Honoring a Longtime Conservationist

Sierra Club Recognizes Save Buffalo Bayou Founding President

Awards Dinner Saturday, Oct. 16, in Austin

Oct. 13, 2021

The Lone Star Chapter of The Sierra Club has recognized the founding president of Save Buffalo Bayou with the Evelyn R. Edens Award for river conservation.

For over fifty years Frank C. Smith Jr. has been active in river conservation efforts, among other work on behalf of the environment and public lands, as well as good design. He began working with Terry Hershey in 1966 to stop the Corps of Engineers from stripping and straightening Buffalo Bayou and covering it in concrete—as they have done to White Oak and Brays bayous, not to mention the many small creeks and streams that have received the same treatment from the Harris County Flood Control District.

Smith also worked to protect Armand Bayou and Memorial Park, among many other conservation projects. He was the leader of a group of people who founded Save Buffalo Bayou in 2014 to stop the Flood Control District from stripping, bulldozing, and rerouting Buffalo Bayou flowing past Memorial Park, one of the last forested stretches of the bayou accessible to the public.

The Edens award is one of several to be officially presented at a fundraising dinner in Austin Saturday, Oct. 16, at 6 p.m. Tickets to the event are still available both for in-person and virtual attendance.

Evelyn Edens was a Fort Worth area environmentalist who worked with others to create Save the Brazos as well as the annual Texas Meeting on the Outdoors. She served on the executive committee of the Lone Star Chapter. The award honors river conservation efforts of individuals and groups.

Other awards to be presented include:

Legislative Champion Award to Rep. Erin Zwiener and Sen. Sarah Eckhardt

Special Service Award to Danielle Belleny

Environmental Justice Award to Renee Roberson

Hal Suter Environmental Alliance Award to Delia Iris Gonzalez (CEER, Houston)

Hermann Rudenberg Award to Errol Summerlin (CAPE—The Coastal Alliance to Protect our Environment)

Chapter Service Award to Wendel Withrow (Dallas Sierra Club)

Ken Kramer Living Waters Award to Rachel Sanborn (San Marcos River Foundation)

Frank Smith photographed by Terry Hershey in the late 1960’s.

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