Keeping Buffalo Bayou Clean & Green

Floating debris and litter that has made its way to the bayou.

From plastic water and soda bottles, to takeout containers and coffee cups, and even a rare basketball, the debris and litter which finds its way to Buffalo Bayou is an ongoing and nearly overwhelming problem.

Houston’s stormwater drainage system runs in such a way that following any rain event, litter from the streets is swept up in currents of water which travel into curb catch basins. From there, the debris journeys through an underground system, ultimately finding its way to the bayous, where it floats along as unsightly trash. If not managed properly, the rafts of litter, which can grow to be quite large, carry on to Galveston Bay and beyond.

Recognizing the negative environmental impact to water quality and wildlife habitats, as well as the detrimental affect visible trash has on the recreational appeal of Buffalo Bayou Park, Buffalo Bayou Partnership set into motion a series of initiatives to reclaim the bayou with the establishment of its Clean & Green Program. Continue reading “Keeping Buffalo Bayou Clean & Green”

COVID-19 and Houston

Kinder Foundation believes in Houston’s ability to rise to a challenge. Despite these trying and uncertain times, we encourage every Houstonian to stay positive, calm, and follow the direction of our County Judge and Mayor.

Rich and I have witnessed, time and time again, Houstonians’ collective grit and resiliency. Together, we will emerge a stronger and more united city.

To learn about the Kinder Foundation’s COVID-19 relief efforts, please click here.

Nancy Kinder
President and CEO

Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy’s Justin Dyer featured on Our Voices Matter podcast

Justin Dyer is the director of the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri. He is responsible for leading a vibrant, diverse community of scholars who share an academic interest in rigorously unpacking the complex history of constitutional democracy in the U.S. and around the globe. He is also one of the nation’s leading experts on the United States Constitution.

Dyer was recently featured on the Our Voices Matter podcast, hosted by Houston journalist Linda Lorelle. By coincidence, his episode was recorded on December 10, 2019, the same day the United States House of Representatives unveiled two articles of impeachment against U.S. President Donald Trump. Per the episode description, “during the conversation, he helps put the current political landscape into historical context and shares his hopes and fears for post-impeachment America, based on the document our founders created.”

Take a listen to the episode here or watch it below:

Building the Bayou Greenways: Greens Bayou

Over the past six months, we have highlighted the progress made along each of Houston’s Bayou Greenways as part of the Houston Parks Board’s Kinder Foundation-supported Bayou Greenways 2020 project. This is the sixth in the series of posts, all of which can be found here

More than six years ago, the Houston Parks Board announced a $50 million catalyst gift from the Kinder Foundation to support the ambitious Bayou Greenways 2020 initiative. Construction began at the end of 2014, and since then, Houston Parks Board (HPB) and its partners Houston Parks and Recreation Department and Harris County Flood Control District have made remarkable progress.

Today, we take a look at Greens Bayou Greenway, the linear hike-and-bike trail in North Houston and lower Greens within the city limits. Continue reading “Building the Bayou Greenways: Greens Bayou”

2019 Year in Review: Kinder Institute for Urban Research

Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research (KIUR) continues to extend the reach and impact of its work in Houston and beyond.

The Kinder Institute released 16 reports in 2019, covering critical issues, which included street safety, food insecurity, the impact of arts education, and housing voucher mobility. Continue reading “2019 Year in Review: Kinder Institute for Urban Research”

Building the Bayou Greenways: Conservation and Maintenance

In a series of blog posts throughout the year, we will highlight the progress made along Houston’s Bayou Greenways as part of the Houston Parks Board’s Kinder Foundation-supported Bayou Greenways 2020 project. This post focuses on the Parks Board’s Bayou Greenways-related conservation and maintenance efforts.

By the end of next year, 150 miles of trails will weave through 3,000 acres of Greater Houston’s greenspace, connecting residents to nature and each other. The Houston Parks Board has spent the past five years designing and constructing this network of trails which comprises the Bayou Greenways 2020 initiative.

But the work does not stop when the last trail is christened. The Houston Parks Board has and will continue to invest significant resources toward routine maintenance and conservation, ensuring the highest standard of safety, beauty and ecological integrity of the trails and bayou system’s riparian zones.

Continue reading “Building the Bayou Greenways: Conservation and Maintenance”

Building the Bayou Greenways: White Oak Bayou

In a series of blog posts throughout the year, we will highlight the progress made along each of Houston’s Bayou Greenways as part of the Houston Parks Board’s Kinder Foundation-supported Bayou Greenways 2020 project. This is the fourth in the series.

