March Update: West Austin Park
Over the past several months the West Austin Park fundraising committee has spent a lot of time getting ready to prepare for submitting a grant application to the Austin Parks Foundation. This has involved meetings with various city departments: parks and recreation, public works and watershed to determine what needs to be done to make our Park more accessible to our neighbors and their families.
The biggest stumbling block to initiating any improvements and changes to the park is the drainage or the lack thereof. When it rains, the water pours throughout the park making it uninhabitable, cutting off access and not just during the rain but up to several days afterwards. In addition, there are numerous springs throughout the park which contribute to the flooding.
In order for any other structures to go up in the park, we have to fix the drainage or at least alleviate and slow it in some areas. The City wastewater department came up with a number of solutions for the park and submitted to us a design of a series of strategically situated rain gardens and berms to help slow down and absorb some of the water. Rain gardens will also add color to the park and provide gardening experiences for children and adults.
In addition, a Friends of West Austin Park Facebook page has been created. We encourage you to visit and share it with friends and neighbors throughout the city. If you wish to contribute to the Facebook page contact Rosemary Merriam at email@example.com.
We’ve partnered with Austin Parks Foundation to accept donations online:
Fundraising Efforts for West Austin Park
Fundraising for West Austin Park has begun in earnest this summer. An informal group formed by a few OWANA neighbors has started holding monthly meetings at Cover 3 on West Sixth Street. Additional interested OWANA members have joined the group to help generate ideas, to make community contacts, and organize fundraising efforts. Folks have met three times as of this date.
The group is working from the Master Plan that was developed for the West Austin Park in 2010 by TBG Planning Firm in cooperation with neighborhood volunteers including Marion Cimbala, Joey Kazzoun, and Marjorie Moore. The plan was adopted by City Council in 2010.
The fundraising group has decided to focus on a number of much needed improvements for the park. A number of neighbors have asked about adding play structures for older kids, seven and up. There are also numerous drainage issues and the ADA path that need to be fixed, the construction of a shade structure adjacent to the play area and other fixes too numerous to go into at this time.
A member of the group has already spoken with a representative from the Austin Parks Foundation about applying for funds through their grants program and another committee member attended a session on grant writing to apply for these grants. Laura Bryant, Design Workshop, is working on updating estimates for park improvements.
Selling yard signs with a park logo showing support for the park is being considered as an initial fundraising idea. Another possibility is holding an event with a silent auction at Café Josie.
Please come to the next General Membership Meeting on September 6th with ideas and suggestions!
We’ve also partnered with Austin Parks Foundation to accept donations online:
- OWANA Response to Aquatic Master Plan - In response to the release of the final draft of the Austin Aquatic Master Plan, the OWANA Steering Committee sent a letter to the Mayor and City Council more →
- Statesman: Proposed Lamar Beach master plan would remake gateway to downtown - Read article on Statesman website. (Subscription required.)