The Austin Parks and Recreation Department is working closely with the Alliance Children's Garden design team in refining the construction documents to address comments received through the permitting review process, and through an internal review with the Parks Maintenance staff. The team presented the project at a Design Commission Meeting held on October 22, 2018 and will share the project at a Planning Commission Meeting scheduled for January 22, 2019. The design team anticipates receiving the site development permit by the end of January 2019 with construction beginning in February 2019. Construction is anticipated through the fall of 2019.
Background and Design
In November of 1998, Austin voters approved a motor vehicle rental tax (Town Lake Venue Fund) to fund the development of the Palmer Events Center venue, parking facilities, and related parkland within Michael Butler Park. The development of Butler Park and Auditorium Shores within Town Lake Metropolitan Park has been an ongoing effort since the completion of the original park Master Plan in 1999. The Alliance Children’s Garden, located within Butler Park, represents the culmination of the multi-year master plan effort to provide Austin residents with a multi-purpose cultural park.
The garden design is tailored for children while providing a variety of play and recreational experiences – including promotion of wellness and education for visitors of all ages. The Alliance Children’s Garden will become one of the city’s premier play environments within downtown Austin and represents the unique culture of Austin through contextual forms, imaginative play, and strong aesthetics. The two-acre site focuses on four distinct garden spaces: The Hill Country Garden, the Rock & Slide Valley Garden, the Skyline Garden, and the Art & Culture Garden. Each garden offers a balance of intriguing play opportunities, and flexible space for inclusive games and family engagement.
The first public engagement meeting was held at the Palmer Events Center in late 2015 where a general overview of the garden was presented. The second public engagement meeting was held a month later and the conceptual design of garden was reviewed. A final open house was held in the spring of 2016 where the final design concept was displayed. The public also engaged via online surveys throughout the community engagement process.
The project is funded through the Town Lake Venue Fund. The project is not funded through a traditional city bond election.