On Wednesday, September 20, Waller Creek Conservancy, in partnership with the City of Austin, celebrated the official groundbreaking of the Waller Creek project at Waterloo Park.
The Waller Creek project is a chain of urban parks around a restored Waller Creek in downtown Austin, running one-and-a-half miles from Lady Bird Lake to 15th Street between Trinity Street and IH-35. When complete, the Waller Creek project will include 37 acres of newly designed and connected urban parks.
dwg. is proud to be serving as the local landscape architect on this transformative project.
“As our city continues to grow and thrive, we must ensure that our beloved green spaces do the same,” said Mayor Steve Adler. “The Waller Creek project will create a world-class green space that will be the legacy we leave for future generations to enjoy.”
The Waller Creek project will connect more than three miles of new bicycle and pedestrian trails, house engaging art, host musical and cultural performances, and provide educational community programming.
“Today in Austin, there is constant dialogue about change – the good, the bad and the ugly. Waller Creek is a project that has an opportunity to bring all sectors of the community together in meaningful ways that will honor our shared histories and ensure that inclusivity is an essential ingredient for this public space in the future,” Council Member Ora Houston added.
Embedded in the foundation of this project is a commitment to building community, and the groundbreaking ceremony reflected that spirit. All attendees participated in a dedication ceremony, planting seeds that will be taken to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, a vital partner in the project, to be utilized in their youth education program.
Melanie Barnes, secretary and co-founder for WCC Board, said, “Since the earliest days of the design competition, we have prioritized nature, culture and community in our vision for Waller Creek’s future. This project is about revealing and restoring a unique, beautiful landscape. We look to strengthen the Austin community by connecting us more closely to the environment and to each other.”
The parks are designed to accommodate the wide variety of ways Austinites use outdoor spaces and to promote connections between the diverse groups of people who find common ground in their affection for and use of free, public parks.
The total project cost is estimated to be $230M. The project will be completed in phases with the first phase being Waterloo Park. Waterloo Park is estimated to cost $64M and is expected to open to the public in late 2019.
Upon completion, the Waller Creek project will serve as an outdoor gathering place for all of Austin. The chain of parks, connected by bicycle and pedestrian trails, will host community events, musical and cultural performances and more.
The design for Waterloo Park is centered around a great lawn and outdoor amphitheater designed by Thomas Phifer and Partners. It will also feature a variety of other garden and park spaces at different scales, including a Hill Country garden, an elevated promenade, water features, meditative spaces and children’s play spaces. The Waller Creek Conservancy will activate Waterloo Park with diverse and inclusive programming, cultural events and public art.