Grant to accelerate transformative development for Buffalo Bayou East
Houston, Texas – December 9, 2020 – Houston Endowment announced today that it has granted $10 million to Buffalo Bayou Partnership (BBP). The grant will provide funds towards the Buffalo Bayou East Master Plan to transform the waterway’s East Sector over the next 20 years with new bayou parks and trails, dynamic recreational and cultural destinations, as well as bikeways and “green fingers” into surrounding neighborhoods. In addition to extending the western network of Buffalo Bayou parks, trails and open space, the plan connects the historic Fifth Ward and Greater East End neighborhoods to the bayou and to each other. Development of the plan comes after nearly two years of engagement with residents throughout the area based on four core principles of authenticity, inclusivity, connectivity and resiliency.
“This project will play a major role in the City of Houston’s Complete Communities initiative, which seeks to improve neighborhoods so that all of Houston’s residents and business owners can have access to quality services and amenities,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “The grant from Houston Endowment is another exciting step forward in the creation of a more equitable city for all Houstonians. We are grateful to both Buffalo Bayou Partnership and Houston Endowment not only for their inclusive vision of a better Houston, but their commitment to making it a reality.”
Houston Endowment joins other foundations, corporations, individuals and government agencies that have enabled BBP to implement more than $200 million in improvements for the redevelopment and stewardship of the waterfront over the past 30 years. The $10 million grant from Houston Endowment will enable Buffalo Bayou Partnership to deliver initial Buffalo Bayou East improvements and build a strong foundation for future projects and initiatives that offer economic, social and environmental benefits for both residents of the Fifth Ward and Greater East End neighborhoods as well as the broader Houston community, including:
“The Buffalo Bayou East Master Plan is strategically aligned with Houston Endowment’s mission to work with others toward a vibrant community where all have the opportunity to thrive,” said Houston Endowment President and CEO Ann B. Stern. “We are pleased to support this work and to help set the effort in motion.”
“The Buffalo Bayou East Master Plan will transform the East Sector and over time, touch the lives of all Houstonians,” said BBP President Anne Olson. “It will pay tribute to Houston’s industrial roots, celebrate culturally rich neighborhoods, and serve as an important symbol for the city’s continuing commitment to accessible park space for all.”
“Fifth Ward Redevelopment Authority/TIRZ 18 is proud to be working with BBP on this visionary East Sector Master Plan,” said Kathy Flanagan Payton, FWRA/TRIZ 18 Board Member. “These improvements provide greater access to the waterfront for Fifth Ward residents and help to enhance the neighborhood’s cultural legacy and sense of place.”
In addition to new and improved waterfront trails and on-street bikeways, as well as hundreds of acres of new and improved parks, the Buffalo Bayou East Master Plan project will include the creation of new boat landings and bridges; the development of a Downtown Gateway that will link northeastern downtown to the East Sector by utilizing green space and detention ponds; a 20-acre expansion of the City’s Tony Marron Park to act as an open space anchor; restoration of an urban creek that will connect the bayou to the historic Fifth Ward; the rehabilitation of BBP-owned industrial sites including Turkey Bend and the Lockwood Water Treatment Works; the creation of an eastern trailhead, linking the County’s Yolanda Black Navarro Buffalo Bend Nature Park to the City’s Hidalgo Park; and the development of a mixed-income housing project at Lockwood Drive and the bayou.
About Houston Endowment
Established in 1937, Houston Endowment advances equity of opportunity for the people of Greater Houston and enhances the vibrancy of our community so that our region and its people thrive. In 2020, the Endowment will grant more than $80 million to the area in support of our community and advancing our mission.
About Buffalo Bayou Partnership
Established in 1986, Buffalo Bayou Partnership (BBP) is the non-profit transforming and revitalizing Buffalo Bayou, Houston’s most significant natural resource. The organization’s 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 projects such as Buffalo Bayou Park, planning for new parks and green space east of downtown, constructing hike and bike trails, and operating comprehensive clean-up and maintenance programs. Buffalo Bayou Partnership also activates the waterway through pedestrian, boating and biking amenities; volunteer activities; and wide-ranging tours and programs that engage tens of thousands of visitors each year.