Buffalo Bayou Partnership is pleased to welcome Leigh McBurnett as our new Director of Development. Leigh has 17 years of development and non-profit management experience. At the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, she served in numerous fundraising capacities — Assistant Development Director, Senior Annual Giving Coordinator, and Development Assistant. In these positions, she worked to develop and implement the annual giving program for the MFAH, including Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, Rienzi and the Glassell School of Art. She also worked on the capital campaign that raised $127 million for the MFAH’s Audrey Jones Beck Building. Leigh most recently served as Executive Director of Dominic Walsh Dance Theater. Welcome Leigh!
As 2012 comes to a close, we celebrate the significant progress made at Buffalo Bayou Park – Shepherd to Sabine and recognize the generosity of Houston’s leading foundations and corporations.
The vision for Buffalo Bayou Park has inspired numerous record-setting gifts including the following:
- Kinder Foundation’s catalyst $30 million gift, the largest in the history of Houston’s park system
- The Wortham Foundation provided a $5 million challenge grant with a 2:1 matching requirement. The foundation’s gift served as an early catalyst for BBP to raise additional funds and reach out to new donors, and we are happy to announce that BBP has raised more than $10 million to fulfill this challenge
- Ray C. Fish Foundation’s recent $1 million grant for Buffalo Bayou Park’s exciting Nature Playground
- Carruth Foundation’s $1 million sponsorship of the pedestrian bridge connecting Buffalo Bayou Park to the Police Memorial – the largest gift in the foundation’s history
- The Garden Club of Houston’s $250,000 contribution, the largest in the club’s 80-year history, for the park’s Lost Lake perennial gardens
Thanks to these additional Buffalo Bayou Park donors of $50,000+ (as of November 28, 2012):
- The Wortham Foundation, Inc.
- Houston Endowment Inc.
- The Brown Foundation, Inc.
- The Fondren Foundation
- The Cullen Foundation
- The Elkins Foundation
- Susan Vaughan Foundation
- Scurlock Foundation
- Brady Carruth
- Apache Corporation
- River Oaks Garden Club
We are honored that these and other gifts will allow us to develop major park features.
Eleanor Tinsley Park
Equally important are the donations that will fund an array of park amenities along the park’s hike and bike trails and at high profile destinations such as The Water Works and Dog Park. Shade pavilions, small foot bridges, meadows and tributaries offer opportunities for all Houstonians to support the park.
Buffalo Bayou Partnership is in the final stage of raising an additional $20 million needed to complete the $55 million Buffalo Bayou Partnership project. With your help, Buffalo Bayou Park – Shepherd to Sabine will be a destination full of activity, energy and natural beauty, as well as a place for quiet reflection and contemplation.
Jackson Hill Bridge is a major naming opportunity.
As you consider giving to a number of worthy organizations this holiday season, please join us in making this significant civic project a reality. Major naming opportunities are still available in addition to opportunities to fund trees, shade pavilions, and pedestrian bridges.
Naming opportunities at Lost Lake.
Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s November 1st gala “Sensational” raised a record-breaking $500,000. Again this year, Sabine Promenade offered guests incredible views of Buffalo Bayou and the downtown skyline. But even more spectacular views are in store for gala-goers when the annual fundraising event is moved to the Sky Lawn at Buffalo Bayou Park in 2015.
Click here for CultureMap’s coverage of the successful 2012 event.
The Sky Lawn, a grassy plateau sitting 15 feet above street level, will be the premier vantage point for bayou and downtown skyline viewing.
We are pleased to report progress on two new bridges, providing Buffalo Bayou Park users with easier and safer access.
Shepherd Drive Bridge
A long-awaited pedestrian bridge is being installed under the Shepherd Drive overpass. The bridge is a tremendous asset for Buffalo Bayou Park joggers, bikers and runners who previously used the very busy and dangerous sidewalk along Shepherd Drive.
Crosby Outfall Bridge
Millis Construction is putting the finishing touches on the 53-foot long Crosby Outfall Bridge at the intersection of Sabine Street and Allen Parkway. Part of Phase I park improvements, the bridge will provide a continuous route on the south side of Buffalo Bayou under Sabine Bridge.
