Emancipation Park, a 10-acre public park located in Houston’s Third Ward, has been undergoing major redevelopment activities over the past decade including the design and construction of a 15,000 SF community center, recreation center, swimming pool, picnic area, baseball field, tennis court, basketball court, play area, performance space, and visitor center.

Gunda Corporation (GUNDA) provided OST / Almeda Redevelopment Authority in conjunction with the Houston Parks and Recreation Department with civil site design services for park reconstruction including grading, paving, drainage, and water & wastewater service to each building.

The park is recognized by the State of Texas as a historically significant site, therefore precautions were taken for preservation measures.

Development of the site included low impact development measures, such as porous pavement, bio-swales and rainwater harvesting to reduce the amount of storm runoff generated by the site improvements. These low impact techniques reduced the amount of detention that would be required using conventional construction methods. This was essential as the park had no existing detention engineering.

GUNDA also addressed traffic control and parking needs for the park through on-street parking areas along Tuam, Hutchins and Dowling, and off-site parking facilities on an adjacent property. The on-street and off-site parking utilize low impact development measures to reduce the potential runoff from the site.

The park successfully opened to the public in January 2017 and is almost complete. Ongoing work includes collaboration with the Emancipation Park Conservancy reviewing plans and responding to questions from the field.