Discover Austin: Waterloo Park - Episode 103

Downtown Austin's largest greenspace is Waterloo Park. Recently reopened after a decade long project to help mitigate flood issues, Waterloo Park has a lot to offer.

If you'd prefer to read about Waterloo Park, the script can be found below the video.

Waterloo Park reopened in 2021 after about ten years of renovations as part of the Waller Creek project.  Covering about 11 acres, the park barely resembles what was here before.  Perhaps the most notable and prominent addition is Moody Amphitheatre, an outdoor venue for live entertainment.  It can accommodate over 5,000 for performances, some of which are free.

As you walk around the park, you encounter more than 500 live oaks and a host of native Texas plants.  Throughout the park are four heritage oak trees with two featured in one of the plazas.  There’s a mile and a half of trails throughout the park, including the Skywalk which is an elevated walkway.

Some areas of the park are designed as a rain garden meaning they are comprised of native shrubs, perennials, and flowers planted in a small depression.  They temporarily hold and soak in rain water runoff to lessen the impact of heavy rains that are so prevalent in our area.

There is a playground in the Family Pavilion that features a slide, maze, and climbing structure.

Waterloo Park hosts a variety of rotating events all year round.  Check the website for the current list, but it’s likely to include a host of exercise classes, children’s workshops, and educational programs.

The park is bounded by Red River, Trinity, 12th, and 15th Streets.  It’s the north end of Waterloo Greenway which is a 1.5 mile stretch along Waller Creek from 15th Street to Lady Bird Lake.  While Waterloo Park is complete, the entire greenway won’t be finished until 2026.

Waterloo Park originally opened in 1975 and is a nod to Austin’s first name.  During its time, it hosted many musical events and festivals.  However, because of the major flooding that often occurred along Waller Creek, the park closed in 2011 as part of the Waller Tunnel project.  The tunnel now runs under the creek for about a mile handling a massive amount of water when it rains, therefore preventing the major flooding of years past.  The entry to the tunnel is within the park.

So whether you’re coming down for a concert, a class, or to take a stroll, Waterloo Park is a great downtown oasis.

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