Houston Arboretum and Nature Center

Minutes from downtown, the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center welcomes residents and visitors to 155 acres of natural lands for education, recreation, and sanctuary.
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This planning effort re-framed the Arboretum’s mission in response to climate change and prepares a vision for a dramatically different landscape and visitor experience.

The Houston Arboretum and Nature Center lies within the historic Hare and Hare-designed Memorial Park, one of the nation’s largest urban parks. Sudden and significant tree mortality, related to hurricanes and drought over recent years, has altered the character and health of the site. Reed Hilderbrand, working with Design Workshop, performed a forensic investigation of existing soils, topography, hydrology, and the remaining vegetation to form the basis of a landscape design that develops resilient and sustainable ecologies on the site—meadow, savannah, forest, wetland, and bayou. The plan incorporates a new visitor center, education pavilion, drives and parking, and a network of paths, sited to maximize the visitor’s experience of the distinct character of the landscape, while preserving sensitive ecological areas.


Houston, TX




155 acres




  • Honor Award in the Analysis and Planning, American Society of Landscape Architects, 2014
  • Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, BSLA Award of Excellence, 2014
  • “Houston’s Big Green Transformation” by Charles A. Birnbaum, Huffington Post , January 21, 2016