In anticipation of Buffalo Bayou Park's grand opening celebration Saturday, June 20th, Visit Houston's Facebook fans participated in a Live Chat to ask park expert Anne Olson about the project. Check out the Q&A below, and find out more about Buffalo Bayou's renovations and the grand opening event at BuffaloBayou.org.
Q: Happy to hear there are new bike-friendly renovations along the Bayou! Are there any places to park bikes?
Yes! There are several locations where bike racks are installed. More will be installed as the park is completed. We also will have bike rentals available starting in June when the park fully opens. Don't forget, you can rent a bike at the Houston B-Cycle station on Sabine St. Bridge!
Q: Anne, what do you think is the most exciting element of the many changes at Buffalo Bayou Park?
All of the amenities are exciting, but truly the most exciting part of the park's transformation is the increasing number of people using the park. People from all socioeconomic backgrounds, neighborhoods and ages!
Q: Anne, for those with kids, the Nature Play Area sounds fantastic! When this summer do you expect it will open?
The Nature Play Area will be open by early June. It's going to be a wonderful site with plenty of natural elements for your kids to connect with the great outdoors. There's even a tree house, bridge, slide and picnic pavilion!
Q: As I drive by I see a lot of landscaping and planting happening. Are there any specific plants that will be going into the park?
We are planting over 14,000 new trees in Buffalo Bayou Park. We have made it a concerted effort to plant trees that have color that appear during certain times of the year. For example, Redbuds in the spring, Cypress and Maples in the fall. What we also love in the park are the wildflowers and prairies that are very much in bloom right now!
Q: The park is one of my favorite places in Houston! Are there other parks or places that influenced the choices for our park that you would suggest visiting?
Good question! An earlier project that BBP was a part of - Sabine Promenade - located just east of Sabine St., served as a prototype for Buffalo Bayou Park. We are using the same lunar cycle lighting and amenities - benches, trash receptacles, signage, and more!
Q: Any exciting new Dog Park plans?
We hope you're familiar with the new Johnny Steele Dog Park open at the corner of Montrose and Allen Parkway. Please visit! Already, thousands have visited this site since its opening in January.
Q: I see there's a wide range of events to be hosted in the park. Is there rentable event space?
Yes, The Water Works located on the far east end of Buffalo Bayou Park features a major lawn that can be rented for events. In addition, the Visitor Center has a terrace that accommodates approximately 150 guests. The Lost Lake Visitor Center, located at Allen Parkway and Dunlavy, will host a special event space operated by Clark Cooper Concepts called The Dunlavy.
Q: It looks like the art will add a beautiful focal point to the park. What made the partnership choose these specific installations?
Artist John Runnels' stainless steel canoe was inspired by other canoes that he completed for the Sabine Promenade project (adjacent to Buffalo Bayou Park). You can see this one canoe on Allen Parkway and Sabine. Artists Anthony Schumate is currently creating a series of "word" art pieces that will be displayed throughout the park. For example, just two of the words you will find are "discover" and "explore".
Q: This is going to be a huge draw for visitors and houstonians, how long did this project take, from concept to future completion?
Buffalo Bayou Partnership From 2010 to June 2015. For being one of the largest park projects in Houston's history, the turnaround time has been quick!