Dog park and tours return to Buffalo Bayou Park this week

HOUSTON, TX (KTRK) -- Buffalo Bayou Partnership reopened the Johnny Steele Dog Park on Monday as they begin reinstating amenities and tours at Buffalo Bayou Park.

"Today is a big day for the park," said Heather Hinzie of Buffalo Bayou Partnership. "We are reopening some of our visitor features."

The Water Works Visitor Center on Sabine St. will also reopen today to assist people who have any questions about the park. In addition to today's reinstatements, the Buffalo Bayou Partnership will resume two of its tours beginning Wednesday.

"On June 3 we will be restarting boat tours and Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern tours," Hinzie said.

The Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern was built in 1926 and once contained all of the drinking water for the City of Houston. Previously, tours consisted of 30 people, but that number will be substantially smaller beginning Wednesday.

"We are allowing 10 people to come in," said Hinzie. "We're going to still do the guided tour - just allowing more space, requiring face masks and using amplified sound to help the guides."

In terms of boat tours, Buffalo Bayou Partnership usually provides public and private tours via pontoon boat. The public tours are on hold, but private tours will resume Wednesday.

"The private boat tours are for up to 10 people and you can bring food and drink," stated Hinzie. "We are really only allowing people who are in the same group. We're hoping they all quarantined together and this is just a way for them to get out and enjoy themselves on an hour-and-a-half boat ride."

Both tours require reservations, which can me made at BuffaloBayou.org.

There are elements of Buffalo Bayou Park that will remain closed indefinitely. That includes various park programming, the Lost Lake Visitor Center, Barbara Fish Daniel Nature Play Area, and the volleyball courts. Restrooms are closed, but portable toilets are available.

"We are really trying to start small before we take it to phase two," Hinzie said.
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