Waterloo Park, the long-awaited first installment of Waterloo Greenway urban parks system, will open to the public with an all-day, family-friendly event on Saturday, Aug. 14 .
Then on Aug. 21 Grammy winner and Austinite Gary Clark Jr. will give the inaugural performance at the park’s 5,000-person-capacity Moody Amphitheater. Tickets will go on sale Friday, June 25. One hundred free tickets will be made available through a lottery system.
“This park will connect our community not only to the rich history of the land, but to one another, while creating a safe, inclusive space that supports a more equitable Austin,” Mayor Pro Tem Natasha Harper-Madison said in a statement.
The 11-acre park—which is bordered by East 15th, Red River, East 12th and Trinity streets—includes a spacious lawn, 1.5-mile hike-and-bike-trail and playgrounds in addition to the event venue.
The project broke ground in 2017 and is part of the 10-year, 35-acre Waterloo Greenway park system, which will run 1.5 miles along Waller Creek from 15th Street to Lady Bird Lake once completed.
Modeled on the High Line in New York City, Waterloo Greenway is the result of a public-private partnership between the city of Austin and the Waterloo Greenway Conservancy, a local nonprofit. Its estimated cost is $250 million, of which the city committed approximately $150 million.
The second phase will be an overhaul of the Creek Delta portion, which includes nine acres between Lady Bird Lake and Fourth Street. It is expected to be completed in 2023.
The last phase includes the middle section, between Fourth and 11th streets, as well as Palm Park, which abuts the Fairmont Austin hotel, and Pontoon Bridge, which spans Lady Bird Lake. It will be completed in 2026.
Waterloo Greenway is named after the city’s original moniker, Waterloo. It is also the name of a city in Belgium, combining “water” with the Flemish word “loo,” which means “sacred wood.”