Parks By You’s Feel-Good Campaign To Build More Bayou Parks by You

Yep, that’s a bike-gear-sporting State Sen. Rodney Ellis, 2 city council members, and both bearded and cleanshaven versions of model Lauren Bush’s brother — Pierce Bush — talking up the idea of building more parks by more Houston bayous in this promotional video for an organization called Parks By You. What are they and their smiling costars so earnestly upbeat about? A $160 million bond initiative on the November ballot that would take a big step toward implementing the Houston Parks Board’s Bayou Greenways Project — a proposal to add green spaces and linear parks with concrete hike-and-bike trails along 100 miles of Houston bayous. The bond issue would help pay for improvements to more than a dozen existing parks and connect trails along 7 bayous in the city.

The overall vision (not all of which, apparently, is included in the bond measure) would transform Houston’s park map from this:


to this:

Bayou trails for all! Except, of course, along the upper reaches of the Ship Channel, and that non-greenified stretch of Buffalo Bayou from Beltway 8 to the 610 Loop. People have homes along there, y’know.

Video: Parks by You. Maps: Houston Parks Board

26 Comment

  • I like the idea of making flood-prone areas into recreational zones. It’s good policy.

    But I have to ask…after all these new parks and trails are established in so many different jurisdictions, who will pay for their maintenance and upkeep? Has that been sorted out yet?

  • They’ve got my vote! Go Houston!

  • TheNiche,

    If it is in the CoH city limits, it’s the city.

    Harris County or one of the other municipal entities are the only other groups involved in this, but Houston Parks Board won’t build outside of the city limits.

  • Mel, WTF?

    Give me an H, give me an O, give me an U-S-T-O-N. Houston. Houston. Go, Houston! Yay…


  • @kjb: Some of the facilities depicted are outside of the City of Houston. Friendswood definitely has some within its city limits, but it looks like Jacinto City and Humble may also have some facilities. And if they can’t keep it on this side of the county line, then the plan may require participation from Montgomery, Brazoria, or Galveston counties.

    Again, my question is whether the agencies responsible for maintenance have been identified and whether they are prepared to accept that fiscal responsibility.

  • Wow. The recession must be over in Houston! City Hall is back to business as usual. Finding ways to waste taxpayer money as usual…

  • I will vote for it! Sounds good, I’m happy houston is finally realize we have “something” called an “environment” (the previously unknown outside’ area)

  • yes, we are out of the recession

  • Parks by You. I’m in.

  • TheNiche, it’s no big surprise that you don’t understand my enthusiasm for this project. Get over your dour self, already.

  • @ Mel: I understand your support. I support it, too. I just don’t do a lot of cheerleader hooting or hollering about it.

  • Oh Niche, you just can’t pass for a hick. It should be “hootin’ an hollerin'”. /grin

    I know this because I’m from deep east Texas.

  • I jog, walk, and cycle Buffalo & Braes Bayous practically every day. But Buffalo is still deep brown and smells of sewage, after our torrential rains. So I think the map should be changed to brown, not green trickles of paths. If the planned bayous are going to have trees and not scrawny dried out bushes that don’t shade I’m for them except for the fact the 160MM bond is debt for an asset that incrementally sucks more spending – ignoring the beneficial multiplier effect (which I am sure some economist can rassle up).

    Like it but as a tax-payer, I don’t.

  • Niche. Your trolling is tiresome.

  • Since they have registration fees and gasoline tax to pay for roads, they should have registration fees for bicycles and a tax on bike shorts to pay for bike paths.

  • Why stop there…lets have taxes on running shoes, dog walkers, and baby strollers while we’re at it.

  • In the meantime, our roads and other infrastructure are crappy and getting worse. But these self anointed /self appointed “improvement mind set” politicians want to load us taxpayers with MORE DEBT. I say take care of what currently exists and maybe 5 years or so when the economy is supposedly better we can revisit the idea and decide of it makes economic sense. Remember,politicians/bureaucrats/government clones /special interests & their backers DO NOT have ANY common sense.And NEVER will.

  • When a Bush family member & Rodney Ellis is involved ,watch out !!!It’s another sign the end of the world is near!!!! I love the former police officer trying to justify this boondoggle by saying that getting people out on the trails will keep our community safer. No it will not. The criminal element will be breaking into the user’s residences while they’re out exercising !!!Most people DO NOT live outside on the trails,Mr.Former Police Officer Man!!!

  • Gus Allen:Per the map of Tomorrows Bayous!, the bayou greenway DOES extend along Buffalo Bayou from Downtown THROUGH River Oaks/Memorial Park to Loop 610. Those home /property owners WILL NOT let that happen. They’ll get a variance !!!

  • We already have a Sporting Goods Sales Tax. It has been in place since 1993. The funds go to Texas State Parks.

  • The amount appropriated is usually between 20-30% of what could be 94% of the estimated biennium amount of $250 million. That’s a lot of money going to non park and recreation spending as appropriated by Legislature, general revenue.

  • Parks By You’s? Shouldn’t that be Parks By Y’alls?

  • I live on the bayou and don’t want to surrender my land to the City. That’s called a “taking” and it happens in dictatorships. Look first at the poor condition of our infrastructure. Street, water and sewer systems are falling apart. Bond Debt money should be first spent on critical items used by all Houstonians, not on recreational items for a few. A much better recreational bang for your buck would be to turn Memorial Park into a world class facility.

  • The concept is really very nice spreading greenery and linear parks sounds good but is it possible that local people or home owners
    Will give the authority, a big question.

    Ben Koshkin  Managing Partner Texas First Residential Houston LLC

  • As biker, I am very excited to think I might someday ride all the way to work in the Medical Center. As a homeowner and naturalist, I strongly disagree with the misleading supposition that this is a “green” plan. This plan calls for the flattening and deforestation of one of the few hilly and lush inner loop neighborhood of Idylwood to create a parking lot. This planned lot would be located within a 2 mile radius of 4 parks with existing and underused parking lots and one Project Brays staging area that would all be better suited for parking. What are they thinking? What is the wisdom behind locating a parking lot in a residential neighborhood in a tucked away corner that is already a difficult to enforce for littering, pet dumping, drug and gang activity, and cut through driving across grassy hills to access an apartment complex?

  • Great idea, love the Greenbelts. Houston is so naturally lush and green it’s great that the city is finally unitizing its greatest asset…FYI: Memorial already is a World Class Park.