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A first-of-its-kind park designed to be environmentally friendly and energy efficient opened to fireworks and fanfare.

Named after the 29th Congressional District Congressman, the Gene Green Beltway 8 Park was officially opened by Harris County Precinct Two Commissioner Sylvia R. Garcia.

Designed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, this park includes the latest in energy efficient building design in the park offices, restroom and amphitheater. Inclusion of native plants is part of the landscape architecture designed to capture, re-use and conserve water.

"I have long admired the work and dedication of Congressman Green as he has worked for the people of east Harris County," said Commissioner Garcia. "I think it is appropriate that I am able to honor my friend and colleague by naming this green park after him."

Precinct 2's newest park is the first in Harris County with an American Bicycle Association sanctioned BMX track. And, that is just one of the features of this facility on Beltway 8 between Interstate 10 and Highway 90 which includes a skate park, a spray park, hiking trail, soccer and baseball fields and an amphitheater.

"It's been a privilege for me to work with Commissioner Garcia over the years and I'm honored that she has led the effort to name this park after me. I hope and expect that this park will benefit the community by adding a valuable space where neighbors can relax and play together," Congressman Green said.

The Gene Green Beltway 8 park represents the first turnkey park project Commissioner Garcia has undertaken since she took office in 2003.

That includes partnering with the Harris County Flood Control District in the acquisition of 230 acres of land, 173-acres of which are dedicated to public park facilities. The remaining acreage is also open to the public as undeveloped green space.

The park is currently under evaluation for certification in the LEED program. LEED is sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council in an effort to develop an internationally recognized standard for earth friendly design and construction.

LEED-related components in this park include low-water-and-electricity-use fixtures, recycled building materials, native plants and innovative storm water management design.