For years, Waller Creek Greenbelt was an eye sore for our city. It was flooded over multiple times killing dozens of people, and was a haven for homeless people. However, plans are underway & it is undergoing a major transformation. It will soon be a much needed urban park and Austin gem!
What everyone knows
Waller Creek flows from North Austin, through the UT campus, along the eastern edge of downtown, and feeds into Lady Bird Lake, and is currently undergoing a transformation that will create a greenway of five connected parks, an amphitheater, hike & bike trails, suspension bridges & more. Renovations are scheduled to be completed in 2026.
What they don't tell you
The creek is named after Austin’s first mayor, Edwin Waller. He was one of the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence (from Mexico), and the designer of downtown Austin’s grid plan.
Do it like a local
A new city event called Creek Show launched last November on the Waller Creek greenbelt. The Waterloo Greenway Conservancy commissioned local artists to create site-specific, light-based art installations to help raise awareness about the ongoing transformation project. Creek Show delighted over 60,000 people with live music, an assortment of family-friendly activities. I am quite sure it will continue November 2020 and I highly recommend you check it out!
For the History Buffs
Picture an urban ecosystem with tree-lined hike & bike trails adjacent to a rolling creek where one can picnic on a Great Lawn that adjoins an ampitheater. A place where you can stroll across elevated promenades & suspension bridges, and enjoy gardens with wildflowers & native plants. An outdoor destination where families can enjoy playscapes, splash pads, and areas to grill. This is the new Waterloo Greenway (formerly known as Waterloo Creek Greenbelt).
This is the vision and plan of a public-private partnership between the City of Austin and the Waterloo Greenway Conservancy, that consist of three phases with a completion goal of 2026. This will be the most ambitious parks project the city has ever seen.
The project will incredibly have a connected chain of five parks spanning 37 acres, and each park will have its own theme: Waller Delta and Pontoon Bridge will hinge on "new connectivity”; Palm Park will provide "shaded respite”; The Narrows will exemplify "intensified urbanity”; The Refuge will offer an "immersive experience”; and, Waterloo Park will be a "vibrant gathering space."
Waterloo Park has been closed since 2011, and is expected to reopen the summer of 2020 and will be host to live music and a variety of programs like fitness classes, food tastings, and movies. In fact, one of its new features will be the Moody Amphitheater and an expansive lawn where sloping hills will provide seating for an audience of up to 5,000. Yet another awesome venue for “The Live Music Capital of the World”!
The Waller Creek project is a long overdue facelift. Redeveloping the public land along the creek has been a dream of Austin city planners since the 1970’s.
It’s a radical makeover for a creek that Austin has historically treated as a drainage ditch. As it stands now, is somewhat invisible in the city. Historically, Waller Creek has been a nuisance for the city. With its frequent flooding and large area of downtown Austin mostly untenable for developers and small businesses alike. Dozens of people drowned in Waller Creek and elsewhere throughout the city during two historic floods in 1915 and 1981.more deets here
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