Lookee What the Kinder Foundation’s $50M Is Gonna Help Build Along the Bayous

So the city has agreed to hand over maintenance of all the new bayou trails ’n’ stuff to the Houston Parks Board — it was the one condition that the Kinder Foundation stipulated before it would agree to donate $50 million to the Bayou Greenways project. That donation became a done deal earlier today. This dough, says the Parks Board, is going to allow construction to begin before the end of 2014 on as many as 14 new sections of trail — including even more work along Brays Bayou in Mason Park in the East End, shown in this rendering from SWA Group.


Here’s a rundown of the projects and dates scheduled for Brays Bayou: 75th Street trailhead, Forest Hill ramp, and Lawndale to O.S.T. (under construction); Mason Park Bridge and connections (Winter 2014); University of Houston Bridge and connections (Winter 2014); OST to MLK (Summer 2014).

Rendering: SWA Group

25 Comment

  • Are those natural banks I see?

  • As an Eastender who uses Mason Park a lot, I’m very happy to see the extensive proposals. The incomplete trails will be finished to the Ship Channel with both bike and separate secondary trails for hikers on both sides of the bayou, plus a pedestrian bridge crossing the bayou inside the park. I think this means that, by 2015, a bike ride or hike from the Ship Channel to out near Gessner will be possible.

  • What part of what bayou is in that picture? The section of White Oak in front of my house doesn’t look like that. I am excited about the upcoming trail though…the faster the better!

  • Great news. The trail between Forest Hill and Lawndale has multiple stretches that are more of a mud pit than paved bikeway. The new trail from Lawndale to OST would be too without a proper maintenance plan. Glad to see these bayou trails will be in good hands.

  • Houston has been very fortunate with its mega rich thru the years. From Ima Hogg to Hugh Cullen to Jesse Jones to Dominique De Menil to Caroline Law Weiss to the Arnold’s and the Kinders, the Philanthropy and generosity continue decade after decade. This gift by the Kinder Foundation is much needed and it’s a tribute to the foundation knowing Houston that they included the maintainance agreement as a prerequisite to the money. You really have to have lived in other big cities to really appreciate the depth of philanthropy in Houston, it really is a marvel to behold, just ask Dallas.

  • So they didn’t plan on allocating any money to maintenance before this?

  • I would be soooo happy if they would work on clearing out the bayou east of down town…. sooo happy…

  • Looks beautiful. See? You don’t HAVE to design every square inch of space in order to make a vast improvement.

  • This is all great, but I wonder about the design that removes taller natural banks and replaces them with lower banks with less slope. A few weeks ago a big rain sent Buffalo Bayou out of its banks for a bit. On the north side of the bayou from where the trail goes under Memorial Drive to the little creek before Sabine St., there was about 4 inches of mud on much of the trail. Mud certainly did get piled up on some of the low points on the trail before they started doing the widening. But, I have never seen mud so deep and along such a long stretch of the path. It eventually got plowed off the path, but it was not pretty for a while.

  • Duston, I’m pretty sure that section in the pic is Mason Park just east of the 75th St. bridge. It doesn’t quite look like that now but almost. The banks are natural and the section is a protected wetlands with the Project Brays tidal ponds on the other side. I wonder what, if any, plans exist to deal with the large storm sewer pipe that spills from the street above right there. After a heavy rain, an incredible flotilla of fast food trash accumulates there then slowly drifts off to sea.

  • I am going to whine a bit about all the concrete in and around white oak bayou. Come on! Rip up the danged concrete!!!

  • Thanks Dana-x for pointing that out. I couldn’t immediately tell from the article but you and Allyn West helped to clarify.

  • The sketch loos so idyllic, I expect to see Winnie the Pooh (and Tigger too!)

  • Hello. “$50M” = “$50,000”. “$50MM” = “$50,000,000”.

    Let me know.

    Thank ys.

  • David:

    There are two oft-used conventions – yours, and the k=1,000, m=1,000,000 version. No need to get our panties in a wad here!

  • David Choate, actually it’s not that simple and not that precise, MM in the Printing industry means Thousands. As in 5MM bochures is 5,000 brochures. Other industries use MM for Million.

  • I wish they would begin to work on some way to clean the waterways of all the garbage and thereby making the water a bit less toxic. I would so be more comfortable with kayaking downtown if I was not so worried about how dirty the water must be.

  • > I have never seen mud so deep and along
    > such a long stretch of the path…

    I dunno, I’ve been riding the trail along the Bayou for 6 years and I’d say the flood debris problem has been greatly reduced of late. That might just be a result of the drought, but certainly the city has been quicker to send crews with fire hoses to wash the trail after floods.

    Some part of me misses the mess, though… I knew where the debris would tend to accumulate after a period of high water and developed affectionate nicknames for each patch.

    Why, I’d whistle as I passed through dysentery ditch, and marvel at cholera canyon. But MRSA meadows, now that was some goop, I tell ya…

  • I’d love to see Brays Bayou returned to a natural state west of the Med Center. The views along it toward our Medical Center are awesome, and could even serve as a draw for visitors from out of town. Imagine how much they could improve an area like this: https://maps.google.com/?ll=29.700292,-95.407583&spn=0.018042,0.03077&t=m&z=15&layer=c&cbll=29.700292,-95.407583&panoid=OGuMxESzqVSU974NW-ANhw&cbp=12,48.33,,0,3.14

  • Commonsense, I agree…but this here swamplot is a blog about your real estate not about printing.

    I am not trying to be a cyberturd, it just shocked me when i read the headline. Like why would it matter if the Kinders gave 50 grand. What is that going to do for anyone.

    Thank you for the kinds words everyone.

  • David – You might also try taking that issue up with the publishers of The Economist, probably to the same effect.

  • Bill, will do. It wasn’t a hundred years ago that we didn’t have standardized spellings in the English language. Some people find that hard to believe.

  • I have always been confused my the thousand/millian thing myself. Like in rap music you will oftentimes find “a milli” being in reference to a millian dollars but I understand from my cousin in France that “milli” is also the french word for thousand. Of course that may be why they say English is one of the hardest languages to learn. But I also seen that 25% of the worlds language are in pappy new guinie (sp) so go figure that out. Either way, 50 grand aint gonna build a lot of park imho ymmv

  • I agree Brays Bayou should be returned to a natural state or at least something that looks a bit more natural – Buffalo Bayou for instance is so much nicer than Brays. What would it take to make this happen?

  • Remove the concreted Brays Bayou through Meyerland and deepen/widen it or houses in the area will have to be raised five feet.