A look at changes coming to Johnny Steele Dog Park at Buffalo Bayou Park

HOUSTON – Seven months after Hurricane Harvey dumped torrential amounts of rain on the Houston area, the city’s parks are still recovering from the big storm.

That includes one of the Inner Loop’s most popular spots for dogs and their owners.

The Johnny Steele Dog Park at Buffalo Bayou Park has been closed since it was inundated by floodwaters during Harvey. The entrances to both sides of the dog park—separated for large and small dogs—has been chained shut.

Trudi Smith, the director of public relations and events for the Buffalo Bayou Partnership told KPRC in a statement that the organization is planning to make some changes to the park.

“Hurricane Harvey caused (Buffalo Bayou Partnership) to take a serious look at the sustainability of the Johnny Steele Dog Park, and we worked with park’s designers at SWA to make some adjustments, “Smith wrote. “Work is now underway.”

Those changes include the removal of the pond within the section of the park for large dogs. Smith said the organization hopes to salvage the pond in the small dog park area, which she says is slightly more elevated.

Workers may also have to adjust the placement of the fencing that separates the large and small dog areas.

“By making modifications, we hope to create a space that dogs and their owners will continue to enjoy, and a site that our park staff can more easily maintain,” Smith wrote.

The Buffalo Bayou Partnership hopes to reopen the Johnny Steele Dog Park sometime during the summer of 2018.

Workers have already moved 30,000 cubic yards of silt from Buffalo Bayou Park, a product of major flooding along the bayou after Harvey.

“There is a very small layer of silt that will remain so as not to destroy the grass below. You will see that quite a bit of grass is popping up above the silt because of the beautiful spring weather we are having,” Smith added.

The partnership is still looking for volunteers who are interested in continuing the cleanup efforts at the park.

To apply to volunteer or to learn more about the cleanup projects underway along Buffalo Bayou, visit the Buffalo Bayou Partnership website.