Established in 1986, Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s (BBP) geographic focus is the 10-square mile stretch of the bayou that flows from Shepherd Drive, through the heart of downtown into the East End, and onto the Port of Houston Turning Basin. Thanks to the generous support of foundations, corporations, individuals and government agencies, BBP has implemented more than $200 million in improvements for the redevelopment and stewardship of the waterfront – spearheading award-winning capital projects, protecting land for future parks and green space, constructing hike and bike trails, and operating comprehensive clean-up and maintenance programs. In 2015, BBP completed the $58 million Buffalo Bayou Park project. This 160-acre greenspace lies west of downtown Houston and includes beautiful gardens and native landscaping; hike and bike trails; paddle craft and bike rentals; the go-to dog park in the city; public art; a creative nature play area; two visitor centers; and gathering places for visitors to picnic, relax and enjoy outdoor activities. Buffalo Bayou Partnership maintains and operates Buffalo Bayou Park, with annual funding provided by the Downtown Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) #3.
Buffalo Bayou Partnership also activates the waterway through pedestrian, boating and biking amenities; volunteer activities; permanent and temporary art installations; and wide-ranging tours and programs that engage tens of thousands of visitors each year. Buffalo Bayou officially starts just west of Katy, Texas and flows approximately 53 miles east through the Port of Houston and Houston Ship Channel into Galveston Bay and onto the Gulf of Mexico. Ever since the Allen Brothers founded Houston in 1836, Buffalo Bayou has played a critical role in the evolution of the city. In addition, it has served as a major artery in the network of waterways flowing from west to east into Galveston Bay. To learn more about the rich history of Buffalo Bayou, visit Louis Aulbach and Linda Gorski’s website, Buffalo Bayou: An Echo of Houston’s Wilderness Beginnings or read Marguerite Johnston’s Houston: The Unknown City, 1836–1946.