Buffalo Bayou East

In 2019, building on its legacy of creating award-winning urban green spaces, Buffalo Bayou Partnership unveiled a Master Plan for Buffalo Bayou East, which encompasses the four-mile stretch of the bayou from US 59 to the Port of Houston Turning Basin. With significant community input over a two-year period, the core principles of authenticity, inclusivity, connectivity, and resiliency emerged to guide the Buffalo Bayou East Master Plan. The plan envisions parks and destinations that reflect the cultural and industrial legacies of Buffalo Bayou East, while simultaneously ensuring that these spaces welcome long-time residents, and connect neighborhoods to the waterfront.

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 grant 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 grant 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 grant 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 grant 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 grant to Buffalo Bayou East is its second transformational grant 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.


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