Houston dogs and their human companions are drooling over plans to reinvent a popular makeshift dog park at Allen Parkway and Montrose Boulevard.
Work begins Monday to transform the two-acre grassy meadow into an "official" city dog park — all part of the ambitious $58 million renovation project to solidify Buffalo Bayou Park as one of the nation's top public spaces.
The new canine-friendly zone reopens this fall with $1.5 million in upgrades, such as:
- A decorative wrought-iron fence measuring at least four feet high
- Two dog ponds created along a shaded low-lying tributary and cleansed by a nearby wetland area
- Dedicated dog-washing centers
- New shading structures for those hot summer days
- Improved lighting
- Additional parking along the Allen Parkway frontage road
"We worked closely with dog lovers in the area to make sure this will be a great spot," Anne Olson, president of the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, tells CultureMap.
She says the area, once complete, will become an integral piece of Buffalo Bayou Park's network of destinations and amenities, including two visitor centers, boat rentals, hiking and biking trails, and multiple public art projects. The dog park also features heavily into plans to restore native landscapes along the bayou.
In the spring, a new-and-improved Eleanor Tinsley Park will open to the public along with the renovated Jane Gregory Garden just west of Henry Moore's Large Spindle sculpture. Later this year, construction starts on a children's nature playground and a new amphitheater, both situated near the Jamail Skate Park and the city's historic underground reservoir.
At the downtown portion of Buffalo Bayou Park, crews just launched a year-long restoration project on the Sunset Coffee building next to Allen's Landing.
The "unofficial" dog area at Allen Parkway will close starting Monday. The Buffalo Bayou Partnership will host a “Walk and Talk” at the site on Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. to discuss the upcoming changes.