Upper Kirby District Street Talk
In This Issue
Girl Scouts Explore Levy Park
Upper Kirby Parking Study
Upper Kirby Construction
The Upper Kirby District Center
Community Resources
Non -Profit Office Space Available!

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August in the Upper Kirby District
Girl Scouts Experience Urban Gardening at Levy Park's Urban Nature Center
Girl Scouts-Levy ParkOn June 21, a group of twenty-some Girl Scouts from the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council explored Levy Park's Urban Nature Center as part of their Sow What? Journey, an experience that teaches girls how to shop for, produce, cook and appreciate organic food.

Upper Kirby's resident Master Gardner, James Thomas led the girls through the volunteer-maintained Urban Nature Center and discussed, among other things, urban gardening and local plant recognition.

The Urban Nature Center at Levy Park provides the community with a garden oasis in the midst of inner-city Houston with native Texas plant material in the certified Texas Wildscape and gardening plots where citizens can grow and maintain plants and produce of their choosing.

For more information on the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council, visit www.gssjc.org or call, 713-292-0300.

For information on Levy Park or the Urban Nature Center, contact 713-524-8000.

Upper Kirby Begins District-Wide Parking Study
on street parking

Parking in the Upper Kirby area has long been a problem. Parking deficiencies are evident in Upper Kirby's major employment centers, commercial destinations, places of worship neighborhoods and area educational institutions.

Upper Kirby employers are having trouble finding sufficient employee parking, neighborhoods are noticing the commercial customer parking overflow onto residential streets and area students are often forced to park several blocks away from their schools. With the introduction of mass transit through Upper Kirby, the parking problem can only be exacerbated as transit riders will seek out convenient parking accessible to transit stations in order to move about the proposed light rail system.

The Upper Kirby District has authorized the Goodman Corporation to conduct a District-wide parking study to examine the current condition, forecast into the future and determine possible solutions both short and long-term. Upper Kirby hopes to develop a comprehensive parking strategy for the area that will address the needs of local residents and businesses by examining the potential for shared use parking, refine on-street parking strategies and develop an overall parking management plan that will provide solutions both for accessing inner-district destinations as well as improving transit connectivity district-wide.  

Please take a moment to complete the brief parking survey available here.

For more information, contact the Upper Kirby District at 713-524-8000.

Upper Kirby Construction
Storm drainage installationThree roadway improvement projects were originally scheduled to bid this summer in Upper Kirby. Wakeforest between US 59 and Richmond, Kirby Drive between US 59 and Richmond and Buffalo Speedway between US 59 and Bissonnet are all roadway improvement projects that will address mobility and drainage deficiencies while relocating overhead utilities.

The Wakeforest and Kirby Drive projects are still on schedule to begin construction later this month, however, the Buffalo Speedway project will be rebid in November to begin construction in January 2011. In order to minimize construction impacts to the businesses and residents on or surrounding Buffalo Speedway, it has been a priority to schedule work so as to allow for a pause between Thanksgiving and New Years. It became clear last month that a longer than anticipated City approval process would make a holiday pause in construction impossible if the project proceeded as scheduled. The new phasing will allow for unhindered holiday access on Buffalo Speedway and will provide a 6-month head start on surrounding construction projects. Kirby Drive construction will have completed utility relocation by that point and will be on to installing storm sewer lines and Wakeforest will be substantially complete.

The Wakeforest reconstruction project will create a uniform 60-foot right of way from Richmond to US 59 allowing for greatly improved circulation. The roadway will allow for one traffic lane in either direction and the capacity for on-street parking. New sidewalks will be installed where none exist today. The project should last no more than three to five months depending on weather conditions.

Both Buffalo Speedway and Kirby Drive will entail road repaving as well as drainage, sewage and water line improvements and overhead power lines will be buried. Upper Kirby will also be implementing a comprehensive streetscape and landscaping plan along both thoroughfares that will include crosswalk and hardscape enhancements, improved landscaping and irrigation, pedestrian furniture and lighting, enhanced street light and traffic signal poles and the capacity for holiday lighting.

For more information on Upper Kirby construction projects, contact Travis Younkin at 713.524.8000 or email travis@upperkirby.org.
The Upper Kirby District Center
Serving Houston's Non-Profit Community Since 1998
The Upper Kirby District Center opened its doors in 1998 in response to the need for affordable office space for nonprofit charitable organizations.
To further meet the needs of small and startup nonprofit organizations, the Upper Kirby District Center has recently converted a large single-user tenant space into eighteen "incubator" offices. Rental rates range from $225 to $700 per month.
The Upper Kirby District Center's location adjacent to Levy Park and its close proximity to US 59 between Kirby and Buffalo Speedway makes it an ideal setting to grow your nonprofit organization.

For more information, please call 713.524.8000.
If you have a new business, development or community event that you would like included in the monthly Upper Kirby news, please contact us at 713.524.8000 or submit to streettalk@upperkirby.org
Requests will be posted subject to space availability and appropriateness of content.
Upper Kirby is a constantly evolving urban area marked by an outstanding location, great shopping, unique residential neighborhoods, smart development and a small town feel. It is an area of successful businesses, involved communities and a synergy between the public and private sectors. It is the heartbeat of Houston and everywhere you want to be.