Public Spaces and Parks require a well-equipped landscape construction partner that is able to Think Outside. At B&D, we have successfully constructed numerous park projects in Texas. With the funding of public spaces often being through a public and private partnership, these projects typically have unique designs and challenging elements. The solutionists at B&D are armed with the skills and creativity to make these designs a reality within scope, budget, and on-time. B&D possesses a thorough understanding of the market and is able to translate the unique park designs into beautiful spaces to be enjoyed for years to come.
Levy Park was an aging facility originally given to the City of Houston in 1941, and was badly in need of an upgrade. In 2015, the Upper Kirby Redevelopment Authority and District Foundation partnered to undertake funding the transformation of Levy Park into a world-class park. The 6-acre park design included activity areas, a dog park, a community garden, the Children’s Park, and beautiful landscaping. B&D was selected as the landscape construction partner. The scope included landscape and irrigation, hardscape, pavers, decorative concrete, IPE decks, metal work, playground equipment and water features.
Due to project delays, the construction schedule was heavily compressed. In order to complete the project on time, the team of over 75 B&D solutionists worked around the clock for six weeks. After weeks of overtime, the team delivered a beautiful project on time for the owner’s grand opening celebration. Levy Park reopened to rave reviews in 2017 and continues to hold free, year-round passive and active programming in wellness, the arts, education, and recreation.
Levy Park is a beautiful outdoor space and has been recognized with several awards:
In 2015, B&D had the privilege of working on one of the most anticipated projects in Houston: the African Gorilla Forest at the Houston Zoo. The design and construction teams worked tirelessly alongside the staff at the zoo to create two distinct spaces that span about two-thirds of an acre including an outdoor habitat and a multi-tiered night house. The forest is a state-of-the-art natural habitat with features that include a waterfall, flowing stream, natural and artificial logs, and boardwalks where visitors can get a closer look. There is also a huge, sloping berm with a dense forest and moat.
This was a unique project and attention to detail was of the utmost importance. Gorillas can use any debris over 3/8-inch to scratch and potentially break windows, so all earthwork had to use smaller-size soil particles. The civil engineers on the project developed an atypical pavement section with the geotechnical engineer using crushed granite without limestone or lime to avoid any potential damage to the plants and trees from soil stabilization. The project required extensive coordination with the architect, Houston Zoo, and Houston Parks and Recreation Department.
Evelyn’s Park Conservancy is a five-acre park nestled in the city of Bellaire, which resides just outside the city limits of Houston, Texas. Though the park has been around for just over a decade, its story begins all the way back in 1910 when it was the home of Teas Nursery, a well-known Houston business. After shutting its doors for good in 2009, the land Teas Nursery sat upon was purchased by brothers Jerry and Maury Rubenstein. It was donated to the city of Bellaire under the condition that it would be used as parkland and named after their mother Evelyn.
Our team was tasked with developing Phase II of Evelyn’s Park, which began in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite challenges caused by the pandemic, including supply chain issues, we were able to prevail and bring this highly-anticipated new phase of Evelyn’s Park to life.
Hardscape Construction featured an array of colorful, yet durable children’s playground equipment, including a Barn Swallow climbing structure, Log Jam nature play structure composed of hand-chiseled wood logs, and The Nest sand pit and splash table.
A concrete slide and tunnel system, weighing in at more than 14,000 pounds, was poured and formed. Several shade structures and seating areas were added throughout the park, including a solar panel-powered building, mini travilions (which are part trellis, part pavilion), Verandas and oversized Lily Pads.
Landscape work included a complete irrigation and drainage package throughout the Phase II portion of the property. New trees and plants were added throughout the park, as well as soft play surfaces, sod and a gravel pathway to lead visitors through each featured play area. Lastly, an impressive 20,000 gallon underground cistern was installed to support the Splash ‘N’ Play splash bad, with the purpose of recycling water from the splash pad to disperse through the irrigation system.
Nestled deep within the concrete jungle of Houston proper exists the Houston Botanic Garden, an oasis of greenery and gardens that provides an escape for residents of the Bayou City. Designed by Dutch landscape architecture and urban design firm West 8, the Houston Botanic Garden is actually a collection of more than a dozen different gardens, each with its own carefully curated theme.
The B&D Landscape Contractors team was selected to bring three of these gardens to life: The Susan Garver Family Garden, Global Collection Garden and the Edible Garden, each during its own phase of a project that would span roughly one year.
Phase 1: The Susan Garver Family Garden
Phase One focused on The Susan Garver Family Garden. This Garden, designed with families in mind, features a boardwalk maze around a large lagoon, children’s play equipment and interactive water machines. Groundbreaking took place in September of 2019, and was completed in January 2020.
The children’s play equipment includes unique features you won’t find at your typical playground, including an Archimedes Screw, Nautilus Shell and See-Saw Pump. Water equipment was installed as a way to encourage developmental learning in children of all ages. Stroll through the garden, and you’ll find all sorts of water play devices, including pumps, dams and other simple machines perfect for little hands.
The Susan Garver Family Garden includes plenty of space for the young (and young-at-heart) to spread out and let their imaginations run wild. Loblolly pine trees provide shady spots for rest and relaxation, while a boardwalk maze encourages exploration. Enjoy an hour or an entire day at this garden. There’s plenty to do and see.
Phase 2: The Global Collection Garden
Phase II of the Houston Botanic Garden project focused on creating the Global Collection Garden, which is located on an island within the greater Garden complex. Construction started in March of 2020, and was completed in September. Though it comprises only three acres of the entire Garden, The Global Collection Garden is one of the most diverse when it comes to plant life, and consists of three different climatic zones: Tropical, Subtropical and Arid. Each climatic zone features plants from around the world, including staghorn ferns, lilies and African grasses.
Our team was tasked with installing the key elements within the Global Collection Garden. At the entrance of the Global Collection Garden, guests are greeted by a large entry fountain made of custom stone work, which gives it a natural look. A mosaic tile paving creates a pathway through the garden, guiding visitors through the Collection while adding visual interest to the surrounding landscape.
Precast stools and benches adorn the path, offering visitors a place to rest and take in the beauty of the plant life around them. We installed walk-in Curiosity Cabinets for the Garden’s youngest visitors, which are used to house a variety of natural objects to stimulate sensory play for children. Fog misting systems were implemented as a way to not only keep guests of the garden cool, but to offer much-needed moisture for plant life in the gardens.
The Global Collection Garden provides an international botanic experience right in the heart of Houston. We are proud to play a part in bringing this collection to the Houston community.