Support Save Buffalo Bayou
What Would Be Lost. What We Could Gain.
October 24, 2016
See this beautiful stretch of Buffalo Bayou? They were going to raze it and fill it in. They still might. And dredge and reroute the bayou, tearing down the trees. For no good reason.
We are saving it. Against great odds. But we urgently need your help. Please donate now to Save Buffalo Bayou. It’s tax-deductible.
See this lovely sandy meander? They want to cut down the trees, bring in heavy equipment, level it and fill it all in. That’s our public Memorial Park. It’s a historic nature area. Note the high Pleistocene (very old) cliffs on the far right. They would be leveled too.
Checks can be made out to Save Buffalo Bayou and sent to 4121 Mandell # 3, Houston 77006.
Or just click on our easy-peasy Donate button. Note that PayPal deducts 2.9 percent for donations.
Look at this amazing stretch of our 18,000-year-old Buffalo Bayou flowing through the middle of Houston, past ancient high cliffs and sandstone formations, home to beaver and otters and more.
City and county officials want to spend millions in taxpayer money to rip out the trees and vegetation and destroy the ecosystem. And not just on Buffalo Bayou. They do that and will continue to do that on all our streams.
We think there’s a smarter, cheaper way.
Did you know that the trees and vegetation on the banks clean the water better than sewage treatment plants?
Everything they are doing violates best management practices. Floodplain management around the world has moved on. Let’s move with it.
Please support Save Buffalo Bayou with a tax-deductible gift now. We stand for the environment and the intelligent use of public funds. Stand with us.
We’re for sensible, green flood control measures that work and last. Let’s stop with the costly, destructive, outdated engineering projects that need constant repair.
Let’s work with nature, not against it.
Donate now. We’ll send you a colorful Save Buffalo Bayou bumper sticker.
Donate more than $150, and we’ll send you a handsome cotton t-shirt with our yellow-crowned night heron logo designed by Frank X. Tolbert 2.
Frank Smith, Conservationist
A Lifetime of Achievement and Service, Flying, Sailing, Driving with the Top Down
Update April 7, 2023
Frank Smith has finally escaped this earth. He passed away peacefully at his home in Houston on Thursday, April 6. He was 101.
“Just say ‘Frank Smith croaked,’” he joked to his wife of 42 years, Katherine Bel Fay Sadler Smith.
In 2021 the Lone Star chapter of the Sierra Club recognized Smith’s lifetime of environmental activism with the Evelyn R. Edens award for river conservation.
October 16, 2016
The year was 1933. Frank Smith was twelve years old and he had just climbed to the 14,255-foot summit of Long’s Peak while at Camp Audubon in Colorado.
It’s an achievement that still makes him proud. But more importantly, being in the snow-capped Colorado mountains changed the perspective of a young boy born and raised in a flat, humid city, albeit in one of the leafiest, most privileged neighborhoods in Houston.
“They made us pay attention to the flowers and the trees, and study and identify the mammals,” he recalls of his summers at Camp Audubon. “It was the first time my attention was directed toward natural things.” He had learned “a lot of other things,” he says. “But I had never been taught anything about the natural world.”
Those fortunate summers in the Rocky Mountain high forest wilderness during the Great Depression set Smith on a remarkable path of conservation and environmentalism. He read the books of John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club in 1892, including The Mountains of California. That path would lead Smith to found and lead numerous organizations, most recently Save Buffalo Bayou, that have helped protect and preserve bayous and streams, including Buffalo and Armand bayous, Galveston Bay and its estuaries, and create public park lands around the state of Texas. He would work with virtually all of the region’s prominent conservationists, all of them becoming close personal friends. Some of them had been friends since childhood.
But first he would have to grow up, join the Navy, establish several engineering businesses, invent some things, and meet Terry Hershey.
Buffalo Bayou Flooding: A Historical Perspective
Free Public Lecture Tuesday, Oct. 11
Oct. 7, 2016
Louis Aulbach, author of the definitive guide to Buffalo Bayou, will speak on Tuesday, Oct. 11, on the history of flooding in Buffalo Bayou. The free lecture is from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Houston Maritime Museum, 2204 Dorrington St.
Aulbach’s book is titled Buffalo Bayou, An Echo of Houston’s Wilderness Beginnings.
Registration is required. For more information, go here.
New Aerial Photos
Flying Downstream, One Year Later
October 3, 2016
Photographer Jim Olive has gone up in the sky again to photograph Buffalo Bayou in the area targeted for destruction by the proposed Memorial Park Demonstration Project. So we’ve updated our photo page with a few of Jim’s beautiful new photos. We’ll add more as they become available.
These new photos were taken on Sept. 29, 2016, almost a year to the day after Jim last flew over the bayou with his cameras on Oct. 2, 2015.
Watch a slideshow of the new and old photos here, including an overhead shot of the recent destruction of the riparian garden planted by the bayou during flooding at the boat launch in Memorial Park at Woodway. Planting the proper succession of native sedges, rushes, grasses, etc. to anchor and transform the bare sediment is what’s supposed to happen during flooding. Nature knows!