Buffalo Bayou Heritage

The National Park Service will hold a final public meeting tonight in La Porte, on a proposal to designate Buffalo Bayou a "National Heritage Area." Houston Public Radio's Jim Bell explains what this means.

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The National Park Service says a National Heritage Area is a place where natural, cultural, historic and scenic resources combine to form a nationally distinctive and unique landscape. Anne Olsen of the Buffalo Bayou Partnership says the bayou meets that definition, because if not for the bayou, Houston probably wouldn't even exist, and even if it did it wouldn't be the big prosperous world-class city it is today. She says Houston is where it is, and what it is, because of the bayou.

"Not only the history of the Allen brothers founding Houston, and everything that happened at the Battle of San Jacinto, but the very interesting history of the petrochemical industry, and the Port of Houston, where it is today."

Tonight's public meeting in La Porte is part of the feasibility study the National Park Service is required to do. The examiners want to know how the public views Buffalo Bayou, and how Heritage Area designation would help preserve its unique history. The meeting begins at 6:30 at La Porte City Hall on West Fairmont Parkway. Jim Bell, Houston Public Radio News.