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Buffalo Bayou is the Backbone of Houston


A slow-moving river that flows gently for 52 miles, Buffalo Bayou was the site of Houston’s founding back in 1836. During your stay with Kozi Corporate Housing, there is a lot to enjoy in Houston outside of the comfort of your beautiful, fully-furnished apartment. Discover what Buffalo Bayou has to offer.

Despite the urban development of the area surrounding the main waterway, today Buffalo Bayou is a thriving ecosystem for native wildlife and vegetation. It is also a hotspot for recreation for those who love being active outdoors. Houston’s drainage via Buffalo Bayou is key to contending with the increasingly severe and more frequent heavy rainfall that has and is expected to continue plaguing Houston. The city has taken note of the waterways’ importance. However, it was not always this way.

The Buffalo Bayou watershed has major natural floodplains and plays a pivotal role in drainage of the City of Houston and broader Harris county. With the rapid growth of Houston’s population, thousands of people were placed within the river’s floodplains. Urban development meant permeable natural surfaces that could soak up rainwater were paved over for buildings, streets, and roads. This has resulted in increased runoff during heavy rainfall and increased severity of flood events. Pollution from runoff as well as dumping of untreated municipal sewage and other industrial sources of waste into the bayou led to toxic levels of contamination. The State of Texas sued Houston in 1976, which was the driving force of a $3-billion-dollar upgrade to the metropolitan sewer system. But that was just one part of a larger plan.

Public-private partnerships have helped drive vast sums of investment into protecting and improving Buffalo Bayou and its ecosystem. The Buffalo Bayou Partnership, a non-profit organization that supervises improvements to Buffalo Bayou between Shepherd Drive and extending east to the Turning Basin, was established in 1986. In 2002, the organization published the Buffalo Bayou and Beyond Master Plan. This document created a comprehensive framework for regional restoration and economic development around the bayou. Expected to take 20 years and $5.6 billion to fully implement, this master plan is aimed at revitalizing the waterways from an urban sewer into a rich and safely inhabitable natural space as well as into beautiful surrounding park space. Moreover, the master plan aims to revitalize and drive economic development in the City of Houston. On both fronts, the plan has already shown great results.

Beginning in summer 2012 and ending in 2015, a $58 million construction project led by Buffalo Bayou Partnership saw a 160-acre, 2.3-mile portion of the bayou undergo major enhancements. The river and banks were restored to a state reflecting the natural and more sustainable design of Mother Nature before urban development had changed the flow. The project sponsors also reintroduced native vegetation to the area. These improvements have helped ease flooding during heavy rainfall. The project also included additional amenities and new and repaved paths for recreation. Other non-profit organizations dedicated to protecting and improving the river and its ecosystem include Bayou Greenways and Bayou Preservation Association. These organizations, together with the City of Houston’s Parks and Recreation Department, the Harris County Flood Control District, and other institutions have transformed the area for the better.

The natural landscape and greenery of Buffalo Bayou is augmented by beautiful, built green space. The river is lined by 10 parks: Allen’s Landing, Buffalo Bayou Park, Memorial Park, Guadalupe Park, and Sam Houston Park, among others. The Sunset Coffee Building at Allen’s Landing, the site of Houston’s founding in 1836, is being renovated during 2016. The building will serve as a rental center for canoes, kayaks, and bicycles, in addition to offering event space for rent and a coffee shop. Buffalo Bayou Park is a great spot to hang out with friends and family, take your furry friend to a dog-friendly area, and play sports, including volleyball and Frisbee golf along the river banks. Memorial Park, which we featured in a previous article, is a hugely popular spot for those who love outdoor activity or simply want to relax in the sun. Along the banks of Buffalo Bayou, miles of paved paths make walking, running, and biking popular past times for Houstonians. Another popular activity on Buffalo Bayou are boat tours. There is perhaps no better way to experience the river and take in the changing landscape and cityscape of Houston than to feel the gentle flow from a boat, kayak, or canoe.

Buffalo Bayou is the backbone of Houston’s cityscape, an important part of its history, and a vital part of its future. It is now a haven for several dozen native species of flora and fauna. The public is now able to safely enjoy activities in and near the water. Be sure to enjoy it, too, during your stay with us.

Are you coming to Houston for a short-, medium-, or even longer-term stay? Whether you are coming into town for temporary assignment for work, or for some other reason, you deserve a comfortable place to rest your head. If you want a home-away-from-home experience, make Kozi Corporate Housing your provider of choice for fully-furnished apartments. We offer great standard features in all of our apartments, such as large-screen HDTV, secure high-speed wireless internet, in-unit washer and dryer, and much, much more. Our properties in Houston’s most desirable neighborhoods also offer great community amenities. We are here to help you make your booking, so contact us today!

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