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McClendon Park: Exercise, Play & Learn!

McClendon Park entrance
Posted: June 7, 2019 at 11:58 pm   /   by   /   comments (4)

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There is much to do, see, and enjoy in McClendon Park located in Precinct 3 of Houston, Texas. This well-utilized park consists of 22.8 acres.  The address is 3770 Summit Valley Drive, Houston, Texas 77082.

Directly seen from the paved parking lot is a fun zone for children in which to climb and play. From scrambling over a rock formation to enjoying a good swing ride to sliding down slides, it is a well thought out playground.

Children's Playground

Children’s Playground

Part of the children's playground

Part of the children’s playground

Part of the children's playground

Part of the children’s playground

Portion of children's playground with the pavilion in the background

A portion of the children’s playground with the pavilion in the background

Having some swingset fun

Having some swingset fun

Enjoying the children's playground

Enjoying the children’s playground

The spray pad is not in use in the winter months of the year.

The spray pad is not in use in the winter months of the year.

Benches and picnic spots near the spray pad

Benches and picnic spots near the spray pad

McClendon Park Pavilion

The covered pavilion in the park is impressive. It offers seating capacity for many people. Wood only is allowed in the grills. Reservations must be made in advance to use this pavilion for groups of people utilizing this space for food preparation and parties.

Park Pavilion

Park Pavilion

Park Pavilion

Park Pavilion

Park Pavilion

Park Pavilion

Picnic Areas in the Park

There are quite a few picnic tables sheltered from the sun or rain with distinctive pavilion-type coverings. Most of these are near the children’s playground area and parking lot. A few open picnic tables are atop a hill in the park. With sizzling summer temperatures in the Houston metro area, these sheltered picnic tables are probably well utilized.

Covered picnic tables

Covered picnic tables

Volleyball area near covered picnic tables in the park

Volleyball area near covered picnic tables in the park

One of two picnic tables on top of a hill in the park overlooking the pavilion, sports field, and parking lot

One of two picnic tables on top of a hill in the park overlooking the pavilion, sports field, and parking lot

Bayou Fitness Trail

The Bayou Fitness Trail length is 1.67 miles in length.  Spaced at intervals along the trail are LifeTrail exercise stations. They are three-sided and have instructions as to how to properly use the equipment.  Also noted is information about items such as butterflies and birds known to exist in this area along with photos of them.

Bayou Fitness Trail Marker

Bayou Fitness Trail Marker

Butterflies Found Along The Bayou include the following: Monarch Butterfly, Cloudless Sulphur, Gulf Fritillary, Black Swallowtail, Viceroy, Red Admiral, and Gray Hairstreak and even more.

Informative panels on the three-sided exercise stations along the Life Trail

Informative panels on the three-sided exercise stations along the Life Trail

Birds Of The Bayou include the following: Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, White Ibis, Cattle Egret, Yellow Crowned Night Heron, Fulvous Whistling Duck, and Belted Kingfisher among others.

White Ibis and Fulvous Whistling Ducks

White Ibis and Fulvous Whistling Ducks

Karankawas Indians

One such fitness station on the bayou fitness trail had information about Native Americans. It specifically told about the Karankawas and how they lived. The last of the panel shows the following sad story of their demise.

“As explorers from Europe arrived to colonize the Christianize the Native Americans in the early 1700s, hostilities began. Spanish explorers established missions to facilitate their forced conversion to Catholicism, but they had limited success. When Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1821, a large number of Karankawa had already been exterminated by diseases brought from Europe as well as violent efforts to claim land by westward expansion from settlers. As Texas was taking steps to become an independent republic and Mexican authorities south of the Rio Grande River unwilling to accept them into their country, the Karankawa Indians were left with no land to call their own. Juan Nepomuceno Cortina led a group of Texans who attacked the remaining members of their group in Rio Grande City in 1858, effectively wiping out the Karankawa Indians.”

Looking back at the pavilion from the fitness trail

Looking back at the pavilion from the fitness trail

Bayou Fitness Trail and Exercise Equipment

Bayou Fitness Trail and Exercise Equipment

Quotes Viewed on the LifeTrail Exercise Equipment

Different quotes, some sage and others funny, are also printed on the LifeTrail exercise stations.  Here is a sampling of them.

“Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worth purpose.” -Helen Keller (1880-1968)

“Life is just a mirror, and what you see out there, you must first see inside of you.” -Wally ‘Famous’ Amos (1936- )

“A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.” -Herm Albright (1876-1944)

Bayou Fitness Trail and Exercise Equipment

Bayou Fitness Trail and Exercise Equipment

Forest Preserve in McClendon Park

A paved path through the forest preserves part of McClendon park allows views of nature in that type of setting.  It is a relatively small part of the park but welcomed. Take the time to view things most noteworthy. It might be a dragonfly flying ahead of you, shafts of sunlight illuminating the bark of trees, or mushrooms growing on a log.

Forest Preserve Marker

Forest Preserve Marker

Forest Preserve

Forest Preserve

Forest Preserve Photo

Forest Preserve Photo

Mushrooms in the Forest Preserve Area of the Park

Mushrooms in the Forest Preserve Area of the Park

Forest Preserve Photo

Forest Preserve Photo

Sports Fields in McClendon Park

Different types of sports are played in the wide open spaces of the sports fields.  From disc golf to soccer to just batting some balls or tossing frisbees, it provides entertainment for many people.

Sports Fields Marker

Sports Fields Marker

Sports fields in the park

Sports fields in the park

Sports fields in the park

Sports fields in the park

Sports fields in the park

Sports fields in the park

Wetland Garden in McClendon Park

The sign below tells about the function of wetlands.

“Wetlands have many functions. The function of this wetland is to filter and cleanse the water to be reused for watering the various plants within the park. Wetlands act as living filters by removing pollutants from surface and ground water through the uptake of nutrients by the plants and the trapping of sediments. This is accomplished as the incoming water from the right zig-zags through the wetland and exits to the left and enters the underground storage resevoir for the irrigation system.”

Wetland Garden Marker

Wetland Garden Marker

Wetland Garden Sign

Wetland Garden Sign

Wetland Garden

Wetland Garden

Wetland garden view

Wetland garden view

Tricolored Heron in the wetland garden

Tricolored Heron in the wetland garden

Great egret bird in the wetland garden

Great egret bird in the wetland garden

Xeriscape Garden in McClendon Park

For people who wish to learn about plants that can survive with little rainfall or watering, the xeriscape garden in this park is illustrative.  Undoubtedly it is lusher at other times of the year.  We visited this park in the winter.

Xeriscape Garden Marker

Xeriscape Garden Marker

Xeriscape garden in the winter months of year

Xeriscape garden in the winter months of the year

Bray’s Amphitheater in McClendon Park

A hill overlooks Bray’s Amphitheater, and most people probably use that for seating when watching performances.  I can well imagine that people spread out blankets and enjoy open-air shows of various types because limited bench seating is on the site.

Bray's Amphitheater Sign

Bray’s Amphitheater Sign

Bray's Amphitheater

Bray’s Amphitheater

Looking across from trail at benches and hillside above Bray's Amphitheater

Looking across from trail at benches and hillside above Bray’s Amphitheater

Bray's Amphitheater view from the hillside looking down

Bray’s Amphitheater view from the hill looking down

Much to Do, See, and Enjoy!

Hopefully, you have now finally gotten an overview of the many things which are available to enjoy in McClendon park. Given the current time of year, that splash pad is probably a beehive of activity with kids cooling off in the splashing water.

Picnic tables and bench on top of the hill in McClendon Park > This side overlooks the sports fields > Other side, the Amphitheater

Picnic tables and bench on top of the hill in McClendon Park > This side overlooks the sports fields > Another side, the Amphitheater

 

Comments (4)

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  • June 21, 2019 at 3:43 pm Virginia Billeaud Anderson

    Thanks Peggy
    The ducks are cool.

    Reply
    • June 21, 2019 at 4:16 pm Peggy

      Hi Virginia,

      I always enjoy spotting the wildlife in the parks and other places around Houston. McClendon Park offers people so much to do, see, and enjoy. Thanks for your visit and comment.

      Reply
  • June 20, 2019 at 11:57 pm Christy B

    It looks like there’s much to do and see there! You’ve given a wonderful overview of the park, Peggy. I think that climbing rope net part of the park would be lots of fun!

    Reply
    • June 21, 2019 at 2:40 pm Peggy

      I am glad you enjoyed learning about McClendon Park, Christy. Children seemed to be enjoying that climbing net-type rope in the children’s area of the park on the day of our visit. The splash pad would undoubtedly be well used this time of year in Houston. Thanks for your comment.

      Reply