Houston, Texas




In 2011 a summer drought devastated landscapes all across Texas.  The ensuing redevelopment effort for the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center (HANC) led by Design Workshop aims to create and support a healthy, natural, sustainable and educational environment.  The Master Plan intends to develop a unified vision for the Arboretum’s future guided by its mission statement, which is “to provide education about the natural environment to people of all ages and to protect and enhance the Arboretum as a sanctuary for native plants and animals.”


With the Master Plan’s proposed shift towards landscape types aimed at resiliency, and the mission to enhance the educational opportunities of the Arboretum’s programming, ETM conducted research and analysis on the following:


• Maintenance required by the new landscape types and the Arboretum’s ability to provide it

• Maintenance staffing needs and facility recommendations

• Greenhouse needs

• Additional revenue sources to address financial shortfalls

• Potential revenue sources that could be integrated with the design

• Improvement of existing programs


In tandem with this research, ETM studied other arboreta and nature centers and developed a set of guidelines for both the design and operation of HANC.  The guidelines included the following:


• Maintenance staff and available staff hours

• Facility sizes and accommodations

• Admission fees

• Memberships and benefits

• Programs

• Program fees

• Rental venues

• Wedding venues and associated wedding packages

• Concessions options and pricing