July 26th, 2011

Free Parking: Lawrence Park

Today, we’re going to try something new. A Loopster reached out to us looking for some outdoor activity. For some, it seems, Houston isn’t only about eating, drinking and coffee sipping. We’ve got to think about the children, ya know? In an effort to keep everyone happy, we’ll start spotlighting some of Houston’s parks and outdoorsy stuff.

Tucked into the Heights, in a relatively difficult spot to reach, you’ll come across Lawrence Park. When you roll up to it, it seems like a forgotten oasis for the sporting types of the world, yet it seems like the start of some great things at the same time. It’s the beginning (or at least the western most point) of the Heights Bike Trail.

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I only found out about it because of the kickball league I played this past winter. Otherwise I would never have ventured down 8th Street inevitably to be turned down by the dead end up against Shepherd. It’s an awkward location, but that means it’s perfect for a lot of reasons.

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Let’s say you’re a baller without a lot of practice. You might be a little ashamed with your lack of skills. Hey, we can be best friends! That’s why I head up to Lawrence on weekend mornings. Nobody is around. The full-court is completely free. The chastising eyes of critics and whoever has next are nowhere to be found.

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There’s a place for the kids–a full jungle gym with swings. There’s a place for the family–covered picnic tables with an open grill. There’s even a baseball diamond with backstop so you can get in some wide-open BP (if you’re ready to shag some balls) and the lack of outfield fence means the vast area can be used for your every whim and sporting desire.

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So, there you have it. If you’re into creating your field day with your friends, Lawrence Park can provide. If you just want a place to shoot some hoops and practice free throws, you can manage that as well. It’s an all-arounder (except even the city seems to forget about it sometimes with the litter that’s scattered around).

HOW TO GET THERE:
From Heights Blvd. – West on 8th St., South on Lawrence
From Shepherd Dr. – “Exit” after 6th St., East on 7th St.
[725 Lawrence St., Houston, TX 77009]

THE HAVES:
Lights (so you can play at night)
Covered, full-length basketball court
Jungle gym and children’s swings
Frog rocker-thingy (see photo above)
Baseball diamond with backstop (no outfield fence)
Covered picnic tables (with grill)
Bike trail access
Port-o-potties

THE HAVE NOTS:
Limited parking
Hidden location
Routine maintenance (from my observation)
No volleyball or tennis courts
Tetherball (what ever happened to tetherball?)

Loopsters, tell us the parks we need to check out and the outdoor events we can’t miss in the comments. We’ll cover them as we become available.

— Paul

Comments

Dean — Tuesday, July 26, 2011 4:54 pm

The heights bike trail starts right there at Lawrence Park and goes all the way downtown. You can also take it to Nicholson and then take that trail north. I start a lot of biking activities from that park.

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