In September 2022, Buffalo Bayou Partnership announced the Buffalo Bayou East Master Plan would become a reality thanks to a historic public-private partnership anchored by a $100 million gift from Kinder Foundation, the largest single donation in Houston parks history.
This visionary plan integrates new bayou parks, trails, housing, cultural destinations, and infrastructure improvements into the Greater East End and Fifth Ward neighborhoods. The gift enables Buffalo Bayou Partnership to deliver key park, green space, and trail project components of this 10-Year Plan, as well as provide for the long-term care of these projects.
The Kinder Foundation’s transformational gift represents approximately one-third of the $310 million total investment needed to realize the first 10 years of the Buffalo Bayou East Master Plan. Combined with approximately $37 million already raised by Buffalo Bayou Partnership, the gift served as the catalyst to secure significant public funds from the City of Houston ($83.5 million), and Harris County ($24 million), as well as $14 million in federal housing tax credits, and is a premiere example of public and private entities working together to provide equitable green space for all. Buffalo Bayou Partnership will continue to raise the remaining private funds needed to complete the 10-Year Plan, with a goal of raising an additional $46 million by 2031.
Kinder Foundation’s gift to Buffalo Bayou East is its second transformational gift to Buffalo Bayou Partnership. In 2010, the foundation served as the catalyst funder with a grant of $30 million for improvements to the existing 160-acre, 2.3 mile stretch of Buffalo Bayou Park from Shepherd Drive to Sabine Street.buffalobayou.org