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July 2016 Buffalo Bayou Currents

#BBPSummer

While you’re out and about along Buffalo Bayou, share what you have discovered this summer along our city's waterway by tagging your photos #BBPSummer! Your photo just might be reposted on our social media accounts, and at the end of August, two photos will be randomly selected to win a private boat tour.

Additionally, keep up with Buffalo Bayou Partnership on Facebook, Twitter, Periscope and Instagram as we’ll be posting informative and fun tidbits about our staff, favorite park destinations and things to do all summer long!

Buffalo Bayou Park Scavenger Hunt

photo courtesy of David A. Brown
Starting July 8th through September 5th, park visitors and families are invited to participate in a scavenger hunt! All you have to do is pick up a sheet from one of our visitor centers (Lost Lake – 3422 Allen Parkway or Wortham Insurance – 105 Sabine Street) and find the answers to the questions while exploring a section of Buffalo Bayou Park. Once completed, return the scavenger hunt form to the visitor center for Bike Barn bike rental discount coupons or BBP pontoon boat tour passes. Happy exploring!

Two different versions of the scavenger hunt will be available – one at Lost Lake and the other at The Water Works. Prizes: limit 2 per family and while supplies last.

US Family Health Plan Freedom Over Texas

Date: Saturday, July 4
Time: 4 to 10 pm
Location: Eleanor Tinsley Park
 
There will be a number of park and trail closures in preparation for this civic celebration – please be mindful of the set-up crews and plan your visit to Buffalo Bayou Park accordingly.
 
The Water Works complex, Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern and Barbara Fish Daniel Nature Play Area will be closed from Thursday, June 30th through Tuesday, July 5th. The Lost Lake Visitor Center will be closed on Monday, July 4th.
 
All trails on the north side of the bayou between the Sabine Street Bridge and Tapley Tributary are closed through Tuesday, July 5th. There will also be intermittent closures of the trails on the south side of the bayou between the Sabine Street Bridge and Allen Parkway/Taft Street through Saturday, July 2nd. Full trail closures in and around the Freedom over Texas site will begin on Saturday, July 2nd, at 7 pm and will remain in place through Tuesday, July 5th. 
 
For more information on street closures, event information, and to purchase tickets, please visit: www.freedomovertexas.org

Monthly Volunteer Day at Buffalo Bayou Park

Date: Saturday, July 16
Time: 8:30 to 11:30 am
Parking: City Lot H (1643 Memorial Drive)
Check-In Location: Wortham Insurance Visitor Center at The Water Works (105 Sabine Street)

Buffalo Bayou Partnership relies on volunteers to help maintain the trails and green space along Buffalo Bayou. Bring your own gloves and BBP will provide any needed tools. To sign up, please read and complete an online volunteer waiver with the event date 07/16/2016.

Have a larger group that wants to volunteer or need more information about our volunteer program? Contact Sarah McIntire at smcintire@buffalobayou.org or 713-752-0314 ext. 303.
Sign Up to Volunteer!

Water Release from Addicks and Barker Dams

In response to the devastating floods of 1929 and 1935, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was charged with constructing the Addicks and Barker Dams and Reservoirs to reduce flood damage downstream along Buffalo Bayou from I-10/Highway 6 through the City of Houston.

Visitors to Buffalo Bayou may have noticed how high the water levels have been since the Tax Day Flood:
  • Since the Tax Day flood, the Corps has been releasing up to 4,000 cubic feet per second (cfs), when weather permitted.
  • As the flood pools fell and their levels became more acceptable, the water releases from the reservoirs were reduced to a maximum of 3,000 cfs, when weather permitted.
  • As the reservoir levels continue to fall, the releases will be further reduced down to a maximum of 2,000 cfs (the Corps' normal maximum release rate). This release rate will continue as long as weather conditions permit and until the reservoirs are empty.
  • For the annual Buffalo Bayou Partnership Regatta, the bayou is between 500-700 cfs.
  • BBP and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers highly discourage any kayaking or canoeing during a water release as high water levels make paddling unsafe.
  • Because of the Addicks and Barker Dams, an estimated $5 billion in damages were prevented, and 24,000 structures were protected.
  • The Johnny Steele Dog Park has remained closed because of the release of water from the Addicks and Barker reservoirs. Good news (and weather permitting), a possible re-opening is slated for late July/early August. Learn more.
You can learn more about the Addicks and Barker Dams projects, as well as contact the Galveston District Public Affairs Office with questions or for more information on how the dams have an impact on the bayou.

Thanks to Richard Long from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for providing us the numbers above.

Trail and Park Maintenance Moves Eastward

As you walk, jog or bike along Buffalo Bayou’s trails, you may have noticed that our Maintenance Team has moved eastward! Besides Buffalo Bayou Park (Shepherd Drive to Sabine Street), Buffalo Bayou Partnership is also responsible for maintaining the hike and bike trails and green spaces along the waterway from Sabine to Fannin streets, with funding provided by Houston First Corporation and Houston Parks Board. This segment of Buffalo Bayou includes Sabine Promenade, Sesquicentennial Park and Allen’s Landing Park.

