As summer draws to a close, Woodchase Park has made the season a magical time of year for kids and families.
May through July marked the first summer since the opening of Woodchase Park, bringing a variety filled plethora of activities and new opportunities for summer fun in the park – seven days a week. Parks Programming Director Louis Jullien added dozens of events to the park’s regular offerings, even extending the daily hours when staff is on duty to assist guests at the park.
Topping the list of summer programming were Movie Nights. Sponsored by various community organizations, four movie nights drew thousands to the park. These family-friendly movies were projected on a large inflatable screen. The fun started at 7 p.m. with free popcorn and games. Food trucks sold dinner for guests and lemonade provided the perfect summer quencher. Once it got dark, movies played to a packed lawn. Presentations included Sing 2, The Lion King, Raya and The Last Dragon and Encanto. The movies were made possible thanks to Community Preschools, Grace Presbyterian Church, and Harris County Precinct 4 for sponsoring the movies.
Guest service attendants mixed up weekly activities for kids including water games, pop up soccer, children’s bingo, crafts and lawn games. Moreover, the park continued to be a fitness hub with adult fitness programming, including Tai Chi on Tuesdays, Zumba on Wednesdays, and Boot Camp on Saturdays.
“We appreciate all the community partners who have stepped up to help us offer this additional programming,” said Jullien. “These volunteers, plus the businesses that have offered financial assistance for the summer programming, are really making Woodchase Park a happening place this summer. And, even though Houston experienced record temperatures during the day, park evenings were comfortable thanks to a gentle breeze that flowed in nightly.”
“The park is an asset to the community and a gathering place where enrichment, learning and fun activities converge,” said Claudia Kreisle, Director of Social Impact for Phillips 66. “We believe in being good neighbors, so supporting Woodchase Park was a strong natural fit for us.” Visit woodchasepark.com for a complete list of summer activities at Woodchase Park.
Quillian presents generational fun
Quillian Center’s summer day camps are in full swing. Offering daily programming for kids 5-12 and a teen camp for kids 13-14, Quillian becomes a home away from home for area kids every summer. Campers start the day with specialty enrichment camps in the morning that range from photography to volleyball to scrapbooking or mixed media arts, and end their day with gym time or swimming. In between, they enjoy arts and crafts and assemblies featuring special guests. Half day camps are also available.
“This is our 60th year offering camps to Westchase area families,” said Quillian Center Director Tom Gaden. “Each year, we have new specialty camps and new themed weeks that make kids want to come back year after year. Former campers return as counselors and some former campers are even bringing their children.”
Quillian’s two pools are open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Tuesday nights from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in June and July.
Maintenance in full swing
Westchase District’s maintenance crews are busy mowing lawns and adjusting irrigation to keep all the District’s landscaping looking sharp. “The hottest months of the year require the most maintenance,” said Irma Sanchez, Westchase District’s vice president of projects. “Right now the trees, lawns and shrubs look great. The crape myrtles, red yucca and agapanthus are particularly pretty this time of year. It requires a significant crew to keep it all maintained.”
Sanchez is also supervising the work to finish up two of the District’s biggest projects ever: the complete rebuild of Walnut Bend Lane and the streetscape improvements on Westheimer. “After months of testing the equipment, we’re just about ready to turn on all the new traffic signals that have been installed on the new mast arms on Westheimer,” said Sanchez. “Some of the signals on Westheimer east of the Beltway have been up there for almost a year. While it may look like nothing is going on and people wonder about the delay, the signals have actually been in testing mode. We have to make sure they’re working correctly before we turn off the old signals.”
Walnut Bend Lane complete
Residents and businesses located along Walnut Bend Lane can finally enjoy the fact that the construction crews have vacated and the roadway is finished. “This project took longer to complete than anticipated,” said Sanchez. “But I’m happy to say the end result is worth it. The roadway is smooth and nicely landscaped. METRO patrons are already enjoying the new bus shelters. Bike lanes and pedestrian lighting add to the experience today, and as the trees grow, pedestrians will enjoy enhanced shade as they walk the new, wider sidewalks,” said Sanchez.
Summer vegetables in season at Farmers Market
Westchase District’s long-running Farmers Market continues each week on the parking lot of St. Cyril’s Catholic Church, 10503 Westheimer. PEAS Farm and Plant it Forward are two vendors bringing seasonal produce to the market each week. Other vendors offer farm-fresh eggs, meat and honey, plus freshly-baked breads, sweet treats and take-home meals. Now working his ninth summer at the Farmers Market, manager John Carey has learned the art of surviving Houston’s summertime heat. He enjoys the shade found under the market tent, the misting fan set up for all to enjoy, and the community and cameraderie of the vendors. “Summer is the best season at the market,” said Carey. “You can’t let the heat keep you away from enjoying summer squash, tomatoes, okra and those Hill Country peaches.” He encourages area residents and employees of Westchase District businesses to support the market every Thursday…then jump back into the air conditioning. Go to westchasedistrictfarmersmarket.com for an updated vendor list.