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Project to transform section of Buffalo Bayou

Friday, June 29, 2012

A big transformation is coming to one of the biggest green spaces you'll find in the city of Houston. It's a multi-million dollar project to turn the stretch of Buffalo Bayou between Shepherd and Sabine into Houston's own Central Park.

Before there was ever a Houston, there was a bayou that flowed from the west, eventually meeting up with the San Jacinto River and Galveston Bay.

It was once a lush, overgrown waterway, and this section of it is about to be restored to its beginnings thanks to a joint project by the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Harris County Flood Control and the city of Houston, which has been trying to capitalize on Buffalo Bayou for a century.

"I think the underlying vision for the park is to bring back the natural landscape and have it to be a place where they don't realize they're in the heart of America's fourth largest city," said Anne Olson with Buffalo Bayou Partnership.

This is the master plan for the just over two-mile section between the Sabine and Shepherd Street bridges:

A dog park at Studemont and Lost Lake, which vanished over the years, will be restored.

Then, they will build what's known as "The Waterworks" -- a gathering spot near the skate park where food trucks would provide refreshments.

These are all new amenities, but the backdrop will be the bayou.

"Each segment of the bayou will have its own character, will be very green and natural, restoring it back to its original landscape," Guy Hagstette, project manager, said.

A century ago, cypress trees rose out of the bayou. They'll be planted on the banks and in shallow water. Native trees and grasses also will be planted.

The project is expected to be completed by 2015.

For more information, visit www.buffalobayou.org.

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