in private dollars to improve and operate these parks.
This public-private partnership will be similar to the successful partnerships the city has had in place at two other iconic public green spaces: Hermann Park and the Houston Zoo. Both city-owned properties are privately managed and operated.
Both parks 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.
Lease and operating agreements (.pdf)
- Glenbrook - Botanic Garden Lease and Operating Agreement
- Gus Wortham - Houston Golf Association Lease and Operating Agreement
The agreements include provisions similar to what is in place with other city-owned properties that are privately managed and operated. For example, both parks will be privately run and operated, and the revenues generated will be reinvested within the properties (just like Hermann Park and Houston Zoo) for operations, maintenance, and to ensure the visiting public has an exceptional experience.
Timeline and progress
HGA – Gus Wortham
- HGA must raise $5M by December 31, 2015 – Goal Met
- Broke ground on Phase I (golf course restoration) in Jan. 2017, expect re-open end of 2017
- The club house and other improvements must be completed by the end of 2019
- Fundraising is ongoing and phase one construction began Feb. 2017
HBG – Botanic Garden at Glenbrook
- HBG must raise $5M by December 31, 2015 – Goal Met
- HBG must raise $20M by December 31, 2017 BEFORE BREAKING GROUND (City Council can extend up to 1 year)
- Must complete construction of first phase no later than 4 years after taking control of site
- Fundraising and master planning are ongoing
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 HERE (or text districti to 22828.)
For additional information, please contact the District I office at 832.393.3011.
- February 20, 2017 – Golf Association to Begin Renovation of Gus Wortham
- January 2017 – Inside District I Newsletter: Looking Ahead
- Winter 2016 – Houston Botanic Garden Newsletter
- August 24, 2016 – Mayor’s Report on Gus Wortham
- August 24, 2016 – Mayor’s Report on Botanic Garden
- January 2016 -- District I Newsletter: Gus Wortham & Glenbrook Updates
- December 15, 2015 -- Approved Botanic Garden Master Plan (.pdf)
- December 5, 2015 -- Gus Wortham Greens Master Plan (.pdf)
- August 21, 2015 -- Botanic Garden Community Workshop Meeting – Sept. 30 (.jpg)
- July 2, 2015 -- District I Newsletter: Gus Wortham and Garden Plan Updates
- May 1, 2015 -- Houston Botanic Garden Community Workshop Meeting - May 12th
- April 2015 -- Inside District I Newsletter: Botanic Garden Presentation at Community Stakeholders Meeting
- February 9, 2015 -- Hobby Area Stakeholder Meeting, including Botanic Garden presentation
- January 21, 2015 -- City Approves Plans to Create Botanic Garden, Restore Historic Golf Course
- November 2014 -- District I Newsletter: City supports Gus Wortham restoration proposal
- October 29, 2014 -- Mayor's Report on Gus Wortham and Botanic Garden at Glenbrook
- October 2014 -- District I Newsletter: Gus Wortham Renovation and Botanic Garden (UPDATE)
- August 2014 -- District I Newsletter: Council Receives Update on Gus Wortham Rehabilitation Proposal
- July 30, 2014 -- Mayor's Report on Gus Wortham and Botanic Garden at Glenbrook
- July 2014 -- District I Newsletter: Council Committee Receives Update on Future of Gus Wortham
- June 25, 2014 -- Update on Gus Wortham Golf Rehabilitation and Houston Botanic Garden
- May 2014 -- District I Newsletter: Gus Wortham restoration, Botanic Garden at Glenbrook
- March 26, 2014 -- Quality of Life Committee Presentation on Botanic Garden at Gus Wortham/Glenbrook
- March 17, 2014 -- Community forum meeting notice