Jennie Elizabeth Hughes Park
Through the generous bequest of longtime West University Place resident Mr. James M. Hughes, the City received a 15,000 square foot residential property located at 6446 Sewanee and $200,000 to be used specifically for the design and development of a park. The conditions of the donation are as follows:
a. The Property shall be dedicated as a public park of the City and is to be used for no other purpose, in perpetuity.
b. The Property, once dedicated as a public park and developed, shall bear the name "JENNIE ELIZABETH HUGHES PARK," which name shall continue in perpetuity and shall be displayed on a suitable sign located on the front of the Property.
c. The Property shall be developed only as a "quiet park," which means that (i) it shall not be used for formal or structured athletics and (ii) nothing shall be constructed to interfere or impede quiet use and enjoyment of the Property by residents of the City, such as bright lights or noise producing elements.
d. The City shall use the Development Funds solely for the improvement and development of the Property.
The City Attorney, Mayor, and City Manager met with the Hughes Executor and Hughes Estate Attorney to clarify the understanding of both the Hughes Estate and the City, as it relates to the development of Jennie Elizabeth Hughes Park. The City understands that the Estate desires that the park not include structured play equipment, but that the incorporation of more natural features such as a hill and/or water feature would be aesthetically pleasing and provide interactive play opportunities for children, are within the spirit of what Mr. Hughes intended. Inclusion of a gazebo, benches and a picnic table are also within the spirit of what was intended. The Hughes Executor will have the opportunity to review and approve the final park rendition.
White Oak Studio was selected for the schematic design phase of the project. White Oak Studio led the 2000 and 2015 Parks Master Planning process and was responsible for the design and construction management of Friends Park and the Colonial Park East end. In addition, the 2015 Parks and Open Space Master Plan identified the area between Buffalo Speedway and Edloe/Poor Farm Ditch as the largest area that does not have a park within a 1/2 mile effective walking radius of residents. Jennie Elizabeth Hughes Park is located within the identified area.
City Council appointed a 19 member Jennie Elizabeth Hughes Park Citizens Task Force comprised of several park neighbors, Parks Board, Friends Board and Senior Board representatives, a Hughes family representative and a City Council liaison to form a development recommendation for Council. Three Task Force meetings and one Town Hall meeting have been held to date. The meeting notes are available below. 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 or call Parks & Recreation Director Susan White at 713.662.5894.