Buffalo Bayou Park "In the Works" | August 2015

October 3 - Join us for Buffalo Bayou Park's Grand Opening Celebration

Get ready to celebrate, recreate and create at the Grand Opening Celebration of Buffalo Bayou Park on Saturday, October 3! As the 160-acre park nears completion, Buffalo Bayou Partnership (BBP) has been busy planning a day full of FREE activities that will showcase the new destinations and amenities between Shepherd Drive and Sabine Street.

For a complete list of sponsors and partners, please visit!
In the coming weeks, check your inbox and stay tuned to BBP's social media for a complete schedule and programming highlights.

Want to volunteer for the park's big day? We're looking for volunteers, ages 18 and up, to help with a number of duties. Various shift times available. Sign up today!

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Let Us Know You're Going!

A “Monumental Moment” – New public art installed

Houston artist Anthony Thompson Shumate recently installed “Monumental Moments,” a series of six human-scale word sculptures in Buffalo Bayou Park.
The single word thoughts – Explore, Pause, Reflect, Listen, Emerge, and Observe – are placed at ground level in unexpected areas along the new bayou-side Kinder Footpaths. The four-foot-tall sculptures feature turn-of-the century capital serif type and are crafted from 4” high density polyethylene (high-grade plastic), a material used in marine dock bumpers. The public art project was commissioned by Buffalo Bayou Partnership, through Houston Arts Alliance.

Thanks to Our Summer Interns!

Buffalo Bayou Partnership is proud to work alongside some outstanding students from schools throughout the city and country. This summer, Buffalo Bayou Park hosted six high school and college interns who held a range of responsibilities and completed a number of projects that piqued their interests. We asked two of our college interns about their experience at Buffalo Bayou Partnership:

Garrett Warren (left), International Studies with a minor in Business, Texas A&M University (graduation December 2015)
What projects have you worked on during your time at BBP? “I have spent a lot of time with Visitor Services Supervisor Stephanie Kiouses and Volunteer Supervisor Crystal Ortiz. Through them, I have worked on organizing logistical pieces for Buffalo Bayou Park's grand opening celebration and an event guide for The Water Works.”
Houston offers a wide variety of internship opportunities. What drew you to BBP? “My passions have always been in bicycling and being outdoors. I can do both of those things thanks to Buffalo Bayou Park. Having the opportunity to spend the summer with BBP has allowed me to experience multiple roles within a non-profit that I truly believe in. It has also helped me realize my passion to work for a greater cause, knowing it will give thousands of people the same enjoyment I have experienced.”
Mirko Noack (right), Environmental Studies with a focus in Agroscience, Michigan State University (graduation December 2015)
What roles or responsibilities have you been assigned? “I have been working on many projects to help with the opening of Buffalo Bayou Park, its visitor centers, and researching park volunteer programs. One project that I am particularly excited about is a collection of information about the park’s trees, wildflowers, and animals. I have been able to explore the park and put my environmental knowledge to good use by taking pictures and identifying the various wildlife.”
What do you like most about your time at BBP? “I love working in an organization that values natural resources and is actively revitalizing an area to make it more accessible to the Houston community. I also really enjoy the idea that I am contributing to the creation of such a wonderful park.”

Buffalo Bayou Park’s operations team gained three interns – Travis Davis (sophomore at Westbury High School), Dezmond Colbert (sophomore at San Jacinto Community College), and Paul Irvin (junior at Victory Prep) – from SER – Jobs for Progress through The Bank of America Summer Youth Internship Program. The 7-week program gives Houston youth the opportunity to advance their career path through local non-profits committed to the fine arts, youth organizations, park beautification, homeless services and local clinics. The interns worked alongside our zone supervisors and learned how they manage various aspects of Buffalo Bayou Park, including plant and tree maintenance.

Construction Updates

With only a month until Buffalo Bayou Park’s opening celebration, construction continues at a steady pace. Here are details on what’s In the Works:

Heavy rains and flooding from mid-April to mid-June delayed construction and caused bank failures along the channel edge where several sections of footpath collapsed. These areas are being repaired now.

Visitors can once again enjoy the "dandelion" fountain at the Wortham Foundation Grove from benches amongst the new Mexican Sycamores and garden area.

