Kinder Foundation Commits $50 Million to Houston Parks

Kinder Foundation Commits $50 Million to Houston Parks

The Houston Parks Board has announced a $50 million commitment from the Kinder Foundation in support of the Bayou Greenways 2020 project.

A public-private partnership, Bayou Greenways 2020 aims to create fifteen hundred acres of new and equitably distributed parkland and ultimately will connect a hundred and fifty miles of trails along nine Houston bayous. The City of Houston will contribute $100 million for the project, while HPB hopes to raise $115 million in matching funds. In addition to the commitment from the Kinder Foundation, the Wortham, Fondren, and Brown foundations; the Houston Endowment; multiple federal agencies; and individual donors have pledged a total of $21 million for the project.

Project segments will be announced in phases, with work on the first segments expected to begin by the end of 2014 and all construction to be completed by 2020. According to HPB, once Bayou Greenways 2020 is complete, Houston will have the largest off-street shared-use path system in the United States. "Bayou Greenways 2020 will complete the one-hundred-year-old vision of city planner Arthur Comey and many like-minded leaders who saw the potential benefits of integrating Houston's waterways into our recreational system," said Houston mayor Annise Parker.

"Creating and preserving parks and greenspace is one of the most important investments we can make in improving the quality of life for all Houstonians. These parks and trails will be enjoyed for generations," said Kinder Foundation president Nancy Kinder, who with her husband Richard are signatories of the Giving Pledge. "As a foundation, we were inspired by the vision of Bayou Greenways 2020 but also by the strong leadership of Mayor Annise Parker and City Council and the dedicated governance of the Houston Parks Board."