Here's what what's happening along Buffalo Bayou this month.
Summer in Houston is a season of silver linings. The heat and humidity are palpable, but the greenery is lush. Early mornings and evenings are treasured hours as they give reprieve from the sun’s powerful rays. Plus, birds and other wildlife thrive year-round in Houston – a morning stroll along Buffalo Bayou is all the evidence one needs of that. Buffalo Bayou Partnership established its Summer Species last year with a celebration of bats whose favorite month is August, and the series continues this summer with a thorough exploration of bees. These summer months are as busy as ever for BBP. Read on for the latest news and events.
It's a Boat, It's a Vacuum... It's the Bayou-Vac!
Just yesterday, BBP celebrated the official launch of the Bayou-Vac, an innovative new vacuum boat that clears trash and debris from Buffalo Bayou. Only the second vessel of its kind, the custom-designed boat provides a substantial boost to our bayou cleanup operation, known as the Clean & Green Program. The new Bayou-Vac is likely to be twice as efficient, enabling BBP’s team to remove substantially more trash from our treasured waterway. BBP sincerely thanks Mike Garver, inventor of the vessel, as well as Sis and Hasty Johnson and the Kinder Foundation for generously supporting this second-generation Bayou-Vac. Learn more about the Bayou-Vac here. Interested in helping our efforts to keep Buffalo Bayou clean? Learn more about how you can help here.
It's the final month for our Summer Species programming - don't miss out!
Busy Bees on Buffalo Bayou
August 6, 9-11am
Yolanda Black Navarro Buffalo Bend Nature Park (2300 S. Sgt. Macario Garcia Dr.)
Get up close and watch bees in action through an observatory beehive. Learn the role of bees in a colony, how honey is made, the life span of a bee, and so much more! Robby Robinson, BBP’s Field Operations Manager, who has nearly 50 years of experience beekeeping, will share his knowledge.
August 10, noon-1pm
Architecture Center Houston (902 Commerce St.)
Organized in collaboration with Architecture Center Houston’s immersive educational visual arts exhibition on the influence of bees on human design and construction, this noontime talk series will teach you why bees are so important to human survival. Join the final Lunch and Learn discussion, Beekeeping 101, led by Shannon Dietz with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. She'll teach you the basics of beekeeping including gear and tools needed, beehive components, and harvesting honey. Option to bring your own lunch or purchase lunch.
6-8pm: Kids crafts, bee market, and DJ
8pm: Screening of Bee Movie
The Water Works in Buffalo Bayou Park (105 Sabine St.)
Interested in doing something your whole “hive” will love? Come see the Bee Movie, the final program in the 2022 Summer Species series celebrating bees. BBP Members of $350 and above can reserve a blanket in a preferred viewing location, so consider joining today to take advantage of this un-bee-lievable perk! Members also receive exclusive benefits throughout the year, while helping to keep our parks and trails growing and the bayou flowing.
For a full listing of Summer Species programming throughout August, including locations, click here.
Bat-tastic Summer Nights
August is the prime time to catch the Waugh Bridge Bat Colony ascend for their nightly feeding. Bats, like many Houstonians, prefer warm weather to cold. The warmer the weather, the more bats emerge from the bridge, which makes for a dramatic sight!
Ways to experience this incredible emergence:
View from BBP's boat: Throughout the summer and into fall, BBP’s pontoon boat can take you for a 1.5 hour cruise at dusk to get the best bat view on the bayou! An expert naturalist will be on board to teach you about these amazing Mexican free-tailed bats. View the schedule and book a bat boat tour here.
Watch on your own: Stake out a spot at the bat viewing area next to the Waugh Drive Bridge, or along the sidewalk on Waugh Drive Bridge, about 30 minutes before sunset. View the parking map here.
Learn from experts: Every Friday evening through October, the knowledgeable Houston Bat Team hosts “Bat Chats” to answer all your batty questions and provides insight into our furry flying friends. Chats begin about 20 minutes before sunset.
BCycle’s 10th Anniversary Bike Ride: On Saturday, August 13th, our favorite bike share program is hosting a free bike ride in Buffalo Bayou Park which includes a group viewing of the bat emergence. Learn more about the event here.
Your Favorite Underground Relic Turns 96
Can you believe the Cistern has been around for almost a century? Buffalo Bayou Park’s underground former water reservoir was built in 1926, and this year we’re celebrating its 96th birthday. Stop by The Water Works Visitor Center and Cistern the week of August 8th to the 13th to sign a Cistern-sized card to give this unique, Houston gem your birthday wishes!
Mike Garver paddled and placed in our 2022 BBP Regatta
BBP Board Chair Emeritus and generous supporter, Mike Garver, has been selected as a recipient of the Bayou Preservation Association’s 12th Annual Terry Hershey Bayou Stewardship Award. This award is given to individuals in the community who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to aiding in the conservation, preservation, and restoration of Houston's waterways. As inventor of BBP’s Bayou-Vac, Garver is a passionate advocate for cleaning and maintaining Buffalo Bayou. He founded Texans for Clean Water in 2013, to bring attention to the floating trash spoiling the waterways in Houston and this set off a sequence of impactful policy changes both regionally and nationally. BBP congratulates Mike Garver for this much-deserved honor!
The Scoop on Buffalo Bayou Park's Cool New Truck
In search of a cool down on your next visit to Buffalo Bayou Park? We have a sweet new truck in the rotation: Kind Ice Cream! They are serving up ice-cold creams with flavors like pistachio and cherry cheesecake and this month, BBP Members receive 20% off with their membership cards. For a refreshing pick-me-up, visit long-time park favorite Ella Coffee for crafted iced beverages including coffee, lemonade, matcha, and an assortment of teas and creative concoctions.
Save the Date for the 2022 BBP Gala
Please save the date to help us celebrate at the 2022 Buffalo Bayou Partnership Gala: Breaking Ground along the Bayou, on Thursday, November 3rd, co-chaired by Wendy Montoya Cloonan and Shawn W. Cloonan with Sonny Messiah-Jiles and Jodie Jiles. On this festive evening in Buffalo Bayou Park, we will come together to raise our glasses to BBP’s ongoing efforts to establish and steward parks, trails, and unique spaces that unite communities all along the bayou. We hope you will make plans now to join us and watch your inbox for the invitation.
Welcoming Gjabby Guterrez!
We are excited to announce BBP’s new Development and Membership Manager, Gjabrielle Guterrez! Gjabrielle (also known as Gjabby) comes to Buffalo Bayou Partnership from The Jung Center. A proud Houstonian and lover of nature, she enjoys walking along the trails of Buffalo Bayou, and you might find her at the Johnny Steele Dog Park with her pups Shiloh and Zeke.
Come out to meet Gjabby and other BBP staff members at Mid Main First Thursday on September 1st from 6-10pm. Enjoy drink specials, live music, discounts from the businesses of Mid Main, and fun! Your $10 entry fee to this block party benefits our continued work to keep the Buffalo Bayou parks and trails growing and the waterway flowing! Check in at the Mid Main Courtyard at 3550 Main St. for a wristband. BBP Members receive free entry to Mid Main First Thursday, so be sure to bring your membership card. Not yet a Member but want to learn more? Check out our website or come visit with us on September 1st.