Master Plan

Master Plan

The Houston Arboretum & Nature Center’s master plan calls for a much needed large-scale refurbishment of our grounds and facilities.

Houston recently experienced two major natural disasters, Hurricane Ike in 2008 and then a severe drought in the summer of 2011. Coupled together, these two natural disasters had a significant impact on the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center and resulted in a 50% loss of our tree canopy, loss of many native plants, and subsequent encroachment of invasive species. We decided to use this experience as an opportunity to develop a master plan that would enable us to more effectively fulfill our two primary purposes – conservation and nature education – for decades to come. 


Starting in 2012, we embarked on a master planning process to develop a road map for restoring and protecting our precious natural property, facilitate the expansion of our respected educational programming, and transform our identity into a leading nature center.  A nationally recognized collaborative team composed of Design Workshop, Lake Flato Architects, and Main Street Design was engaged to create this comprehensive landscape and facilities master plan.


With the goal of restoring the Arboretum in a manner that displays an authentic representation of its regional ecological context, we sought to better understand our ecosystem through extensive soil and topography analysis and engineering studies. This data combined with information gathered during a series of well-attended stakeholder meetings was used to develop a wonderful plan that will serve as the blueprint for our landscape and facilities development for the coming decades.


A phased implementation strategy has been developed to provide sensible sequencing for the planned improvements. There are 4 phases proposed in the master plan, each thoughtfully developed minimizing the impact on our visitors and wildlife.


Please check back with us frequently to find more information on the plan, an implementation schedule, and our donors. You may use the links to the left to navigate to specific pieces of the plan.


Seen in a pond Houston Arboretum Houston Arboretum Houston Arboretum Houston Arboretum Moth Baby Turtle