If you’ve been an observant passerby around the Waugh and Memorial intersection, you might have noticed that the trunks of the crepe myrtle trees inside the cloverleaf have been painted blue! The trees closes to Spotts Park (north east corner) are painted bright green, and those closest to the Dunlavy (south west corner) are painted royal blue.
You can easily access the trees from the Buffalo Bayou running trails or Spotts Park. I’ve had many Wills Hills running practices among these hills and know them well. The trees are also right next to the Waugh Bat Bridge, which I’m sure if you go at sunset will have some eerie shadows to play with for photography!
This painted version of the trees was coordinated by the Houston Parks & Recreation Department. Crews of volunteers in February painted the trees to “bring attention to the plight of pollinators, such as bees and butterflies.”
Back in 2013, the trees were also colored blue by artist Konstantin Dimopoulos. The art installation was meant to draw people’s eyes towards nature and appreciate the trees that are so essential to the environment. With the help of a crew of volunteers he brought his vision to life in Houston (and many other cities around the world!). Read more about the 2013 art installation here.
The color pigment does not harm the trees. It’s a natural color that eventually washes off with the rain. Depending on the amount of rain (ahem, flooding), the color is expected to last around 6 months. If you go, be careful about touching the trees! The pigment brushes off and can get onto clothing and skin.
You can easily see the trees when you drive by, but I highly encourage a visit! It’s super fun to wander around the grove. When I went, I felt like I was inside the rabbit hole of Alice and Wonderland or inside a Dr. Seuss book. The trees are pretty cool and definitely merit a visit!