New Parkland for Houston, TX
HOUSTON, TX, 7/20/2004 – Residents in Houston’s East End will soon enjoy more parkland with the acquisition of a scenic 10-acre waterfront parcel by the Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national land conservation organization. Known as Buffalo Bend, the parkland is located on Houston’s historic Buffalo Bayou. TPL provided interim financing for the property, which will be transferred to Harris County for permanent protection and management, as soon as all the funding is in place.
With the strong support of U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and U.S. Representative Gene Green (D-29), an appropriation of $693,000 was secured from NOAA’s Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP) for Harris County to acquire the parkland. Harris County, Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD), and the Buffalo Bayou Partnership are contributing matching funds for the purchase.
“Buffalo Bend will provide a great place for families and residents to enjoy nature and the beauty of Houston,” said Sen. Hutchison, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “This project will preserve this important stretch of land, which will give the community the ability to implement new educational programs and recreational activities.”
“Buffalo Bayou has been a symbol of Houston’s rich history and traditions since the Allen brothers founded our great city in 1836,” Rep. Green said. “The Trust for Public Land’s protection of the Buffalo Bend property will complement the successful efforts already underway to preserve Buffalo Bayou as a historical and recreational resource for all Houstonians.”
“Adults and children alike will have a great chance to enjoy the Bayou from the Buffalo Bend site, which sits minutes from the city’s hike and bike trails and will provide Houstonians with a wonderful setting for open space and recreational opportunities such as birding, kayaking and canoeing along the Bayou,” Green added.
Buffalo Bend Park will provide area residents with an anchor park linked by a new trail system to other public space along the bayou. It will also provide opportunities for additional science and nature education programs.
“Houston’s East End is severely underserved by existing park resources,” said TPL program director, Linda Shead. “This parkland will give local residents a new opportunity to experience this historically and culturally significant waterway.”
To protect the site, TPL worked with the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, a non-profit organization charged with coordinating beautification and redevelopment activities along Buffalo Bayou. The new parkland is included in the Buffalo Bayou and Beyond master plan as green space connected by a hike and bike trail to Hidalgo Park and the new TonyMarron Park and North York Boat Launch Facility.
“Buffalo Bend Park is an integral part of our 20-year master plan,” says Buffalo Bayou Partnership President Anne Olson. “In dozens of community meetings, East End residents and stakeholders have expressed the need for more open space, particularly space that can be used for science and educational programs for area children. Buffalo Bend Park fits the needs of the area perfectly. We look forward to working with TPL on similar projects along Buffalo Bayou.”
Buffalo Bayou stretches for 75 miles across Harris County. It flows through residential areas, Memorial Park, downtown Houston and the Houston Ship Channel before it joins the San Jacinto River, which empties into Galveston Bay. Buffalo Bend Park will provide a critical connection to open space for residents who live in this high density area. The site will also allow for wetland restoration, increased wildlife habitat, water quality improvements and natural flood control.
The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since its founding in 1972, TPL has helped protect more than 1.9 million acres of land in 45 states. In Texas, TPL has protected more than 26,000 acres for communities, including areas in and around Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. The Trust for Public Land depends on the support and generosity of individuals, foundations, and businesses to achieve our land for people mission. For more information please visit us on the web at www.tpl.org/texas
The Buffalo Bayou Partnership is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that oversees Buffalo Bayou improvements, incorporating conservation and development into every project. The Partnership also coordinates the integration of major amenities into the Bayou greenbelt and seeks ways to increase community involvement through pedestrian, boating and biking amenities, permanent and temporary art installations, and other natural and built attractions. The Buffalo Bayou Partnership along with The City of Houston, Harris County and Harris County Flood Control District recently unveiled a 20-year plan to redevelop Buffalo Bayou into a pedestrian-oriented waterfront district.