Friday, February 18, 2011
History of Matzke Park
This 20-acre green space has been a vital part of the community since the early 1960s. Its transformation into a park is an example of what can happen when public officials, local businesses, and private citizens work together for the good of the community.
When the owner of the property, the Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District (CFISD), put it up for sale in 1994, area residents joined together to establish the Association for Better Community Schools (ABCS), a nonprofit organization devoted to saving the land as a community park. ABCS’s first action was to contact the area’s Harris County commissioner, Jerry Eversole, who worked diligently with ABCS to secure a plan that would keep the property as a recreational space.
Commissioner Eversole committed $2 million to purchase the land from CFISD in 1999 and $200,000 in matching funds to assist ABCS with the development costs. A $100,000 donation to ABCS from Compaq Computer in 1997 helped the organization raise more than $300,000 toward the park’s development, which includes the Butterfly Garden and the Be An Angel barrier-free playground.
A monument is being erected here to give recognition to the area residents whose volunteer time and donations assisted Harris County Precinct 4 in creating this community park. Special gratitude and thanks go to Tracy Torma, ABCS president, and the ABCS Board of Directors: Carol Bennett, Margaret Buchanan, Joan Fitzgerald, Susan Greenwade, Maura Hanlon, Martin Heemer, Paul Herman, and Kathy Reagle. Their vision and hard work preserved this park for generations to enjoy.