The Johnny Steele Dog Park will close when the water level in Buffalo Bayou is elevated caused by heavy rain. Buffalo Bayou not only serves as a watershed for urban water runoff, it is fed by the Addicks and Barker reservoirs west of Houston. After a heavy rain event, both of those reservoirs need to drain accumulated water to make room for any future weather events. The higher water level affects the dog park ponds, and Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s maintenance team is unable to access the area for cleaning until the bayou returns to its normal level.
Since the amount of rain and the speed at which the reservoirs drain varies, it is difficult for us to have a specific timeline or prediction as to when Buffalo Bayou will return to its normal levels. Once it does, however, we work to expediently restore the dog park so it can open to the public as soon as possible. During these times, please refer to a couple of resources – the first is our website, buffaloybayou.org. We list closure information and other park alerts on the homepage for easy reference. Another resource is a flag pole we have installed near the northwest corner of Studemont and Allen Parkway. When the dog park is closed, we fly a red flag to indicate the closure. When the dog park reopens, the alert will be updated on our website and the flag will come down.
Although these high water events have a more lasting impact on the dog park, the trails are first to reopen after a high water event. When the dog park is closed, we hope Buffalo Bayou Park’s 5 miles of trails are a nice alternative for you and your dog to enjoy in the interim.