Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Jack Morman and Buffalo Bayou Partnership are proud to announce the dedication of Buffalo Bend Nature Park to the late Yolanda Black Navarro. Family, friends, and community leaders filled the park on Tuesday, October 25th to celebrate the occasion honoring her and her service to Houston’s East End.
“She was such an incredible voice for our community. I can think of no one more deserving of this honor,” said Commissioner Morman.
Born in Houston, raised on Navigation Boulevard, Yolanda was a committed servant to the community. She received numerous accolades, including the Mayor's Lifetime Achievement Award, the Willie Velasquez Community Service Award, and the East End Chamber of Commerce Small Business Award. She was most known for providing assistance to thousands of inner city youth which included founding "Shoes for Kids", an event that provides shoes to low-income children. She also helped establish the Association for the Advancement of Mexican-Americans.
“Yolanda Black Navarro was bigger than life. She worked tirelessly for others,” said Port of Houston Chairman Janiece Longoria.
The Yolanda Black Navarro Buffalo Bend Nature Park is the first park in Harris County to be named after a Latina. Originally opened in February, the formerly abandoned industrial property was transformed into a 10-acre greenspace to include a half-mile jogging trail, wetland ponds, an overlook shelter, and native plants. The $2.8 million project was made possible by a collaborative effort between Harris County Precinct 2 and Buffalo Bayou Partnership, including grant funding from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
The County and City of Houston are already working together for park improvements. “In about a month or so, we’re going to have an additional two acres to incorporate into this park to make it an even better place,” announced Commissioner Morman.
In attendance of the dedication ceremony were Yolanda’s son, granddaughters, sisters, and many others who love her dearly. “My mother would be ecstatic to have such a beautiful park here in the East End,” said her son, Christian Navarro. “My mom liked to walk parks. She liked to go to parks to contemplate and to strategize and to also remember,” he continued. “This is a park where she would remember the good times. And I’d ask for all of you to do the same… remember the good times.”
In addition to unveiling the park’s new name, attendees spent the afternoon enjoying each other’s presence and exchanging memories of Yolanda over tacos and mariachi music. They also paid tribute to the beloved community servant by releasing dozens of her favorite creature into nature, the monarch butterfly.