The future of Austin’s iconic environmental and cultural project has officially been unveiled.
This evening, Waller Creek Conservancy publicly introduced the future of its organization and announced for the first time the name of its signature project: Waterloo Greenway. The organization hosted a launch event to commemorate this milestone; attendees were the first to see the new brand identity, which will represent both the place itself and the organization.
The project, which has been variously referred to as Waller Creek Park or the Waller Creek Chain of Parks in the past, includes a significant environmental restoration of lower Waller Creek, a connected bike and pedestrian trail network, the re-imagining of existing city parkland including Palm Park and Waterloo Park, as well as the opportunity to add new green space to downtown Austin.
Mayor Steve Adler, Council Member Kathie Tovo, and Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison joined Waterloo Greenway CEO Peter Mullan and Board Chair Melba Whatley for a special evening to celebrate with community members, elected officials, City of Austin leadership, partners, and donors. Guests got to experience the new brand and hear a sneak peek of the City’s proclamation, which declared August 22 as Waterloo Greenway Day, and will be observed at tomorrow’s City Council Meeting.
“This organization was established by a shared calling – to create a connected, inclusive, and vibrant park system that would connect people to not only nature, but to one another,” said Peter Mullan. “This is a major turning point for us. Up until now, our vision was aspirational; it was a concept, a collection of places and ideas, and it lacked a name to unify it. Now, it is tangible – something we can live, feel, and experience together. This new name recognizes the evolution from an ambitious idea to a wondrous destination that will be beloved by all Austinites.”
Waterloo Greenway’s brand identity was designed by Bruce Mau Design, whose process was informed from beginning to end by stakeholder engagement. The park system itself is a combination of both existing parks and new spaces so it was important that it’s name be a nod to the past, and also forward-looking. Waterloo Greenway honors history, restores nature, and celebrates people.
“Our goal in creating this new identity was to embody the vibrancy of the local community, the playfulness of the park’s energy, and the diversity of experiences that will be shared here,” said Tom Keogh, Managing Director of Bruce Mau Design. “It’s an honor to work on a project that will profoundly impact a city as thriving and evolving as Austin. Our hope is that those who interact with Waterloo Greenway will feel inspired by the unexpected mix of natural and cultural delights found amidst a bustling urban setting.”
For so many who have been working with Waller Creek since the conservancy’s founding in 2010, they know one thing to be true. It is a legacy project – one that will stand for all time and for the benefit of all.
“For years, Waller Creek Conservancy has been both friend and partner to this city, adding magic to public areas and making art of outdoor spaces. Waterloo Greenway is the latest such gem,” said Mayor Adler, on behalf of the City of Austin. “This park and what it represents, extends far beyond you and me. It is timeless – a legacy that will endure for our children and our children’s children. What Central Park is for New York City, Waterloo Greenway will be for Austin. Because of this project, Austin will be smarter, greener, healthier, more creative, more connected, and more equitable.”
Waller Creek Conservancy and the City of Austin have worked collaboratively over the past decade and their work has become a model for truly successful public-private partnership. Numerous city departments contribute to this cross-disciplinary project including sponsoring departments: Watershed Protection and Parks & Recreation. The effort enjoys the support of many Council Members and city staff; a large section of the park lies in the district of Council Member Tovo, who has been a dedicated advocate for the project.
“This beautiful parkland will help unify our city and become a shining example of why Austin is wonderful,” said Council Member Tovo. “It falls to every single one of us to be good stewards of our natural environment. Together, we can make an incredible impact locally – and one that future generations will be able to enjoy.”
The project broke ground in 2017 and Waterloo Park, the first phase of construction, will open in spring 2021. The park system and the organization will share the name Waterloo Greenway. The legal name of the organization, Waterloo Greenway Conservancy, will only be used in formal communications.
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ABOUT WATERLOO GREENWAY
Waterloo Greenway is a 1.5-mile park system with the power to bring the entire Austin community together.
Once complete, the 35 acres of connected green space – meandering along downtown’s eastern edge from Lady Bird Lake to 15th St. – will be home to a wild array of natural and cultural destinations. Amid epic gardens and rolling pathways, and a twinkling Waller Creek that links them, the environment, arts, health, and adventure will converge — and nourish authentic and uplifting experiences that reflect our city’s diversity.
A significant public-private partnership between the City of Austin and Waterloo Greenway Conservancy, this park is being planned, designed, and built in a series of geographic milestones. Phase 1: Waterloo Park, including the Moody Amphitheater, will open in 2021.
ABOUT WATERLOO GREENWAY CONSERVANCY
The Waterloo Greenway Conservancy is a non-profit organization whose mission is to create and maintain an extraordinary urban park system and a restored Waller Creek, in partnership with the City of Austin, for the benefit of all. The Conservancy renews the natural environment, promotes play, health and wellness, economic vitality and mobility, and engages the community through outreach, education, cultural events, and the arts.