Starlight & Sycamores, the Arboretum’s 2020 Alfresco Gala, has been cancelled due to COVID-19. Please see below for an official statement regarding the event.

Dear Arboretum Friend,

For forty-three years, the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center has hosted its annual gala in support of the Arboretum’s mission of nature education and conservation. This year, we were especially excited to honor the legacy of Pat Marks, the organization’s longtime Education Director, who embodies the spirit of environmental education and has introduced thousands of young students to the natural world.

Based on CDC guidelines, we are saddened to announce the cancellation of our annual Alfresco Gala, Starlight & Sycamores, on Friday, April 17, 2020 at the Bayou Club. Due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 outbreak, we cannot confirm a postponement date at this time, but hope to welcome our guests at an unveiling celebration of the newly renovated Nature Center this fall.

We are so grateful for our wonderful chairs, Mary & Carter Groves and Elisa & Cris Pye, and for our amazing Underwriting Committee. Their commitment to the Arboretum’s mission enables the Arboretum to protect and preserve our urban nature sanctuary and keeps our trails open during this unprecedented time.

Even during normal circumstances, the Alfresco Gala is our most important fundraiser. It is a crucial part of our operational funding which supports our staff and keeps our trails maintained and open to the public – especially important during this difficult time. We hope that you will consider donating your gala commitment to the Arboretum as a fully tax-deductible donation. If you would like your gift as a credit for the 2021 gala or a full refund, please contact Katie Campbell at and we will do our best to process your request by June 1.

Thank you for your support of our mission, which helps us make the beauty and wonder of the Arboretum possible throughout the year.


Debbie Markey
Executive Director