Investing in Downtown Parks

Investing in Downtown parks – green oases for public life amid the high-rises – is increasingly critical as Downtown revitalizes, develops more densely, and becomes a real neighborhood. For inspiring ideas for how Austin's Downtown parks could contribute more to civic life, visit . (Chart lists immediate needs for all parks shown on map.) 
<br><a href=http://www.austinchronicle.com/issues/dispatch/2007-05-04/parks.jpg target=blank><b>View a larger map</b></a>
Investing in Downtown parks – green oases for public life amid the high-rises – is increasingly critical as Downtown revitalizes, develops more densely, and becomes a real neighborhood. For inspiring ideas for how Austin's Downtown parks could contribute more to civic life, visit . (Chart lists immediate needs for all parks shown on map.)
View a larger map

Turning underperforming parks into great outdoor people places requires both vision and cash. This PARD "wish list" documents current needs – all unfunded – in city parks Downtown, and along central Town Lake. Parkland-dedication fees from new Downtown condos and apartments could help fund the projects listed.


(Cost* and short-term needs: unfunded)

Historic Squares & Structures

Wooldridge Square: $500,000
Restore and improve square, Phase I

Republic Square: $250,000
Complete master-plan process; next phase of improvements

Brush Square: $300,000
Master plan to improve square, with O. Henry Museum and Dickinson House

Old Bakery & Emporium: $1.5 million
Restore historic structure


Creek Greenbelts: Trails & Parks

Shoal Creek

Pease Park: $1 million
1) Improve and stabilize trail near 15th Street/possible mitigation from disc golf
2) Improve lighting along Shoal Creek

Shoal Creek Trail: $1.5 million
1) Stabilize banks at Fifth Street
2) Close gap in trail near Fifth Street (acquire land or easements)

Austin Recreation Center: $500,000
Redevelop parkland for new uses after old ARC is demolished

Duncan Park: $700,000
Develop park amenities


Waller Creek (To complement Waller Creek Tunnel project)

Waterloo Park: $750,000
1) Master plan; consider new uses compatible with tunnel redevelopment; expand and update recreational amenities
2) Restore damaged segments of trail

Symphony Square: $300,000
Redevelop in order to reflect opportunities created by tunnel project

Waller Creek Trail: $6 million
1) Repair severe erosion on trail at Cesar Chavez & Red River (restore bank; stabilize banks along trail)
2) Explore appropriate lighting opportunities along the trail
3) Add trail heads to connect future development along Waller Creek

Palm Park: $900,000
1) Redevelop park – includes design and implementation
2) Feasibility study: Improve park along Waller Creek Trail


Town Lake Corridor: Trails & Parks

Town Lake Trail: $10 million
Complete continuous trail: Acquire waterfront easements and/or construct boardwalk

Animal Shelter Site: $1.5 million
1) Master-plan parkland for new uses (after animal shelter moves)
2) Construct new park facilities, as master-planned
Shoal Creek Outlet: $700,000
Develop as public park (restore building, park peninsula); connectivity with Seaholm

Zilker Park: $2 million
1) Barton Springs Pool: Master plan and implement improvements
2) Canoe Launch: Improve access
3) Barton Creek: bank restoration
4) Zilker Loop: Complete connection between Barton Creek Trail and Town Lake Trail

Town Lake Park (phase 3): $2 million
1) Add bridge for Town Lake Trail (over West Bouldin Creek)
2) Construct park between Riverside Drive and Town Lake (as master-planned)

Norwood House: $1 million
Restore historic house and park grounds


TOTAL: $31.4 million

* Note: Initial cost estimates are from preliminary PARD review. Further cost analyses needed.

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