This fall, we met with several groups to discuss Buffalo Bayou Park, BBP’s history, and the organization’s past and future projects.
Board members from City Parks Alliance, a national organization that advocates for urban parks, were in Houston as guests of Doreen Stoller, Hermann Park Conservancy Executive Director and an Alliance board member. The group took a pontoon boat ride through Buffalo Bayou Park and then ventured along the bayou’s east sector. As we passed historic industrial buildings and abandoned wooden docks, Alliance Executive Director Catherine Nagel remarked, “This is one of my new favorite green spaces.”
Waller Creek, a two-mile urban stream in Austin, is undergoing major restoration and revitalization. The green artery will eventually connect major destinations such as the Austin Convention Center, State Capitol, University of Texas, Lady Bird Lake, and the city’s musical and entertainment district. Representatives from Waller Creek Conservancy were in Houston to meet with staff from BBP and Discovery Green. In early 2016, the Conservancy’s board will return for a more extensive visit and meetings with BBP. We look forward to their visit and staying in touch to keep up with our shared experiences.
In Lafayette, Louisiana, an energetic group of volunteers is spearheading a $60 million project to restore Lafayette Central Park, a beautiful 100-acre site in the heart of the city. While in Houston, board members and staffers leading this effort took tours of Buffalo Bayou Park, Discovery Green and Hermann Park. The group was particularly interested in learning about Buffalo Bayou Park’s capital campaign and long-term maintenance contract. We look forward to hearing about this exciting project as it unfolds.
On November 18th, Vice President Joe Biden visited Buffalo Bayou Park to tout Houston’s hike and bike trails that are being constructed with $15 million of federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant funds awarded to Houston in 2012. BBP has partnered with the Houston Parks & Recreation Department, Houston Parks Board and Greater East End Management District to provide matching dollars for trail construction along Buffalo and White Oak Bayous, and on-street connections in the East End. BBP is the project sponsor of a $4.6 million TIGER trail that will connect Sesquicentennial Park to Allen’s Landing in downtown.