The Johnny Steele Dog Park’s large dog area received new Bermuda sod, which survived the flooding.

The Lost Lake area is nearly complete, with limited landscaping and site work details remaining. Interior work on The Dunlavy has begun.

At The Water Works:

The exterior of the Wortham Insurance Visitor Center is almost done, and the interior is moving along. Work on the parking lot continues, and the entry court area has also progressed.

The Hobby Family Pavilion structure is complete, and work on the stage structure has begun. The Brown Foundation Lawn is done, as are its trees and promenade.

Hardscape work at the Barbara Fish Daniel Nature Play Area is about done, leaving only planting work and installation of some remaining play equipment.

Your Questions, Answered

Q: What should you do if you encounter a bat on the ground near the Waugh Bat Colony?

- Angela D., park user

A: Do not touch or pick up a grounded bat for any reason. If the bat is on the ground, it may be a young bat still learning to fly. In fact, May through August is considered "baby bat season" and will be one of the best times to witness these pups taking their first flights. 

Buffalo Bayou Park Pathfinders to be Recognized

At its annual gala on November 5, 2015, Buffalo Bayou Partnership will recognize those individuals who have made the unprecedented Buffalo Bayou Park project possible. Pathfinders include:
  • Nancy and Rich Kinder, whose vision and catalyst gift have made a meaningful and lasting impact on the landscape of our city and will define Houston for generations;
  • Guy Hagstette, Buffalo Bayou Park Project Manager, who launched his professional career on Buffalo Bayou 30 years ago and skillfully guided the monumental Buffalo Bayou Park project;
  • Sis Johnson, immediate past chair of Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s Board of Directors, who thoughtfully led the organization through implementation of this park effort and many others; and
  • Anne Olson, Buffalo Bayou Partnership president, whose passion and tireless efforts over the past 20 years have made BBP a leader in enhancing Houston’s public realm. 
This year’s gala is guaranteed to be memorable, as guests will enjoy cocktails overlooking the downtown skyline and dine al fresco atop the new Brown Foundation Lawn at The Water Works. Click here for more information about the gala, including table and ticket details.

In This Issue

Through this e-newsletter, Buffalo Bayou Partnership will keep you updated on a bi-monthly basis as we implement Buffalo Bayou Park improvements and transform Houston's most significant natural resource into one of this country's great urban parks.

Community Events

Be sure to mark your calendar for these upcoming events!

Run, Walk & Talk
Wednesday, September 2
6 - 8 pm

Mid-Main First Thursday
benefiting BBP

Thursday, September 3
6 - 10 pm

Blanket Bingo
Thursday, September 10
6 - 9 pm

Second Saturday Boat Rides
Saturday, September 12
10 am - 2 pm

Growing a Greener Houston: How do we get there?
Mayoral Forum for Parks, Bikes and Waterways – and Connecting to them
Wednesday, October 1
6 - 8 pm


The Downtown Redevelopment Authority has begun work on Allen Parkway to convert the thoroughfare to a safer bayou drive, improve pedestrian access to and from adjacent neighborhoods, and provide additional parking along Buffalo Bayou Park. The first phase of work commenced last week and focuses on the southernmost lanes (the current frontage road) between the AMLI 2121 near Montrose and the Heiner Street/IH-45 entrance ramps. Also during the first phase of construction, contractors will realign Dunlavy and D’Amico streets where they intersect Allen Parkway. Traffic signals and pedestrian crosswalks will also be installed at Dunlavy and Allen Parkway. Throughout construction, 2-3 lanes will remain open to traffic along Allen Parkway.

BBP will post closures as we learn of them on our microsite and Facebook page.

Special Thanks to our Buffalo Bayou Park Grand Opening Sponsors

Make a Donation to Buffalo Bayou Partnership
Buffalo Bayou Park is a collaboration of Buffalo Bayou Partnership, the City of Houston through Houston Parks & Recreation Department and Harris County Flood Control District. Over the 30-year life of the project, Downtown TIRZ #3 will contribute $2 million per year for the park's maintenance and operations. The Kinder Foundation committed a $30 million gift. Buffalo Bayou Partnership raised $23.5 million to complete the project.
Copyright © 2015 Buffalo Bayou Partnership, All rights reserved.
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