Bellaire, Texas is a city within a city. It was founded in the early 1900s as a farming community that could supply the food needs of Houston. Originally, the town was a cluster of residences surrounded by "truck farms," small farming patches that a family could maintain. Produce was loaded onto the family truck and then driven into Houston where it could be sold at market or delivered to individual families.
Bellaire continued to grow, and in 1918 it was officially incorporated as a city with its own local government. However, the city of Houston also continued to grow. By the 1940s, the 3.6 square miles of Bellaire was surrounded by the City of Houston. Today Bellaire works with Houston for services such as public transportation, but it still maintains its own schools, libraries, police and fire stations.
The city is sometimes referred to as the "City of Houses" as, with few exceptions, Bellaire is made of residential neighborhoods. This has led to some unique challenges for the city. As it moved from an agricultural to a residential community, most of the open farmland was turned into housing lots. Land is at a premium in the area. In 2010, Teas Nursery, the last business representing the agricultural past, closed its doors. There was a great deal of debate about what to do with its several acres of land. The city chose to devote the open space to a new community green space, Evelyn's Park.
Over the years, Bellaire has seen the importance of maintaining community parks and other green spaces. Residents need places where they can gather and enjoy being outdoors. Within Bellaire, there are several parks to choose from.
The largest park in the area is the Bellaire Zindler Park. It is 7.5 acres of community space that includes a pool, tennis courts, jogging trails, and a playground. These facilities are built around open, grassy fields and a picnic area under shade trees. Bellaire Zindler Park is also home to a performance pavilion where the city hosts several free concerts during the year.
Russ Pitman Park offers a different kind of outdoor experience. This park is designed primarily for outdoor education. It includes the city Nature Center which offers classes on the local environment. Near the education building, you can find the Prairie Pocket, a garden made with flowers and other plants that were part of the original prairie land. Russ Pitman Park also has an educational nature trail that winds through local woodlands.
Paseo Park is a unique park that sits between the streets of Bellaire Boulevard. This long, thin park celebrates the history of Bellaire. It includes a trolley car display, a reminder of the line that used to take people back and forth from Bellaire to Houston.
The newest park in the area is Evelyn's Park. It opened in 2017 as both a community green space and cultural center. It is a mix of open lawn and shade. The Great Lawn is graded and suitable for exercise classes, informal sports, and picnics. Visitors can buy a light lunch at Betsy's located in the park office building. Because the land of Evelyn's Park was some of the last open land in the city, the designers focused on a park's ability to build community. The park regularly hosts public art exhibitions and other events, such as a wine and tapas festival.
Like most communities, Bellaire has thriving sports programs, many of which are hosted in public parks. Feld Park has a small playground, but it is primarily devoted to grass-covered sports fields. Here you can find a full-size softball field as well as a youth soccer field. Lafayette Park has another field for youth soccer. It is also home to the city's dog park, Officer Lucy's Dog Park, named for the first canine detective in Bellaire. A full-size grass-covered soccer/football field can be found on the grounds at Bellaire High School.
Bellaire has several smaller parks. For example, Locust Park and Vic Driskoll Park are simple, grassy spaces suitable for sitting on a bench and reading a book on a quiet afternoon. These are both parks that mix open grass lawn with benches under shady trees.
The lawns of these parks require a great deal of care, from mowing to weed control. The result is green space that the whole community can enjoy. If you are looking for someone to help maintain your personal green space, let Lawn Love come to your aid. Lawn Love lawn care professionals can help you free up the time to enjoy all that Bellaire has to offer.