Approximately 1466 acres, Memorial Park is one of the largest urban parks in the United States. During World War I, much of the land was used as a military training camp. In 1924, the land was sold to the City of Houston for a municipal park. The name, "Memorial" Park, is in honor of the soldiers who lost their lives serving in the WWI. In 1951, land was set aside for the Houston Botanical Society as a nature center. Today the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, spreads over 155 acres with 5 miles of nature trails including native forest, wetlands, and meadow habitats. The grounds are open daily at no charge from 7 am to dusk. On a gorgeous clear blue sky Monday, My mother and I enjoyed the autumn trails.
Along the trails are many native species of plants. Fall is a second spring in the Houston area and the wildflowers will delight the senses. From beneath the canopy of towering pines, we emerge into a stunning glow of grasses and flowers sifting the sunlight in the open meadow.
A lovely view, best seen in person. Take a moment to sit among the flowers and observe the fancy flight of dragonflies, butterflies, and bees.
A Gulf Fritillary hiding among the native wildflowers, Silphium or Swamp Sunflower and blue Mist Flower or Conoclinium (Eupatorium) greggii.
Goldenrod in bloom. Mist Flower and Goldenrod are monarch favorites for nectar during the southern migration to Mexico.
Fall is a fabulous time of year to enjoy native parks in the Houston or your home state area. Wildflowers are blooming and the monarchs are migrating. Soon the leaves will turn brilliant shades of autumn. Visit the Houston Arboretum to enjoy nature and the fine fall weather. For more information about upcoming events, view the website at www.houstonarboretum.org