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150-Ton Heritage Live Oak Finds A New Home in Waterloo Park

Thanks to a partnership between the State of Texas, the City of Austin, and Waterloo Greenway, a heritage live oak from the State Capitol Complex was relocated to Waterloo Park on February 24, 2019.

This feat was a giant leap in the development of a reimagined Waterloo Park, set to open in the summer of 2021. Funded by the Urban Forestry Grant, the four-story tree move was part of the implementation of the Texas Capitol Complex Master Plan. This tremendous effort exemplifies the value of the Greenway’s partnership with local and state government. The move involved many different departments relocating or removing signs, moving utilities, closing roads, and truly reflects the Greenways’ approach to getting this project done—as a team. Unique, collaborative partnership opportunities like these are at the core of making Waterloo Greenway possible.

“Waterloo Greenway is grateful for this opportunity to collaborate with the City of Austin and the State of Texas to preserve a majestic heritage oak. Families will be able to explore native flora and fauna in the park, enjoy the sounds of a healthy, flowing Waller Creek, and rest under the shade of this noble tree for generations to come,” commented Melanie Barnes, Secretary of the Waterloo Greenway Board of Directors.

The City of Austin and the Waterloo Greenway are engaged in a unique public-private partnership to create a revitalized chain of extraordinary urban parks around a restored Waller Creek. Healthy trees are integral to a thriving environmental ecosystem; they help mitigate flooding by stabilizing soil and provide much-needed shade for park users.

“Austin has a proud tradition of protecting and honoring our trees. They not only add beauty to our city, they also contribute tremendous benefits to our community by improving air quality, reducing energy costs, and sheltering us from the sun as we enjoy the outdoors,” noted Keith Mars, Division Manager for the Community Tree Preservation Division of the City of Austin’s Development Services Department.

Waterloo Park, located along Red River Street between 12th and 15th Streets, will be the first phase of the Waterloo Greenway to be completed. The 11-acre park features a great lawn, the Moody Amphitheater, over a mile and a half of trails, and a variety of garden and park spaces that reflect the landscapes of Austin and Central Texas.