Best Do-It-Yourself Nature Park (2000)
The woods on 11th Street in Timbergrove Manor
Just west of the Heights, in the largely undiscovered subdivision of Timbergrove Manor, sit 21 acres of pine-tree-filled land, one of the largest such plots left inside the Loop. The land is owned by the Houston Independent School District, and residents grew alarmed last year when HISD announced plans to use the forest as a new location for the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. The land had been enjoyed, if perhaps taken for granted, by the kids, dog walkers and nature lovers of the neighborhood, but the close call spurred them to action. HISD has agreed not to move HSPVA there, but the district has balked at permanently making the forest a park. While the issue is being hashed out, volunteers have been at work clearing fallen trees, planting flowers and marking out walking paths on the land. More than ever, the place has become an Inner Loop oasis to be treasured.