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Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza Park in Houston: Birdwatcher's Paradise!

I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).

Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza Park in Houston

Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza Park in Houston

Houston Park

Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza Park is a birdwatching paradise, but it is also much more! This 362.5-acre park located at 4025 Eldridge Pkwy., Houston, Texas 77082 has miles of paved trails encircling large detention ponds. In those ponds and wetland areas are islands. Many migratory birds come there, plus resident birds who seem to like this particular area on a year-round basis.

My husband and I enjoyed many views of the park as well as watching the fun that people seemed to be having. Everyone seemed to be very polite, and this is a family-oriented park.

Exercise stations are in various areas in the park for those who wish to do more than hiking, biking, and the like.

It is not often that a religious person is honored by having a public park bear their name. Archbishop Fiorenza was born in Beaumont, Texas, but has spent most of his secular life serving people in our local Houston and Galveston communities. You can read much more about his commitment to social justice and interfaith initiatives, plus other involvements in the link at the bottom of this page.

One of Few Hills in Houston

The topography of Houston is pretty flat, so the hills are few. The dredging out of some retention ponds near Brays Bayou is undoubtedly responsible for creating this large hill. At least, that would be my educated guess.

We have always parked near Highway 6 entrance to the park. The hill is one of the largest in Houston, even surpassing the one in Spotts Park, which is closer to downtown Houston. A paved path circles round and round, leading up to the top of the hill. Of course, people wishing to exercise their legs even more strenuously jog up and down the hill bypassing the paved pathway.

Views From the Top

There are picnic tables and a swing at the top of the hill. The pathway continues in a circular fashion going back down the hill. The views are different from all angles. You can tell from the color of the grass and trees that we have visited this park on several occasions.

Notice that golden dome in the photo below? Using the zoom lens on my camera, I took this image of the Chong Hua Sheng Mu Holy Palace. Those buildings in the distance show the Galleria. The Williams Tower is the tallest one. Many tourists flock to the Galleria and also enjoy visiting the Williams Water Wall.

View of Chong Hua Sheng Mu Holy Palace & Distant Galleria Buildings from Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza Park

View of Chong Hua Sheng Mu Holy Palace & Distant Galleria Buildings from Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza Park

Park Trail

After walking to the top of the hill and back down, we followed the trail taking us to the other end of the park adjacent to Eldridge. On the path, my photos show some of the scenery we viewed on the way.

In the distance is the Galleria. The Williams Tower is the tallest building in the Galleria area of town. Many tourists flock to the Galleria and like to visit the nearby Williams Water Wall.

There is much avian wildlife to see along the way!

Neotropic cormorants were fishing near a bridge where we have always seen people trying to catch fish. According to a posted sign, there must be an abundance of catfish and crappie in these waters.

Park Playground

Right off the Eldridge Parkway is another parking lot, and the children's playground is there. It seems to be well utilized each time we have visited this part of the park. Restrooms and a water fountain are on site in this location.

It is the child in man that is the source of his uniqueness and creativeness, and the playground is the optimal milieu for the unfolding of his capacities and talents.

— Eric Hoffer

So Many Birds!

What delighted me most (in addition to the fresh air and exercise) was getting to view the numerous birds there. There seems always to be an abundance of them.

Ornithologists who scientifically study birds, plus birders who create lists of ones they like to identify in certain areas and times of the year, would like to visit this park.

There were also ducks and seagulls in abundance. Every time we have visited this park, I spot different birds. I have seen plenty of brown pelicans but had never noticed the American white pelicans before visiting here. It is genuinely a birdwatcher's paradise in Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza park!

“There are approximately ten thousand species of birds on the planet and no single individual has seen them all.”

— Bernd Brunner

The drone video below shows this park from the Eldridge point of view.

“Bird watching is now North America's second most popular outdoor activity (second only to gardening).”

— Bernd Brunner


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Peggy Woods


Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 08, 2020:

Hi Aurelio,

This park offers people so much to do, and the birdwatching is particularly nice. I have never personally seen so many American white pelicans in one location. They seem to like it there.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on November 08, 2020:

Love the trail through this park and the birds. I think the pelicans are especially comical.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 27, 2020:

Hi Liz,

As I am moving my articles to this site, I am enjoying seeing all the photos and memories of being there as well. Wishing you well!

Liz Westwood from UK on March 27, 2020:

This sounds like a great public space. I really appreciate your well-illustrated articles like this, which are a distraction from the current health crisis.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 26, 2020:

Hi Bill,

I wondered the same thing when I first became aware of this park.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 26, 2020:

A park named after an archbishop??? What happened to mixing politics with religion, and separation of church and state? Not that I mind, but this is pretty unusual.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 26, 2020:

Hi FlourishAnyway,

For people interested in learning about birds, this is definitely a park they would wish to visit. Thanks for your visit and comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 25, 2020:

Hi Ruby,

Knowing how you love watching and feeding birds, you would absolutely love this park!

FlourishAnyway from USA on March 25, 2020:

How beautiful! I would love to have something like this in my area. We have hilly terrain here and it’s not always easy to navigate with strollers, wagons, or if you have medical limitations. I hope people take advantage of the many types of birds there are there and learn their names and a little about them. Seems like bird spotting would be a good family activity.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on March 25, 2020:

I don't remember if I told you or not, but I'm an avid bird watcher and feeder. The birds are my favorite in this beautiful park. Houston has much to be proud of. Your photos are really good. Thanks again for sharing a part of your hometown.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 25, 2020:

Hi Manatita,

This park is truly a bird lover's paradise. It is always full of many different types of birds that like water.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 25, 2020:

Hi Pamela,

The Houston metro area has more parks than the majority of U.S. cities, which is great for those of us who call this area home. Happy to be able to show you some photos and information about them.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 25, 2020:

Hi Kyler,

We have a great number of bayous that run through our city and feed some of the lakes. The water flows in and out and eventually empties into the Gulf of Mexico.

manatita44 from london on March 25, 2020:

I like viewing birds and the whole scenery would be like a poet's paradise for me. So breathtakingly beautiful! A cute and elegant Pelican on the water. A lot of land!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 25, 2020:

This is another beautiful park, Peggy. Houston has so many lovely parks. This one is especially nice for the whole family as they have a playground for childre and many birds to watch for mom or dad. Thanks, Peggy for another beautiful view of a part of Houston.

Kyler J Falk from California on March 25, 2020:

What feeds it and where does it drain in to?

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 25, 2020:

Hi Kyler,

Yes, people can eat the fish that they catch within allowable limits. The water here is not stagnant.

Kyler J Falk from California on March 25, 2020:

Looks like a wonderful place to bring the kids! Is it a catch and release lake or do people eat the fish they catch? I often worry about eating fish from smaller, stagnant lakes.

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