Houston Parks Board began construction on the missing links of White Oak Bayou Greenway at the end of 2014, and since then, Houston Parks Board and its partners have made remarkable progress. In fact, this first Bayou Greenway is nearing completion.

White Oak Bayou Greenway spans 16 miles. Starting at the bayou’s confluence with Buffalo Bayou at Allen’s Landing, the greenway heads upstream past UH Downtown, the Lionel Castillo Community Center, Stude Park, historic Olivewood Cemetery, TC Jester Park, and out to the Hollister Detention Basin at the city limits. It was the first Bayou Greenway trail to start and to ultimately be completed, in part because nearly 10 miles of existing trail by other entities had already helped set the Bayou Greenways precedent. To complete the greenway, the Houston Parks Board constructed the additional 6 miles of new trails – as well as 2 new bridges including a bridge over White Oak Bayou that connects the existing Heights Hike & Bike Trail to the Greenway. Funding for that bridge and part of the greenway was provided by the Memorial Heights Tax Incremental Zone. Major contributors to White Oak Bayou Greenway also included the Houston Endowment, Brown Foundation, Wortham Foundaton, Fondren Foundation, and a federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant. Continue reading “Building the Bayou Greenways: White Oak Bayou”

Kinder Foundation Honors Twelve Exceptional Houston-Area School Teachers

2019 Kinder Excellence in Teaching Award winners. Top row from left to right: Marla Trujillo, Minhtam Trinh, Kristal Watson, Sarah Tredway, Chae Ray, Kristina Jenkins, Ryan Beeler; bottom row from left to right: Caitlin Wales, Tracy Sanchez, Elvira Marquez, Jonathan Martinez, Greg Adragna, Nancy and Rich Kinder

Over the weekend, twelve Houston-area school teachers received the prestigious Kinder Excellence in Teaching Award (KETA) and a gift of $25,000 each in recognition of their outstanding work as educators.

Teachers from KIPP Texas Public Schools – Houston, YES Prep Public Schools, Teach for America Houston and Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Galveston – Houston were inducted into the KETA Hall of Fame alongside more than 250 other area educators. To date, Kinder Foundation has gifted over $3.7 million in grants since the program was established in 2001.

Continue reading “Kinder Foundation Honors Twelve Exceptional Houston-Area School Teachers”

Building the Bayou Greenways: Hunting Bayou

In a series of blog posts throughout the year, we will highlight the progress made along each of Houston’s Bayou Greenways as part of the Houston Parks Board’s Kinder Foundation-supported Bayou Greenways 2020 project. This is the third in the series.

In May, Houston Parks Board celebrated several new Bayou Greenways 2020 trail completions, getting Houstonians one literal step closer to a connected hike-and-bike network along Houston’s major waterways. Among the recently-finished segments is a new half-mile trail of Hunting Bayou Greenway connecting Falls Street to Cavalcade (Mickey Leland Memorial Park).

To date, more than one-and-a-half miles of Hunting Bayou Greenway have been completed. Portions of the greenway, which is located along Hunting Bayou in northeast Houston, will touch Hutcheson Park, Herman Brown Park, and Mickey Leland Memorial Park

Last month’s completion includes the replacement of an asphalt trail with a new 10-foot wide multi-use concrete trail north along West Hunting Street. Amenities including pocket parks, landscaping, benches, signage, trash and recycling receptacles, and native landscaping and tree plantings were added, as was a new bike/pedestrian bridge with overlook plazas connecting to the existing Hunting Bayou Greenway. Gateways along this new segment include the Pine Tree Trailhead at Mickey Leland Park and the Oak Hill Pocket Park near the new bridge. Continue reading “Building the Bayou Greenways: Hunting Bayou”

900,000 Good Reasons to Transform Education in Houston

Great strides in education are being made in our city, thanks in part to Good Reason Houston, an organization established with the belief that every child in every neighborhood deserves access to a high-quality education and a future filled with opportunity.

There are 900,000 children who call Harris County home. In August, our schools will receive letter grades from the Texas Education Agency. Assuming no significant changes, more than 300,000 students across Houston’s urban core will be learning in schools rated C, D or F. Knowing that we must do better for our students, Kinder Foundation, along with leaders from Houston Endowment, Greater Houston Partnership and H-E-B set out to change this.

Continue reading “900,000 Good Reasons to Transform Education in Houston”