Jennie Elizabeth Hughes Park History
The City of West University Place held a ceremonial groundbreaking on June 13, 2018 to kick-off the construction of Jennie Elizabeth Hughes Park, 6446 Sewanee. The occasion commemorated the start of construction activities which begin on Monday, June 18, and the park is projected to open in October of this year.
The 15,000 square foot park includes a covered front porch entry at the corner of Sewanee and Pittsburg complete with a ceiling fan, recessed lighting, and rocking chairs looking out to a large open greenspace in the center of the park. In addition, the park features a dry stream bed with a button activated water feature, benches, log seats, a picnic table, new trees, donor area, and beautiful landscaping enhancements. The park will have unobtrusive moon lighting in the trees to allow nighttime passerby's a view into the park, and thoughtful consideration was given to the neighboring properties with the incorporation of an 8ft tall cedar fence and tall hedge along the park perimeter.
This park would not have been possible without generous bequest from longtime West University Place resident Mr. James M. Hughes, who donated his property and $200,000 to be used for the design and development of a quiet park honoring his mother Jennie Elizabeth Hughes. The Friends of West U Parks Fund, Inc. (West University Parks) are funding all remaining construction expenses. "On behalf of the CIty; we are both humbled and thankful for the generous and kind hearted donation of this property by Mr. Hughes in loving memory of his mother," said Mayor Susan Sample. "We are so proud to be a part of the efforts of the staff, elected officials, citizens, and neighbors of West U combined with the further support of the Friends and Parks Boards in delivering this wonderful treasure of our community to its people. It will be a lasting testament of all those involved."
Visit JEH Park for regular project updates or contact Parks and Recreation Director Susan White for more information.
UPDATE - 5/15/18 City Council approved the items below at the meeting on Monday, May 14, 2018:
- Hughes Park site plan with a front porch shade cover and 8ft double-sided cedar fence on the north and west park perimeter.
- Friends of West U Parks Fund, Inc. project funding of $325,560 (ordinance requirement). These funds will be used for project expenses over the $200,000 Hughes donation.
- Variance to the existing zoning regulations for items located in the front yard setback.
Staff would like to extend our thanks to the Hughes family representatives, Mayor and Council, Hughes Park Task Force, Parks and Recreation Board, and Friends of West U Parks Board for all of your support and dedication throughout the initial process. We are excited that construction is planned to begin in June with completion in October (weather permitting). Once a set timeline has been confirmed, additional information will be provided. Please check back for regular updates!
If you have questions or would like to receive regular project updates, please provide the Parks and Recreation Department with your e-mail address at email My Parks or call Parks and Recreation Director Susan White at 713.662.5984.