Bayou Greenways Park

Bayou Greenways Park is a celebration of Houston’s relationship with its bayous. Known as the ‘Bayou City,’ Houston has a conflicted relationship with these waterways.


Minor Design

Practice Area


Houston Parks Board


The Challenge

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.

Project Vision

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.

Final stanza of the poem at the berm overlooking the skyline and bayou. The quiet, wooded hillside, unexpected skyline views and urban poetry stand in contrast to otherwise harsh surroundings.

Houston Parks Board

A poetry stanza integrated into a landscape of existing trees supplemented with native grasses, understory trees, and shrubs lining the way.

White Oak Studio

Poetry stanza

Minor Design

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.

The poem in stanzas as the viewer moves up the slope towards the final stanza on the berm features the eco poetry of Martha Serpas.

Minor Design

Etched map in concrete with the bayous of Houston as they wend their way to Galveston Bay. The disks indicate park locations on the bayou.

Minor Design

Gateway signage from the hike bike trail.

Minor Design

Rugged steel railings integrate donor recognition, displaying major contributor names on waterjet-cut steel panels.

White Oak Studio, Landscape Architect

Project Details
This project is a love letter to Houston’s bayous. Steel combines with poetry to tell the story of an urban area’s natural pulse, celebrating the uniqueness and grit of the city.
Juror 1
This trail signage is an outstanding and unexpected example of placemaking, using poetry set in beautiful, playful typography, carefully paced throughout the landscape.
Juror 2
This work is a beautiful celebration of Houston’s Bayous. The eco-poetry is beautifully integrated within the environment and unfolds as one walks through the trail.
Juror 3
Design Team

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)

Photo Credits

Minor Design
Houston Parks Board
White Oak Studio

Open Date

June 2022