The Houston Parks Board launched Bayou Greenways 2020, a project to transform these flood-prone sluggish streams into 167 miles of parks and pathways. The interconnected web along the city’s waterways provides green connectivity within 1.5 miles of 1.5 million Houstonians.
Bayou Greenways Park opened in 2021 as the capstone project to highlight the greenway system and honor hundreds of contributors. Bounded by a freeway and a concrete-lined bayou, the park inserts nature and poetry into the city. Reclaimed from an overgrown spoil pile, this unique park offers a green respite to trail users and nearby residents.
Design + Execution
The lynchpin of the park is the ecopoetry commissioned by local poet Martha Serpas to heighten awareness and encourage deeper reflection of the surroundings. As a native of the gulf coast region concerned with environmental issues, her poem is specific to the site. The poetry is incrementally revealed, each stanza presented in expressive laser-cut galvanized steel typography— with the final stanza at the hilltop plaza. This promontory reveals stunning skyline views, a new perspective on an urban freeway, and tree-lined views of the bayou. The mission was achieved to create an aspirational moment to reflect on the city and bayou system from a pinnacle in Houston.
Cheryl Beckett (designer)
Craig Minor (principal in charge)
White Oak Studio (landscape architecture)
J.E.F. Fabrication, Inc. (steel fabrication)
Landscape Art (concrete map fabrication)
Graphtec (digital fabrication)
RPS (civil, structural)
Tolunday-Wong Engineers (geotechnical engineer)
Windrose (land surveyor)
Houston Parks Board
White Oak Studio