The Gateway Project

The Gateway Project is committed to preserving the character of the historic Henshaw House and surrounding grounds while providing for its current function as a premier science and nature education facility. By creating a more open and inviting physical presence for the center and making needed repairs, Gateway renovations will enhance our ability to serve the needs of all visitors. 

In November 2013, City of Bellaire residents voted for a bond referendum for $500,000 to be used for improvements to the Henshaw House and Russ Pitman Park, operated by the Nature Discovery Center. Generous funding from community groups and foundations also transformed the Gateway Project dream into a reality. Major donors are listed on the right-hand section of this page. 

To purchase an engraved brick, check out the Donor Brick Campaign page. 

Gateway Phase One - Complete
Phase One of the Gateway Project, the renovation of the 1925 Henshaw House that serves as the nature center, was successfully completed in spring 2014. This included new interior and exterior paint, new wall coverings, new blinds, new office furnishings, refinished floors, and much, much more! 

Gateway Phase Two - Underway Now

Phase Two will create a bright, fresh, and welcoming feeling in the one acre surrounding the Center by renovating animal enclosures, adding a new outside restroom, redesigning the native landscaping, and building new sensory gardens.

The redesigned animal enclosures will provide enlarged space for our outdoor animals in a more natural environment making viewing more accessible for kids of all ages. The new restroom will help us better accommodate large groups. The deck of the new outdoor bathroom will feature a trough sink at child height that will allow 4 kids to wash their hands at the same time, and added bathrooms will reduce strain and wait time for our three current restrooms. 

The Center will remain *OPEN* to visitors throughout the project, which is expected to be complete by the end of January 2017. 

Due to the work being done, the parking lot at the north end of Russ Pitman Park will be closed. Please park at the south end of the park in the lot off Evergreen Street and use the main path through the park to access the nature center.

Thank you for your patience as we make exciting changes to serve you better!

Landscape Architects: SWA Group
Contractors: Horizon International Group, LLC.


 View from the pavilion area (Phase 2)


 View from the animal enclosure area (Phase 2)

Thank you to the following major donors for their philanthropic contributions to the Gateway Project:

The Brown Foundation, Inc.
The Cullen Foundation
The Fondren Foundation
George & Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation
Albert and Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation 
Houston Endowment Inc.
Patrons for Bellaire Parks
The Wortham Foundation
...  & the many Donor Brick Campaign contributors!





Last Updated on Wednesday, December 28, 2016 12:31 PM
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