Dog Days Ahead

First look: Hotly anticipated Buffalo Bayou dog park offers lots of pooch-friendly amenities

First look: New Buffalo Bayou dog park offers pooch-friendly amenities

Animal lovers rejoice: Houston's newest dog park, located in Buffalo Bayou Park, is opening this weekend and it's going to blow you away.

The Johnny Steele Dog Park features a number pooch-friendly amenities you certainly won't find at your local park. The two-acre space at the corner of Montrose and Allen Parkway features dog washing stations, fenced-off ponds — one for small dogs and another for larger ones — and even shaded structures for owners to keep cool while watching their four-legged friends play.

Nearly 20 new parking spaces have been added along the Allen Parkway frontage road, and since the park is open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. (following the Jan. 17 opening), the area features new lighting as well.

 The park's grand opening celebration — free and open to the public — will take place on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m.  

The park's grand opening celebration — free and open to the public — will take place on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. Family — and animal — friendly activities like a dog "kissing booth," a pup and owner look-alike contest, pet food samples, a dog lounge area, on-site pet adoptions and prize giveaways. 

Named in honor of Johnny Steele, a well-known Houston landscape architect, by a group of thoughtful donors, the $1.5 million park is just one of four major destinations to be completed by Buffalo Bayou Partnership as part of the $58 million renovation to the 160-acre Buffalo Bayou Park.

Under renovation since July 2013, improvements will include new trails, pedestrian bridges, additions to Eleanor Tinsley Park, improved lighting, amenities such as kayak and bike rentals, as well as general improvements to the landscape and new destinations like The Water Works, Lost Lake and the Nature Play Area. 

"The completion of the dog park is a major milestone in the improvements to Buffalo Bayou Park and an indicator that we are in the homestretch of overall park completion by the summer," said Anne Olson, president of the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, in a press release.

"It has been exciting to see the transformation of the park and also the spur in residential and commercial development in the area which we believe is a reflection of the desire for, and interest in, quality of life amenities."

Watch the video above to get a close-up view of the new dog park.

Johnny Steele Dog Park Jan 2015
Along with several water features, the new park features 2 acres of land, perfect for doggies to frolic in the grass. Photo by Joel Luks