Skip to main content

New Projects Breathing New Life into 3 Treasured Houston Green Spaces

Published Apr 26, 2022 by Brina Morales

Rendering of Japhet Creek improvements (Courtesy: Buffalo Bayou Partnership)

Rendering of Japhet Creek improvements (Courtesy: Buffalo Bayou Partnership)

There’s no shortage of green space in Houston. In fact, there are more than 366 parks and over 200 green spaces in the city alone. And our city parks are only getting better. Transformative projects are underway at three Houston Inner-Loop favorites – Hermann Park, Memorial Park and Buffalo Bayou.

Memorial Park Land Bridge

The Land Bridge and Prairie project is moving forward as part of the Memorial Park Master Plan. The land bridge tunnels will connect the north and south sides of the park, while a native prairie will cover the tunnels.

Memorial Park Land Bridge (Courtesy: Memorial Park Conservancy)

The project will create 100-acres of green space for visitors and wildlife to enjoy. The eastbound tunnel is now open, the westbound tunnel is expected to open in May. The project is expected to be fully completed by the end of this year. 

Hermann Park

The Hermann Park Conservancy recently broke ground on two projects that are part of its master plan. The Commons will be a 26-acre area in the southwest portion of the park, an area the conservancy describes as “underutilized.”

The Commons at Hermann Park (Rendering Courtesy: Hermann Park Conservancy)

A new two-acre playground for children of all abilities will anchor The Commons. It will also include a decked area that will be designed around the park’s oak trees, new grilling and picnic areas and a central lawn. New nature habitats and renovations to the Fannin Pavilion are also included in the project.

The Water Play Gardens (Rendering Courtesy: Hermann Park Conservancy)

The Commons is set to be completed by 2024. Construction on the McWilliams Dog Park is also underway. It will encompass more than 2.5 acres off South MacGregor Way along Brays Bayou. The park will include separate areas for small and large dogs, a dog wash station, play equipment and more. Construction is expected to be completed this year. 

Buffalo Bayou East 
For years, most of the development along Buffalo Bayou has occurred west of Downtown, but the Buffalo Bayou East Master Plan is underway to breathe new life to the East End. The Buffalo Bayou Partnership announced the plan in 2019 and it is separated into four sections: Downtown Gateway, Central Hub, Industrial District and Eastern Terminus.

Downtown view at Buffalo Bayou East (Courtesy: Buffalo Bayou Partnership)

The master plan hopes to add more than 40 miles of new and improved trails and bikeways, seven new pedestrian bridges and seven new water access points. It also calls for creating more than 200 acres of new and improved parks, including upgrades to Japhet Creek and Tony Marron Park, and repurposing abandoned industrial structures along the Bayou. According to Buffalo Bayou Partnership, the East Downtown Trail, which begins just east of Allen’s Landing and stretches to Austin Street, will be completed later this spring.

“It represents a key connection between downtown and Buffalo Bayou East, furthering Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s goal to create connectivity all the way from Shepherd Drive to the Port of Houston Turning Basin,” said Anne Olson, President of Buffalo Bayou Partnership. 

The proposed projects will require public and private partnerships and will take more than 10 years to be fully accomplished.

Buffalo Bayou East Guadalupe Plaza (Courtesy: Buffalo Bayou Partnership)

Learn more about living in Houston, from neighborhoods to parks and culture. 
 

Related News

Living In Houston

Houston a Destination City for Leisure Activities

4/10/24
Renowned worldwide as a mecca for performing and visual arts, complemented by its vast array of parks and green spaces, and award-winning culinary scene, Houston continues to attract people from across the globe for its abundance of leisure activities.   Early projections from Houston First Corporation reveal that the Bayou City welcomed over 51 million visitors last year, earning the title of Most Popular City in Texas for Overseas Tourists, according to Trips to Discover. Additionally, Houston was named one of the top American cities with the most fun things to do by CommercialCafe.  Arts & Entertainment Click to expand At the heart of Houston's allure lies its world-class museums, such as the Menil Collection and The Museum of Fine Arts, which serve as gateways to explore art, history and science. The Orange Show and Smither Park, constructed from recycled materials, stand as mosaic wonderlands, a testament to the city’s folk art. Moreover, recent additions to Houston's art scene, such as Meow Wolf and the Museum of Illusions, introduce immersive installations and exhibits that create unique attractions in the Bayou City.  Click to expand Adding a flare to the arts, Houston's entertainment district provides exclusive access to some of the world’s best musical, dance and theatrical talent, featuring prestigious organizations and theaters such as the Houston Ballet and Symphony alongside the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts and the Wortham Theater Center. Meanwhile, venues like the House of Blues and the White Oak Music Hall provide electrifying concert experiences, showcasing both established acts and emerging talents.  Parks & Outdoors Click to expand With nearly 400 parks and more than 200 green spaces, including the beloved Buffalo Bayou and Memorial Park, Houston also offers plenty of outdoor activities within the city. Hidden in-between downtown skyscrapers lies Discovery Green, a 12-acre urban park, which offers free yoga classes and movie screenings alongside the skating rink and green spaces. Nestled within the iconic Houston Zoo lies Hermann Park, which features a Japanese garden, golf course and modern play areas, making it one of the best city parks in the nation.  Click to expand Among the city’s top attractions are its amusement parks, including Downtown Aquarium, Space Center Houston, Galveston’s Pleasure Pier, Kemah Boardwalk and the Houston Funplex. Great Wolf Lodge, a massive resort and indoor water park, is also expected to open this year.    Sports Click to expand Houston is also a sports city, boasting many major-league teams and venues, including the 2017 and 2022 MLB World Series Champions – the Houston Astros, who call Minute Maid Park home. Among its crown jewels are also the Houston Texans, Rockets and the Dynamos, which occupy NRG Stadium, the Toyota Center, and Shell Energy Stadium. These state-of-the-art facilities will host a series of major sporting events in the upcoming years, including the 2024 College Football Playoff National Championship, 2026 FIFA World Cup, and the 2025, 2027, and 2031 AAU Junior Olympic Games.  Festivals & Events Click to expand The city also hosts several exciting events annually, including the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, recognized as the world’s largest and best fair and rodeo by the Academy of Country Music. In the 2024 season, the Houston Rodeo experienced record-breaking attendance, welcoming more than 2.5 million guests over the 23-day event. Other H-Town known events include the Houston Art Car Parade, the Bayou City Art Festival, Hermann Park’s Kite Festival, the Texas Renaissance Festival and the Chevron Houston Marathon, showcasing a dynamic variety of events with everyone in mind.   Discover more about living in Houston. 
Read More

Related Events

Demography

One Houston Together : Inclusion Solutions Part 1

Creating cultures of belonging and closing belonging gaps is a crucial strategy for every organization that wants to be competitive in the future and retain and engage employees of all backgrounds. The topic…

Learn More
Learn More
Executive Partners