NATURE’S GYM: Houston Botanic Garden

Houston’s newest greenspace just opened on Sept. 18.

HOUSTON — What floated around as an idea for decades is finally a reality: Houston has its own botanic garden.

“It’s just been meeting and exceeding expectations and we are so proud of that,” says president Claudia Gee Vassar.

The Houston Botanic Garden opened to the public on Sept. 18. For five years since signing a lease with the city, organizers and volunteers turned 132 acres along Sims Bayou into a horticultural hamlet from the real world.

“I think people are really recognizing, especially because of the pandemic, how healing it is to be out in nature — physically, mentally and emotionally,” Vassar says.

You can find that healing by wandering around what used to be Glenbrook Golf Course. There’s the Global Collection Garden, the Culinary Garden, the Coastal Prairie and even a Family Discovery Garden.

“I’m so fortunate,” laughs Vassar. “This is where I work, so I get to be out in nature every day!

Parts of the garden are still under construction, like the water walls that are slated to get running in December 2020. But this is only Phase 1 of this project. Organizers have a whole lot more planned.

“In the future, we hope to have an education and events building, a seasonal garden so people can see what they can plant in their own gardens and get some great inspirational ideas,” Vassar says. “Production facilities for research, a conservatory, so many wonderful things that we want to build!”

Whether any of that happens depends on how many Houstonians visit and support the garden. Right now, things are looking good.

“I think what has been so wonderful to hear from our guests so far is that this was even more than they even could have imagined,” says Vassar.

For more information, click here.

Have a favorite park you want me to check out? Email me at [email protected] or message me on Twitter or Facebook.

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WATCH: Fighter Kicks ‘Pervert’ for Using Sex Toy at Gym

Joe Schilling


Joe Schilling removes a man from his gym.

Kickboxer and Bellator mixed martial artist Joe Schilling found a man in the bathroom of his gym in Los Angeles using a sex toy. Videos were shared of the altercation by Schilling and UFC welterweight Daniel Rodriguez. In the videos, the man, who Schilling says is homeless, is removed from the gym.

Schilling proceeds to follow him, throwing what appears to be the man’s possessions at him. He then kicks the man twice and the camera catches what appears to be a sex toy. The video of Schilling’s altercation with the man was captioned: “Catch a pervert in your family business bathroom with a f****n’ dildo. I’m not sorry. F*** this POS.”

The incident was shared via Instagram Stories and the YouTube channel MMA WORLD compiled them.

Warning: The scene is graphic and may be disturbing to some viewers. Watch the incident, as well as Schilling’s explanation, below (timestamped at 7:53)

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Schilling Provided Context Around the Incident Involving the Man

The Bellator fighter and prolific kickboxer explained his stance on the situation and gave viewers more context around the incident. He said that the man snuck into his gym and started taking a shower.

Schilling said, “A couple students tell me that there’s a bum in the bathroom taking a shower. I get it, bums need showers too, although you’re trespassing. So I’m waiting for him to come out, water turns off, [I’m] knocking on the door and he won’t answer the door. He starts screaming when I’m knocking on the door. [He] finally opens the door and he’s f****** himself in the a** with a dildo. That’s why I did what I did and removed him from the property and that’s what you saw.”

He continued, “More people need to do this s*** because these sick perverts, that’s the same type of person that would rape or harm an innocent woman, innocent child. This s*** has got to stop. I wish there was more people that would beat these f*****s up”

Schilling Is a Highly Respected Kickboxer & Has Competed in MMA 10 Times

Schilling is one of the biggest American names in kickboxing, boasting a professional record of 23-9 with 13 knockouts. Although he has not competed in kickboxing since 2017, Schilling is currently on a four-fight win streak.

He has also competed in mixed martial arts 10 times with a pro record of 4-6, holding a notable victory over Melvin Manhoef.

Schilling has fought his last six MMA bouts inside the Bellator cage. He is currently 3-3 in the promotion.

Schilling last competed in October 2019 at Bellator 229 and was knocked out by Tony Johnson in the third round. The loss snapped Schilling’s two-fight win streak.

Schilling cornered UFC welterweight Daniel Rodriguez on August 22 at UFC Fight Night: Munhoz vs. Edgar. “D-Rod” defeated Dwight Grant by first-round KO, extending his

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