HOUSTON – Buffalo Bayou Park is a popular place where people come to run, bike, sun bathe and check out the art displays.
But it has also become the go-to destination for Houston dog owners and their furry companions.
Dog owner Jeff Busby brings his pet every weekend to the open two-acre meadow, where the dog can run along the bayou without any fences restricting him.
“They love the bayou and they love swimming so we like to come here,” said Busby.
Julie Mosley doesn’t even own a dog, but comes with her dog-owning friends often.
“A great Dane, a labradoodle, a Chihuahua, a dog army,” said Mosley. “We’ve had so much. We’ve made dog friends, people friends, so it’s good,” said Mosley.
But starting Tuesday the fun will end. The area that’s become the unofficial dog park will undergo a $1.5 million in renovations to make it an official dog park. That means it will be closed off from the rest of Buffalo Bayou Park until the fall.
“Yeah we’re super bummed but I guess we’ll figure something out,” said Busby.
The park will get new ponds, shaded areas, a dog-washing area, additional parking for owners and new wrought-iron fencing, closing the area off from the rest of the park. Not everyone is excited about the upgrades, specifically the fencing.
“The owners who can trust their dogs, take them to the open ended parks. And the owner that can’t trust their dogs take them to the gated parks. More dog fights,” said dog owner Virag.
Other dog owners said they prefer the park the way it is because it has an “untouched country-feel” with open meadows for the dogs to run.
“So many come to this one and come together. That you know they’re gonna miss that camaraderie,” said Mosley.
This isn’t the first time the area has gotten a makeover. It’s part of a larger revitalization of the downtown Houston area.
“They’ve really cleaned up the banks and it was really trashy before,” said Mosley.
The new dog park will be part of the overall $58 million renovation to Buffalo Bayou Park that includes new trails, more lighting and biking and kayak rentals.
“We come out here about every weekend and we’re excited about at least the opportunity to have a real dog park,” said Busby.
“This one spot I’d like to keep the same but I’ve seen them revamp the rest for the better,” said Jaisinghani.
The renovations are a process that most dog lovers feel will be worth waiting for.