Volunteers removing dead trees along Buffalo Bayou last weekend.
Happy New Year!! As we begin 2018, we are writing to provide you with an update on our post-Harvey cleanup work and continuing Buffalo Bayou restoration.
We are pleased to report that sediment removal in Buffalo Bayou Park is nearing completion. To date, we have collected and hauled off nearly 30,000 cubic yards. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Millis Construction and Sprint Sand and Clay crews for their steadfast work over the past five months. They have done a yeoman’s job for us. Within the next month, we will be removing the sediment at Allen’s Landing as we prepare for post-race festivities for this year’s March 10th Buffalo Bayou Partnership Regatta (a new ending location).
Before and after sediment removal at Carruth Bridge.
Hurricane Harvey caused BBP to take a serious look at the sustainability of the Johnny Steele Dog Park, and we have determined it is time to make some adjustments. We are working with SWA, Buffalo Bayou Park’s designers, to develop plans for reducing the frequency that the area goes under water. Foremost among these changes will be the removal of the large dog pond. Decisions about the small dog pond area are still underway. By making modifications, we hope to create a space that dogs and their owners will continue to enjoy, and a site that our park staff can more easily maintain. Our goal is to have many of these improvements completed and the dog park open by late spring, although we expect some work may require more time.
Our Buffalo Bayou Park maintenance team has begun repairs to trail erosion areas, and this work will continue through the spring. There are several trail segments where BBP will need to hire an outside contractor. In addition, Harris County Flood Control District will be designing plans for major repairs near the Rosemont Bridge, Wortham Fountain and Beth Yeshurun Cemetery. In cooperation with the Houston Parks & Recreation Department, BBP is assessing the erosion damage along the trails in downtown. Please know that the north side trail between Sesquicentennial Park and the University of Houston-Downtown is closed due to severe erosion at a pedestrian bridge location.
Trees and Vegetation
Hundreds of trees were impacted as a result of the storm. While we know now that many are dead it may be several years before we know if larger trees survive. During these colder months, you will see us planting new trees in several park areas. We would like to thank the team at Trees for Houston for its support in our tree planting efforts. Next month, the Redbuds and Bayou Buddies, Trees For Houston’s and BBP’s respective young professional groups, will hold their annual Planting on theParkway event north of the Police Memorial in Buffalo Bayou Park. More than 150 native trees will be planted.
As we highlighted in previous communications, hydrologists on our East Sector master plan consultant team have been hard at work looking at erosion along the bayou’s East Sector. We hope to have this work completed in time for a series of public meetings in the East End and Fifth Ward that we will be holding in February. We’d also like to point out that we are working with the Texas Department of Transportation and CenterPoint to break ground on trail segments east of downtown. You will be hearing more about our East Sector planning and trail work in the near future.
We have had more than 1,000 Houstonians volunteer their time at our post-Harvey cleanup events. We are extremely grateful for the many school groups, corporations andfamilies who have taken the time to help us shovel sediment, remove debris and trim trees. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! We will continue needing volunteers as we plant trees and restore Buffalo Bayou Park’s wildflower and prairie areas this spring. To volunteer, please contact Leticia Sierras at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In closing, we would like to express our gratitude to all of the generous individuals, corporations and foundations that have made gifts to our Buffalo Bayou restoration efforts. We have had an outpouring of support from new donors as well as longtime BBP friends and for that, we are truly grateful. A very special thanks goes to the Kinder Foundation and Elkins Foundation for their major gifts. We also sincerely thank the many guests at our November gala that made additional commitments to assist with Buffalo Bayou Park’s recovery. Please know our financial needs continue. If you would like to contribute, please contact Leigh McBurnett at email@example.com or visit buffalobayou.org.
Hard-working BBP Staff
In closing, I would like to sincerely thank the entire BBP staff. Our maintenance crew has worked tirelessly over many months. Needless to say, the conditions have been very challenging. My thanks also goes out to our administrative team who have worked with volunteers, the media and funders. They too have contributed greatly. And thank you to all of you who have lent a hand and encouraging words. It has meant a great deal to us!! Thank you.
For press inquiries, email Trudi Smith, Director of PR and Events, or call 713.752.0314 ext. 103.