Convenient to both Houston and Galveston, Alvin and the neighboring small city of Manvel share a chamber of commerce and a heritage that included raising cattle and farming. The oil that was discovered in the 1930s in Brazoria County still plays an integral role in the local economy. Growth and development steadily continues, although residents manage to harmonize progress with a reverence for the past. Alvin is renovating many of the treasured buildings from yesterday, transforming them into new business establishments. Throughout the area, newer construction blends with lovely older homes shaded by mature greenery. Abundant opportunities for recreation and entertainment include the Bayou Wildlife Park, Shimek Gardens, Alvin Opry, Texas Thunder Speedway, Froberg Farms, and area golf courses. Alvin Community College enriches the entire region with educational, cultural, and recreational advantages.