Nearly 100 volunteers clean up trash, debris on Buffalo Bayou months after Harvey

HOUSTON — Several stretches of Buffalo Bayou are still in dire need of a makeover nearly three months after Hurricane Harvey flooded the trails with water, muck and debris. Dozens of volunteers from HPE and Baker Hughes spent Wednesday afternoon cleaning up one of the city's most beloved outdoor parks. 

"Park benches were covered in sand. It's come a long way. And the smell is better," said volunteer Joshua Gumtow.

On any given day, the park is packed with runners, dog-walkers and families. The hope is to get those crowds back into full-swing.

"We'll come out here training for the Houston Marathon. That's in January so the sooner it's available, the sooner we can run all the trails again," Gumtow said.

Anne Olson, President of the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, said thousands of volunteers have already dedicated hours of their time to the cleanup, but the process is far from over.

"We've been focused on removing the large amounts of sediment that's all over the park, as well as trimming up trees, picking up trash and debris; but silt removal has really been our priority. It's hard to say exactly how long it'll take but it could be late spring or early summer," Olson said.

Olson said the cost of the silt removal alone could cost anywhere from $500,000 to $1 million or more.

"We feel really confident that we can bring Buffalo Bayou back to the beauty that it had before and we're working very, very diligently to do that," Olson said.

Olson adds that they have not begin addressing the cleanup for Johnny Steele Dog Park, which has been closed until further notice. The dog park could apparently see some redesigns after its renovations.

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