Now that residents have replaced more than 25 trees lost to drought and disease at Nellie Keyes Park, 791 Lester in Rice Military, the community has launched a second fundraising campaign.
The Association of Washington Avenue Neighborhoods hopes to raise $40,000 to install shading over the park playground and add a swing.
“We’re trying to make the community better,” AWAN president and founder Keith Edgar said. “A lot of families like and use that park.”
The association is teaming up with the Rice Military Civic Club to get the effort under way. They will present a fundraiser and silent auction from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, June 14, at Luke’s Ice House, 908 Durham.
Luke’s will provide entertainment, and a portion of the sales proceeds from that afternoon will be donated to the park campaign.
Organizers are seeking business donations of services and gift cards for the auction. For donation information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
AWAN kicked off its initial fundraising campaign for Nellie Keyes Park last June in partnership with the Houston Parks Board, which managed the campaign and maintained an account for contributions.
That campaign received 40 donations totaling more than $7,000, Edgar said. Contributors included the Rice Military Civic Club and Houston City Councilwoman Ellen Cohen.
On Dec. 7, community members planted 27 trees, including two fruit trees, purchased at a discount from Trees for Houston.
Urban Harvest, which maintains a community garden at the park, has committed to water and maintain the trees.
Now AWAN is focusing on its new goals for the park. The colorful, triangular shades it hopes to install over the playground area would be similar to shade umbrellas placed above outdoor tables.
“The triangulation adds another dimension to the park,” Edgar said. “It’s functional and aesthetically pleasing.”
During the previous campaign, the average donation was about $120 per individual. This time, Edgar said, AWAN is seeking $200 donations.
AWAN also is looking for sponsors or groups interested in purchasing the swing, which would cost about $7,500, or the shades, estimated at from $20,000 to $30,000. Sponsors will be recognized with a plaque at the park.
The Houston Parks Board continues to manage the park’s fundraising campaign.
To make a tax-deductible donation, visit houstonparksboard.org/projects/nellie_keyes_park.