The crews, along with the help of thousands of volunteers each year, have done an amazing job in keeping the parks and trails green, clean and accessible for visitors. After every major rain event, the team assesses the areas for potential damage and is then out immediately clearing off silt, picking up trash and debris, and ensuring the trail lights are working. So if you’re out and about, don’t forget to wave “hello” and thank our hardworking staff!

Join Team BBP and Run for a Reason!

photo courtesy of Jim Olive
Buffalo Bayou Partnership is excited to be an official 2016-17 Run for a Reason charity for the Chevron Houston Marathon on January 15, 2017! Please support Team BBP in raising funds for the continued revitalization of Houston’s historic waterway. Here’s how you can get involved:
  • Fundraiser for Registration (FFR): Half and full marathon spots available! Raise a minimum of $500 from your family and friends for Buffalo Bayou Partnership, pay your registration fee ($115 for half or $135 for full marathon), and receive a guaranteed entry plus team perks! Complete a commitment form and return to Sylvana. A confirmation email will be sent to you with a link to set up your personal online fundraising page. Available until sold out.
  • HEROES Registration: Make an upfront, tax-deductible donation of $350 to Buffalo Bayou Partnership, plus the cost of registration ($115 for half or $135 for full marathon), to secure a guaranteed entry. Become a HERO and receive VIP perks, cool merchandise and much more! Register online to become a HERO! Available until sold out.
There are a number of other ways to get involved. Should you have any questions, contact Sylvana Loc at 713.752.0314 ext. 104.
Buffalo Bayou Currents is a monthly e-newsletter produced by Buffalo Bayou Partnership.

Walking Tour

Date: Saturday, July 16
Time: 6:30 to 7:30 pm
Location: The Water Works Entry Court (105 Sabine St.)
Cost: Free; RSVPs required to sloc@buffalobayou.org

Enjoy an evening walking tour in Buffalo Bayou Park highlighting how the landscape and ecology of 19th century Texas created Houston, as well as the importance of prairies in rebuilding this astonishing and all but vanished ecosystem.

Blanket Bingo

Date: Thursday, July 21
Time: 6 to 9 pm; sales begin at 6 pm; games at 7 pm
Location: Market Square Park (Preston and Travis streets)

Bring your blanket, lawn chair or snag one of the tables at the park for a night of fun, music and prizes! $10 admission includes one bingo packet (approx. 9 games). Additional games and daubers can be purchased for $1 each. Proceeds benefit BBP and Historic Market Square Park.

Follow Market Square Park for event updates!

Bikes, Bats & Brews

Date: Friday, July 22
Time: 7:15 to 10:30 pm
Location: Meeting at City Lot H
Cost: Free; RSVPs required

Join Bayou City Outdoors and BBP on a 6 to 8 mile bike ride to view the Waugh Drive bats' emergence and then cruise to a local watering hole.

Guadalupe Plaza Park Opening 

Date: Saturday, July 30
Time: 10 am - 12 pm
Location: 2311 Runnels St., Houston, TX 77003

Celebrate the completion of the USDOT TIGER grant funded hike and bike improvements and renovated Guadalupe Plaza Park! Friends and family are invited to this East End celebration!

Ongoing Events

Food Trucks

Make sure to follow along @buffalobayou for the weekend line-up of food trucks at The Water Works.

Get Fit in the Park!

Shake up your workout routine with FiTMiX for Zumba at 6 pm on Tuesdays at The Water Works. For pricing and more information, please visit FiTMiX.

Boat Tours

All boat tours are water-level and weather permitting.
Twilight Tours
Date:
Saturday, July 16
Time: 6 to 8:30 pm
Cost: $7 for adults; $5 for children ages 4-12 (CASH ONLY)
Private Charter
See Houston from a whole new angle on BBP’s pontoon boat, Spirit of the Bayou! Take a private charter for 21 guests for $500.

Street Closures

Please be aware that access to Buffalo Bayou Park may be affected due to the following events:

July 4: US Health Plan Freedom Over Texas
July 17: Colombian Fest International

BBP Has Moved!

We've dropped anchor at historic Allen's Landing! We are thrilled to announce our new offices at the Sunset Coffee Building.

Please make note of our new administrative office location/mailing address:

Buffalo Bayou Partnership
1019 Commerce Street, Suite 200
Houston, Texas 77002

Buffalo Bayou Revealed

Get the download from Houston Public Media's Ernie Manouse, Catherine Lu, Tom Carter and Al Ortiz in Buffalo Bayou Revealed, a 12-part audio tour sharing facts about key destinations in Buffalo Bayou Park.
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