In 2004, a coalition of environmental organizations and governmental agencies came together to acquire and transform an abandoned industrial property in Houston’s East End into a natural green space, now known as Buffalo Bend Nature Park. With a lead federal grant from the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the following public and private sector funders partnered on the park’s acquisition: Harris County Flood Control District, Harris County Precinct Two and Buffalo Bayou Partnership. Once the property was acquired, the park was transferred to Harris County Precinct Two and BBP was designated as the non-profit organization that would be responsible for the park’s development.
With a Texas General Land Office Coastal Management Program grant and additional private funding and in-kind services, BBP completed Phase I park improvements including the creation of three storm water filtration ponds, amphitheater mound, rock walls, a cistern and approximately 10,000 wetland plants and native trees. With a $500,000 Texas Parks & Wildlife grant and matching funds raised by BBP, Phase II enhancements were completed in 2016 including: hike and bike trails; boardwalk; observation deck; bayou overlook shelter; interpretive signage; and amenities such as benches and trash receptacles.
BBP has already acquired an adjacent property and is working on securing another trail easement with the goal of connecting 23 acres of open space from the County’s Buffalo Bend Nature Park to the City’s Hidalgo Park.