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Heritage Live Oak Finds New Home in Waterloo Park

Posted Feb 21

Giant tree to be moved from the State Capitol Complex on Sunday, February 24

City of Austin Contact: Sylvia Arzola, Development Services Department, 512-974-6448, Sylvia.Arzola@austintexas.gov Waller Creek Conservancy Contact: Emily Ergas, Breakaway Public Relations, 512-761-4567, emily@breakaway-pr.com

Thanks to a partnership between the State of Texas, the City of Austin, and Waller Creek Conservancy, a heritage live oak from the State Capitol Complex will be relocated to Waterloo Park in downtown Austin this weekend.

Waterloo Park, which is currently under construction, will re-open to the public next year and will serve as an important anchor for the Waller Creek chain of parks.

In late 2017, the City of Austin and the Texas Facilities Commission entered into an interlocal agreement authorizing tree relocation as part of the implementation of the Texas Capitol Complex Master Plan. The project is funded by the State and the City of Austin’s Urban Forestry Grant.

On Sunday February 24, 2019, under the care of skilled arborists and professional large tree movers, the tree will be moved from its current location near the LBJ Office Building and be replanted at the park. In its new location adjacent to the children’s playscape, the 60’ wide canopy will provide significant shade for many future park visitors who will enjoy the play area. The tree has “Heritage” designation with a 39” diameter trunk and is approximately four stories tall. It represents a significant addition to the shade canopy in Waterloo Park.

“Waller Creek Conservancy 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 Waller Creek Conservancy Board of Directors.

The City of Austin and the Waller Creek Conservancy are engaged in a unique public-private partnership to create a revitalized chain of 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 Waller Creek parks project to be completed. It is designed to maximize the existing heritage tree canopy by locating trails, playscapes, gardens, and seating areas in and around beautiful shade trees. The 11-acre park features a great lawn and the Moody Amphitheater, over a mile and a half of trails, and a variety of garden and park spaces. The Waller Creek Conservancy will activate the park with diverse and inclusive programming, cultural events, and public art.