Get the download from Houston Public Media’s Ernie Manouse, Catherine Lu, and Tom Carter in Buffalo Bayou Revealed, a 12-part audio tour sharing facts about key destinations in the park, including The Water Works, Cistern, Johnny Steele Dog Park and more. Happy exploring!
We’re open! There are two visitor centers available to Buffalo Bayou Park users. What can you find? Friendly staff, trail maps, information on upcoming events, lost and found, and, very important, restroom facilities.
The new Wortham Insurance Visitor Center at The Water Works, located on Sabine Street between Allen Parkway and Memorial Drive, serves as the primary gateway to the park. The facility features restrooms, staffed information desk and a bike rental facility operated by Bike Barn. Bike rental reservations can be made in-person or online.
The Lost Lake Visitor Center, along Allen Parkway at Dunlavy Street, offers restrooms; kayak, canoe and stand-up paddleboard rentals from Bayou City Adventures; and houses the soon-to-open The Kitchen at The Dunlavy, a “grab and go” dining option, and The Dunlavy, a special event space – operated by Clark Cooper Concepts.
Lost something while out and about in the park? Our Visitor Services Assistants, Justin and Desiree, may be able to help you if the item was found and returned to a visitor center. Stop by during normal hours of operation from Thursday through Monday, 8 am to 5 pm, or call 713-752-0314 (Lost Lake at ext. 401 or Wortham Insurance Visitor Center at The Water Works at ext. 301).
Tune in this Saturday, October 24 at 7 p.m. for Buffalo Bayou Park: Where Houston Begins, a TV special produced by KHOU 11. Tag along with Chita Johnson, KHOU 11 Meteorologist, for a tour of the various park destinations and amenities, and learn why this park project is so significant to the city.
A myriad of exciting recreational offerings to complement visitors’ experience along Buffalo Bayou between Shepherd Drive and Downtown
HOUSTON – September 28, 2015 – Buffalo Bayou Partnership, the non-profit organization transforming and revitalizing Buffalo Bayou, announced a five-year exclusive partnership with Bike Barn – a Houston-based bike retailer servicing the biking community since 1983 – and Bayou City Adventures – a popular provider of outdoor recreational equipment and services – to begin offering bicycles, canoes, and kayaks for rent along Buffalo Bayou between Shepherd Drive and Fannin Street. Rental stations will be located along major points of interest along Buffalo Bayou Park, namely Lost Lake and The Water Works, and also at the foot of Sunset Coffee Building at Allen’s Landing in downtown.
This agreement comes as the improvements to the 160-acre, 2.3-mile Buffalo Bayou Park are nearing completion. Rentals at Lost Lake and The Water Works will commence on October 3, 2015 and at Sunset Coffee Building in late 2015.
“With the new trails, pedestrian bridges, and other enhancements, this area of Buffalo Bayou is a hub of activity. We wanted to offer high-quality bike and paddlecraft options to park users to enjoy and experience the bayou,” says Anne Olson, president of Buffalo Bayou Partnership.
Bike Barn will offer quality bikes designed for riding the new paths within the park. In addition to bikes, customers will be able to rent kids’ bikes and trailers. All rentals will include a helmet and may be rented by the hour, half day and full day. Reservations can be made online or in-person at The Water Works. Other offerings include sunscreen, drinks, packaged food and bike tours of Buffalo Bayou.
“Bike Barn is excited to partner with Buffalo Bayou Partnership to provide a best-in-class rental program for both visitors and locals,” says Bike Barn Owner Neil Bremner. “We believe more people should enjoy Houston from the seat of a bicycle, and this partnership allows Bike Barn the opportunity to share our love of cycling and share this wonderful new park with Houstonians and visitors to our city.”
|Bike Barn||Adult multi-gear bike||$9/hour
|Bike Barn||Kids bikes, trailers and tag-a-long equipment||$6/hour
|Bayou City Adventures||Stand-up paddle board or single person kayak||Staring at $30|
|Bayou City Adventures||Tandem kayak/ canoe||Starting at $40-45|
For those looking to glide along the cool waters of Buffalo Bayou, Bayou City Adventures offers rentals of a variety of paddle crafts. Offerings include stand-up paddleboard or single-person kayak and tandem kayak or canoe. If you prefer to use your own kayak or canoe, the operators also provide shuttle services to and from various launching points along the bayou.
Rentals at Lost Lake and Sunset Coffee Building from Bayou City Adventures will be available every day from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Reservations can be made either online or by simply walking up to the counter at Lost Lake or Sunset Coffee Building. Information on water tours and upcoming Stand-Up Paddleboard Yoga classes also will be available online.
“Strong and active partnerships are crucial to the success of any park and we are proud to work with Buffalo Bayou Partnership on this offering,” says Bayou City Adventures President Rico Torres. He adds, “We believe one of the best ways to appreciate and truly enjoy the beauty of any body of water is to just simply be on the water itself. We look forward to seeing the many faces of Houston out on the bayou!”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Need some ideas for this weekend? Join BBP, our neighbors and partners to soak in the great outdoors!
Friday, August 28:
Bats on the Bayou: Join Houston Parks Board for this FREE event at the Watonga Boulevard Bridge bat colony along White Oak Bayou Greenway to learn about bats from the experts, enjoy bat-themed activities and watch the bats emerge for their evening hunt!
Saturday, August 29:
Boats, Bats & Brews: Grab your kayak or canoe and join BBP and Bayou City Outdoors for a sunset paddle along Buffalo Bayou to see the city’s residential bat colony at Waugh Drive Bridge. The bats’ dusk emergence usually occurs between 8:15 and 8:30 pm during this time of year. As far as the brews are concerned, we’ll head over to Liberty Station after we pack up.
Houston Skyline Tour with Bayou City Adventures: Navigate through the beautiful scenery and landscapes of Memorial Park and the Hogg Bird Sanctuary. Then Buffalo Bayou will then open its arms to you as you enter into the Buffalo Bayou Park. Here you will view the Waugh Bridge Bat Colony, Eleanor Tinsley Park, and of course the highlight of the tour, the towering skyline of downtown Houston. Kayakers will disembark just east of the Sabine Street bridge. This tour is great for beginners and first time kayakers.
Sunday, August 30:
22nd Annual TransCanada Theater District Open House: This annual event marks the kick-off of the Fall performing arts season in Houston, and is a one-day-only opportunity to experience the energy and excitement of Houston’s Theater District for FREE! BBP will be offering free boat rides from Sesquicentennial Park to Sabine Promenade.
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 late August 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.