Waterway Closure at Montrose
Harris County Flood Control District continues to conduct channel realignment work near the Police Memorial. Therefore, the waterway will be closed thru December. For your safety, please observe all posted signs and remove all watercraft at Montrose Boulevard. Click here to read the press release sent out by the Harris County Flood Control District.
Chris Ward, Superintendent, with Jack Christison, Project Manager at Millis Development & Construction, Inc. are currently working on the Crosby Bridge, located just west of Sabine Street (on the south bank). This bridge will be completed in December 2012.
Houston-based construction company Millis has long been part of the enhancements to Buffalo Bayou. Millis recently completed the TIRZ 5-funded Rosemont Bridge and several hike & bike trail segments in 2011. The Houston-based construction company recently was the low bidder for Phase One of Buffalo Bayou Park, which includes the Jackson Hill Bridge, the Carruth Foundation Bridge (Police Memorial Bridge), a footbridge linking Buffalo Bayou Park to the Sabine Promenade under the Sabine Bridge, and several other important trail segments. Millis began Phase One construction in July and it is scheduled to be completed in one year.
Two new pedestrian bridges are part of the Buffalo Bayou Park – Shepherd to Sabine Phase I improvements.
Work began this summer on the 345-foot bridge at Jackson Hill over Buffalo Bayou that will connect trails on the north bank to the Allen Parkway side of the bayou. It also will tie directly to the existing bridge over Memorial, which will not be modified.
A second pedestrian bridge at the Police Memorial will also be installed allowing park users, for the first time, to access the Police Memorial from other areas of the park. We are delighted to announce that a generous donation has been made by the Carruth Foundation for this bridge.
Construction will begin on the bridge in late 2012 following work by the Harris County Flood Control District.
The Jackson Hill Bridge will resemble the Hobby Center Pedestrian Bridge, shown here. Photo by Tom Fox/SWA Group.
In addition to the new trail work on Buffalo Bayou, the City of Houston and the Texas Department of Transportation are installing a new pedestrian bridge at Shepherd Drive between Allen Parkway and Memorial Drive. The new bridge will be attached to the piers that support the existing high Shepherd Bridge providing greater-and much safer access to runners, walkers, bicyclists.
Installation on the prefabricated bridge began in September and is expected to be complete before Spring 2013.
If you are accessing Buffalo Bayou Park in this area, please be aware of construction zones and read carefully the construction signage.
Prominently located at the base of the bayou’s Rosemont Bridge (Allen Parkway and Montrose Boulevard) sit Spanish artist Jaume Plensa’s Tolerance sculptures. Representing the world’s seven continents, each 10-foot tall stainless steel figure is composed of multi-lingual melded letters. The artwork, commissioned by the Houston Arts Alliance, symbolizes the movement of new people and ideas to Houston and encourages Houstonians to reflect upon our city’s diversity.
Buffalo Bayou Partnership is continuing to “build bridges” to connect neighbor residents to the waterway.
Photo by Debra Ham.
Rosemont Bridge over Buffalo Bayou, completed in 2011. Photo by Geoff Lyon.
Phase I work will be executed in two stages. The first stage includes a new pedestrian bridge at Jackson Hill, a new bridge and trails providing access to the Police Memorial, and a new footbridge, stairs and earthwork at the Crosby Outfall area at the intersection of Sabine Street and Allen Parkway.
The 345-foot Jackson Hill Bridge will be the first bayou spanning bridge to be built, and it will connect via a small plaza to the existing pedestrian bridge which crosses over Memorial Drive. Similar in aesthetic to the Hobby Center Bridge, it will provide a safe and convenient route for cyclists and pedestrians to cross over Buffalo Bayou. A trail connector to the east and a footpath connector to the west will also be added. Improvements planned at Sabine Street and the Crosby Outfall will complement the existing trail into Eleanor Tinsley Park. The new footbridge will be 53 feet long and stairs will be upgraded to resemble those at the Sabine Promenade.
Phase I construction is expected to be completed by September 2013.