Martin Luther King statue in MacGregor Park, Houston

BREAKING NEWS: We are pleased to announce a catalyst gift from the Kinder Foundation and Houston City Council approval to move forward with historic MacGregor Park transformation.

Houston Chronicle, Wednesday, December 13, 2023: MacGregor Park, an iconic space in Houston, due for a $54 million renovation


For nearly a century, MacGregor Park has served as a gathering and recreational space for many Houstonians. This 65-acre park in the Third Ward features a memorial statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. by sculptor Ken Washington as well as the Homer Ford Tennis Center where Olympic and professional athletes have trained. The park’s basketball pavilion was much loved by Phi Slama Jama, the University of Houston’s basketball team that rose to fame from 1982-1984. Today, this beloved regional park suffers from high levels of use combined with aging infrastructure.

“The park users and neighbors are deeply committed to MacGregor Park,” states Dr. Teddy McDavid, Board Chair, Friends of MacGregor Park. “We love our park and consider it our place of natural beauty, culture, history, recreation, and education. We are very grateful to see this plan become a reality.” 

Following a comprehensive and community-based master plan process, the Houston City Council approved long-planned renovations to this Third Ward jewel in December 2023. The renovations and enhancements will honor the park’s history and cultural significance.  Located on Brays Bayou Greenway in southeast Houston, the MacGregor Park renovation is aligned with Houston Parks Board’s strategic priority to improve regional parks as destinations along the Bayou Greenways system.  Houston Parks Board and the project partners will proceed with design in 2024 and construction is estimated to begin in 2025.

Fundraising is well underway to fund the $54 million project. The Kinder Foundation contributed a $27 million catalyst gift, providing initial momentum for the project.  Public sources of support for this project total $14.5M, including $5 million from the City of Houston, $1.5 million from the City of Houston’s Capital Improvement Plan, $4 million from Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) 7, and a $4 million Community Project Funding Grant sponsored by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. Houston Parks Board is committed to raising $12.5 million from individuals, corporations, and private foundations.

“MacGregor Park is one of Houston’s most beloved parks, and we’re thrilled to contribute to a project that further develops and preserves this important greenspace in southeast Houston.” said Nancy Kinder, President and CEO, Kinder Foundation.

The master plan calls for several updates including the renovation of The Homer Ford Tennis Center, which will become a state-of-the-art facility with tournament-hosting capabilities. The swimming pool and historic community center will be renovated. The perimeter trail around the park will be extended by 1.25 miles, linking to the existing Brays Bayou Greenways trail and enhancing connectivity to a network of community bike lanes. A natural amphitheater will be created near the bayou for programming and communal gatherings. An all-abilities, ADA-accessible playground will be added, and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza will be refurbished.


Houston Parks Board is raising funds to complete the MacGregor Park transformation. You can play a part in the renovations of this historic Houston park by donating here . If you would like to speak with someone about how to support this park, please contact Mindy Guthrie at or at 713-304-6540.

“Revitalizing MacGregor Park plays an important role as we strive to transform Houston into an interconnected network of parks, trails and greenways for a healthier Houston, and more equitably distributed parks in our great City” said Barron Wallace, Chairman, Houston Parks Board. “The planned enhancements will honor the park’s history and cultural significance, increase equitable access to greenspaces and contribute to a greater quality of life for the surrounding community.”

There will be opportunities for community members to get involved on an ongoing basis in park clean-ups and events like the Art Bike Parade.


A master plan for MacGregor Park was completed in 2016 under the direction of Houston Parks and Recreation Department (HPARD) with the involvement of the Friends of MacGregor ParkGreater Southeast Management District, and OST/Almeda Corridors Redevelopment Authority.

Houston Parks Board then spearheaded a master plan update in 2021, underwritten by a $350,000 gift from the Kinder Foundation. The planning process included lead consultant M2L Associates and was guided by a committee comprised of the City of Houston, the Kinder Foundation, HPARD, Friends of MacGregor Park, MacGregor Park Conservancy, University of Houston, and Houston Southeast Management District. Community input from stakeholders, public agencies, and community organizations was a crucial component of this process.

This process included consideration of recent projects and planned improvements in and around the park, with the long-term goal of making recommended improvements to MacGregor Park.

Community input is a key component of this process. A series of community meetings, work sessions, and events were held at MacGregor Park to share what was working, and what could be improved upon. Through over 1,200 community interactions — meetings, work sessions, events, a survey and thousands of emails — the project team heard what Houstonians want and need from MacGregor Park.  Thanks to this input, the collaboration among many individuals and organizations, and the generosity of many donors, Houston Parks Board will be able to achieve the community’s vision for this important regional park, one of the treasured parks along Bayou Greenways. 


A series of three work sessions were held for the MacGregor Park Master Plan Update partners to dive deeper into topics that could impact the park’s future.

To watch the recorded listening sessions, click below.

September 27, 2021 Culture, Heritage, History and Art Work Session

September 28, 2021 Safety, Security, Access and Circulation Work Session

October 5, 2021 Park Open Space, Facilities, and Programming Work Session


On Tuesday, June 15, 2021, a virtual community meeting was held to provide a recap of the 2016 MacGregor Park Master Plan and gather input from the community and people who currently use the park.

To view a recording of the meeting in English, click here.

To view a recording of the meeting in Spanish, click here.

It may take a few minutes for the recording to play.

To see a PDF of the PowerPoint presentation, click here.

On Wednesday, August 11, 2021, a second virtual community meeting was held to demonstrate how input from the first community meeting was incorporated into potential revisions as well as to show three ideas for the master plan.

To view a recording of the meeting in English, click here.

To view a recording of the meeting in Spanish, click here.

It may take a few minutes for the recording to play.

To see a PDF of the PowerPoint presentation, click here.

On Wednesday, October 13, 2021, a third and final community meeting was held to share the consensus plan for proposed changes to the master plan and gather additional feedback.

To view a recording of the meeting in English, click here.

To view a recording of the meeting in Spanish, click here.

It may take a few minutes for the recording to play.

To see a PDF of the PowerPoint presentation, click here.

Have comments or questions? Email or call 713-942-8500.