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.

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Building the Bayou Greenways: Sims 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 second in a series of posts.

Sims Bayou Greenway stretches nearly 20 miles from Milby Park to Blue Ridge County Park in Southwest Houston. The trails will offer walkers and bikers opportunities for recreation through new connections to neighborhood parks, schools, and community centers along Sims Bayou.

Sims Bayou Greenway near Milby Park

On June 8, Houston Parks Board (HPB) hosted a ribbon cutting to mark the completion of a new segment of Sims Bayou Greenway. The 2.6-mile stretch from Heatherbrook Drive to Buffalo Speedway connects into a previously completed trail segment that runs west to Hillcroft, and marks the latest achievement of the Houston Parks Board’s Bayou Greenways 2020 project. The Kinder Foundation contributed $934,000 to the $6.9 million total cost of this Greenway segment. In addition to the hike / bike trail, the segment features directional and educational signage, trash and recycling bins, benches, ornamental design features, landscaping, and a new trailhead entrance at South Post Oak Boulevard as well as other neighborhood gateway connections.  Continue reading “Building the Bayou Greenways: Sims Bayou”

SPARKing Change in Houston’s Park Deserts

Houston’s newest greenspace was dedicated with fanfare and camaraderie on Tuesday, May 28. A parade led by the Lawson Academy Marching Band welcomed more than 50 students, political leaders, community members and Kinder Foundation leadership to the opening celebration of the SPARK Park at Lawson Academy, a neighborhood park on the school’s Third Ward campus.

Continue reading “SPARKing Change in Houston’s Park Deserts”

Building the Bayou Greenways: Brays 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 first in a series of posts.

Nearly 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.  Continue reading “Building the Bayou Greenways: Brays Bayou”

Mizzou in Oxford

In Spring 2018, the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy embarked on a partnership with University of Oxford’s Corpus Christi College that provides Mizzou undergraduates with an opportunity to experience the scholastic life, unique pedagogy, and rich traditions of one of the globe’s most storied institutions.

Students and alumni in Oxford during the second annual week-long visit to Corpus Christi College.

The first program of its kind at Mizzou, “Global History at Oxford” is both an intellectually rigorous, on-campus experience for students and an immersive study abroad opportunity. The core component of the program is Kinder Institute Chair in Constitutional Democracy Jay Sexton’s “Topics in Global and Transnational History” class, a spring semester course that asks students to consider why national history emerged as the default method of studying the past and to examine the new, more complex narrative that is un-earthed by taking a more transnational approach.  Continue reading “Mizzou in Oxford”

Historic Third Ward mural restored

In September 2018, the Kinder Foundation donated $100,000 to Houston’s Blue Triangle Community Center to restore a historic Third Ward mural by famous African American artist John Biggers. The 1953 masterpiece, “Contribution of Negro Women to American Life and Education,” was damaged by Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and was recently restored by Scott Haskins, a California-based conservator of fine art. The Foundation’s grant will also support building repairs in the vicinity of the mural.

New Education Research Center established in Houston

Investing in education is a cornerstone of the Kinder Foundation’s philanthropic vision. Most recently, the Foundation and Houston Endowment partnered to support three different education-related initiatives. These include Leadership ISD, Good Reason Houston, and the establishment of an Education Research Center (ERC) at the University of Houston.

University of Houston
University of Houston’s Student Center

In 2006, the Texas Legislature identified the need to connect educational information sources into a longitudinal data warehouse for the use of policy and practice. It authorized the creation of three ERCs to house Texas data and facilitate research that benefits all levels of education in Texas.

The ERCs are meant to provide access to high quality, student-level data from the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the Texas Workforce Commission, and other sources of educational information for the state of Texas. Data resources are intended to span from the Pre-K level through higher education and into the Texas workforce.

Prior to 2017, two ERCs had been established at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas at Dallas, respectively. In November 2017, with $790,000 grants each from the Kinder Foundation and Houston Endowment, the third ERC was established at the University of Houston, providing local researchers access to the rich repository of data.  Continue reading “New Education Research Center established in Houston”

New Kinder HSPVA campus opens, ushering in next chapter for Houston’s talented fine arts students

Performances by students of Kinder HSPVA Ribbon Cutting – February 4, 2019. Photo credit: David DeHoyos, Class of 1981, Media Dept.

On Monday, February 4, students, alumni and supporters dedicated the new Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts campus in downtown Houston. Long-awaited and highly-anticipated, the permanent new home of Kinder HSPVA was inaugurated with a ribbon cutting, entertainment and performances by students, and remarks by the school’s principal Dr. R. Scott Allen and HISD board members in the campus’ stunning 800-seat main gathering space, the Ruth Denney Theatre.

The completed 168,000-square-foot Kinder HSPVA campus opened to students on January 7. The February 4 grand opening ceremony offered a chance to reflect on the three-year construction project which puts Houston’s diverse and talented fine arts students in the heart of the city’s theater district.

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Astronomical silt removal completed in Buffalo Bayou Park in 2018

Eighteen months after Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on Buffalo Bayou Park, the arduous silt removal process is mostly complete. The park’s destinations and gardens have been restored to their former glory thanks to Buffalo Bayou Partnership and its bevy of dedicated volunteers, donors, and partners, including the Kinder Foundation, which contributed $1 million to the cleanup efforts.

While the park took on historic levels of water (nearly 39 feet), its infrastructure was mostly undamaged. In fact, careful and considerate planning in the park’s design and development phase ensured Buffalo Bayou Park could withstand flooding and provide greater flood water conveyance capacity.

Buffalo Bayou rose nearly 39 feet during Hurricane Harvey.
Once the waters receded, crews began working to remove silt and repair major erosion, pictured here.




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