Conservation & Animal Welfare Funders

The Kinder Foundation announces $100 million gift to Buffalo Bayou East

Written by Lindsay Tooker

Nancy and Rich Kinder shared Monday that they will contribute a $100 million catalyst gift to expand Buffalo Bayou Park eastward to East End and Fifth Ward.

This gift is part of the $310 million, 10-year master plan presented by Buffalo Bayou Partnership in 2019 to create walking and biking trails, parks, ball fields, entertainment venues, and affordable housing for East End and Fifth Ward neighborhoods, extending the Buffalo Bayou Park several miles to the east.

In addition to the Kinders’ gift, the project has received contributions from the city of Houston ($83.5 million), Harris County ($24 million), federal housing credits ($14 million), and $37 million raised by Buffalo Bayou Partnership.

The Kinders, who founded their Kinder Foundation in 1997, have heavily invested in Houston’s parks and green spaces. Of the $600 million they have given to Houston nonprofits over the last two and a half decades, more than $282 million has gone to park expansion and improvement.

They were among the original funders of Discovery Green, and have contributed to Buffalo Bayou Park, Memorial Park, Bayou Greenways, Hermann Park, Trees for Houston, Emancipation Park, Willow Waterhole, and more than 50 SPARK parks at Houston schools.

Buffalo Bayou East will focus on a section of the bayou and the land above it from Lockwood to Jensen Drive. Buffalo Bayou Partnership expects to break ground this month on an 80-unit affordable housing project, the first project in the Buffalo Bayou East expansion. 2023 will see work beginning on a pocket park at Japhet Creek, which will later be connected to an expanded Tony Marron Park. This expansion is scheduled for 2024 and will add significant amenities to Tony Marron Park including gardens, sports fields, nature play areas, a boat launch, a barbecue plaza for gatherings, picnic pavilions, space for a food truck court, and a new maintenance facility to support the new facilities.

Buffalo Bayou Partnership is the non-profit organization revitalizing and transforming Buffalo Bayou, Houston’s most significant natural resource. Since its beginning in 1986, the Buffalo Bayou Partnership has developed Sesquicentennial Park, Allen Landing’s wharf, Sabine Promenade, and Buffalo Bayou Park. publishes every week.
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About the author

Lindsay Tooker

Lindsay has worked professionally in the nonprofit world since 2006 in both programmatic and development roles. She graduated from Baylor University in 2009 with a BA in Communication, and has specialized in grant writing and fundraising communications for more than five years.
Lindsay is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Junior League.