Drivers of the Master Plan

Houston Arboretum 2007
Master Plan Drivers - Pre-Ike
Houston Arboretum 2012

Master Plan Drivers - Post-Ike

Two major factors triggered the Arboretum’s formation of a master plan.


1. After Hurricane Ike in 2008 and the drought in 2011, 50% of the Houston Arboretum’s tree canopy was left damaged or disturbed.  These two natural disasters killed many native species of trees and plants and paved the way for the encroachment of invasive species.

The Arboretum’s master planning team engaged a number of professionals to conduct extensive soil, topographical, and hydrological analyses, engineering studies, and tree and land surveys. The data collected from these studies were used to build the framework of the master plan. To see the soil, topographical, and hydrological study outcomes, click here.


2. Our current facilities are at capacity and limit the growth of our educational programming, even as demand for these programs continues to grow. 

The master plan calls for dual entrances, new parking areas integrated with the landscape, and facility enhancements and expansion to include: a renovated and expanded Education Center, a new Ecosystem Management Center, a state-of-the-art nature play area, and a small administrative space to house our staff and volunteers. The facilities footprint will be minimized by using disturbed land and existing roads and parking lot areas.