My Top 5: Hermann Park’s Doreen Stoller

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Photo courtesy of Hermann Park Conservancy

The start of each week brings another edition of “My Top 5,” where enterprising Houstonians share their own favorite things to do in and around Greater Houston. This week, in advance of the grand debut of Hermann Park‘s highly anticipated McGovern Centennial Gardens, we’re pleased to feature Doreen Stoller, the Executive Director of Hermann Park Conservancy. 

My Top 5 Things to Do in Houston

by Doreen Stoller

  1. Walking to dinner in Montrose – My husband Dan and I live in Audubon Place and love to have friends meet at our house and walk to dinner. So many great choices in the neighborhood – from BCN to Dolce Vita to Underbelly. And people always enjoy the walk!
  2. Biking along the bayous – we enjoy biking downtown along the wonderful new Buffalo Bayou trails. We just rode 10 miles to the Port of Houston along the Brays Bayou trails and got to see Houston from a completely different perspective.
  3. Looking at art – with CAMH, the Menil and MFAH all in the neighborhood, we explore whatever is on view. But our favorite spot on the Menil campus is the bench under the large live oak at the entrance to the Cy Twombly Gallery. We stop there every time we visit.
  4. Brazos Bend State Park – We always hope to see otters when we hike the trails. Last time we saw baby alligators that looked like toys. It is wonderful to have access to such incredible wildlife so close by.  And fun to stop at Dozier’s for barbeque, too.
  5. Inprint’s MRB Reading Series – We are fortunate to have so many outstanding authors come to Houston to read and discuss their books. The list of authors is remarkable–from the widely-read, such as Salman Rushdie, to poets like Mary Szybist who may not be as well-known but whose work will inspire you when you hear it.

About Doreen Stoller

Doreen Stoller is the Executive Director of Hermann Park Conservancy. Since assuming the role at the start of 2003, she has helped drive Hermann Park‘s revitalization through the Conservancy’s $123 million Centennial Campaign and engendered widespread community support for the park. Born in Decatur, Illinois, Stoller moved to Houston as a teenager, attending Spring Branch Junior High and Memorial High School. She graduated from Yale University, New York University Institute of Fine Arts and Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business. Today she is a member of Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Houston, where she spent six years singing in the choir. An avid reader and cook, Stoller and her husband, Dan Piette, often can be seen riding their bicycles around the city and Hermann Park, of which she is understandably particularly fond.

“I love so many things about the Park including the Japanese Garden and the fun stickworks sculpture created by Patrick Dougherty and 150 volunteers,” she told us. “But my current favorite is The Mount rising in the new McGovern Centennial Gardens. The winding journey to the top focuses your attention on each of the beautiful garden rooms on the site–then the view explodes at the top. I can’t wait to share it with everyone.”