2017 is a big year for Elmore Public Relations—we’re celebrating our 25th anniversary! For the past 25 years, our agency has been working with numerous clients to help them achieve their goals, or as we say – connecting strategy, expertise and results. Each week we’re highlighting a year of Elmore PR.
In our last installment, we took a look back on our relationship with the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market and Houston’s other incredible performing arts organizations. This week, we’re joined by Anne Olson, President of Buffalo Bayou Partnership, for a special Q+A session discussing the iconic Houston park and what the future holds.
Over the course of the last 25 years, we’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with some of Houston’s most defining greenspaces and the groups who support them, including Discovery Green, Houston Parks Board and Buffalo Bayou Partnership. In light of the recent two-year anniversary of Buffalo Bayou Park, Anne Olson of Buffalo Bayou Partnership joins us for a Q+A session to share her thoughts of how this award-winning park has impacted our city and more.
Q: From your perspective, what has been the impact of Buffalo Bayou Park on the city’s greenspace and reputation? What has been the response from the Houston community and abroad?
Buffalo Bayou has had a significant impact on Houston’s greenspace and national reputation. I believe governmental leaders and people throughout the city have seen the park’s public-private partnership as a model for other major park projects in Houston. We are truly gratified by the large numbers of Houstonians and visitors who are biking, walking and jogging along Buffalo Bayou Park’s trails. These individuals come from all walks of life and truly represent the multi-cultural diversity of our city.
In 2016, more than 14,000 park users from throughout the world stopped by the park’s two visitor centers. In addition, close to 35,000 visitors have toured the Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern, a former City water reservoir that has been repurposed as a space that presents periodic art installations. Whether it’s local, national and international news stories, prestigious planning and urban design awards or visits from park groups throughout the country, Buffalo Bayou Park is putting our city on the map!
Q: What reflections can you share with us post Hurricane Harvey?
Buffalo Bayou Park was greatly impacted by Hurricane Harvey’s historic level of flooding but has shown that it is a resilient greenspace. The park was designed to flood, although we did not anticipate three historic flooding events in two years. Working with the Harris County Flood Control District, designers from SWA, the park’s lead landscape architecture firm, created a landscape that helps channel runoff and provides greater flood water conveyance capacity. Park amenities such as park benches and signage were constructed with extremely durable materials.
Due to Harvey’s continuous rainfall and weeks of high flowing water from the reservoirs to the west, enormous amounts of sediment were deposited throughout the park. Erosion also was significant and as a result, some footpaths collapsed. It has been truly heartwarming to see how Houstonians and people from throughout the country have expressed their concern for Buffalo Bayou Park and other parks and trails up and down the waterway. We also have had a record number of Houstonians volunteering their time in the park.
Q: Looking forward, what’s next for the future of Buffalo Bayou?
Despite Hurricane Harvey’s impact to Buffalo Bayou, our organization remains committed to its mission of transforming Houston’s most significant natural resource. We will continue to restore Buffalo Bayou Park to ensure that it remains a beautiful natural greenspace for Houstonians and visitors to enjoy. With the enormous success of the park and downtown bayou improvements, BBP has turned its sights along the waterway’s east sector, from US 59 to the Port of Houston. We recently launched a major master planning effort that will focus on authenticity, inclusivity, connectivity and resiliency. Our goal is to create a blueprint for investment in the Fifth Ward and East End neighborhoods and a national model for inclusive development around parks and green space.
We want to extend a big thank you to Anne for taking the time from her very busy schedule to join us for our Q+A session! We’re excited to see what’s in store for Buffalo Bayou Partnership.
Can you believe that we’re only two years away from hitting the 25 year mark? We’re almost there! Next week, join us as we reminisce on some of our favorite commercial real estate projects.