By: Rachel Compton
While Houston is a city most people recognize by its massive highway infrastructure, one organization is working hard to reorient the vision of Houston back to the Bayou City. Houston Parks Board, a nonprofit organization, is currently undertaking one of the most ambitious parks projects in the nation to transform the Houston into a greener, more connected city.
The project is called Bayou Greenways 2020 and the goal is to transform nine of Houston’s major bayous into a 150-mile network of connected parks and trails that crisscross the city of Houston. These linear parklands will provide over $90 million in annual benefits, not only towards physical and mental health, but also environmental and economic health as well.
The joy of Bayou Greenways 2020 is that the greenways are for everyone: from the morning jogger to the daily commuter, the dog walker, the kite flyer and the kayaker. The possibilities on Bayou Greenways are endless.
Over the weekend, thousands of Houstonians gathered along Brays Bayou Greenway to walk, bike, dance and play at the third annual Bayou Greenway Day. The outdoor festival and celebration of the Bayous Greenways project gave Houstonians a chance to explore all the activities they can enjoy along these linear parks. Children and adults alike ran through obstacle courses, practiced their soccer drills and joined group bike rides. Best of all, they celebrated their bayou.
Bayou Greenways 2020 is not only connecting people all over Houston to parks and greenspace, but it is connecting people to each other. When the project is complete in the year 2020, six out of 10 Houstonians will live within a mile and a half of their Bayou Greenway. The transformation of Houston is underway, and we’re living up to our name: Bayou City.
To find a Bayou Greenway near you, visit www.BayouGreenways.org.
Photos courtesy of Tiffany Norman.