The Austin Parks and Recreation Department invites the community to the Grand Opening of the Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Metropolitan Park, 400 Grove Boulevard, at 10:00am, Monday, July 1, 2013.
Improvements to this large 400 acre park, located along the south bank of the Colorado River immediately downstream of Longhorn Dam, have been completed and the public is invited to enjoy the new amenities. The park has been developed to enhance the natural environment, with walking trails and wildlife habitat areas as primary features of the park. Native and drought tolerant plantings are also featured throughout the park.
The park features includes roadways, sidewalks, parking improvements, multi-use trails, restrooms, 2 multi-use sports field, a group picnic facility, children’s play area, large general purpose lawn area, trees, landscaping, irrigation, and a public art project. Concurrently within the park a new disc golf course was completed in 2012 and a reclaimed water distribution main provided by the Austin Water Utility will supply the park’s irrigation system. Reclaimed water use will save an estimated 10 million gallons at Colorado River Park annually.
Art in Public Places
In 2003, Art in Public Places (AIPP) convened a selection panel and a group of project advisors which envisioned artist-designed amenities throughout the park. From a call to artists, 19 respondents, 7 finalists, the panel and project advisors selected Austin artist John Christensen to collaborate with the park design team and to create artwork to be installed in the park. The artist and design team chose the turtle as a park icon because of their abundance in Austin’s rivers and lakes, especially in the area around the park. They also have rich symbolic associations—many Eastern and Native American cultures regard the turtle as a spiritual beast and a symbol of immortality. These pieces in the playground, Turtle Plaza / Plaza de las Tortugas, offer four abstracted concrete turtles for children to climb on. Three turtles are located in a circular plaza that acts as a solar observatory—the yellow path points to the location of the sun on the horizon at the winter and summer solstices. Two smaller concrete turtles appear as capitals on the stone wall at the entrance to the playground. Christensen also helped design the pavilion plaza, which includes a fountain and grotto area honoring Roy G. Guerrero. The turtle motif is repeated in the picnic pavilion, whose columns are embellished with bands of colorful glass tiles depicting swimming turtles, designed and installed by mosaic artist Ryah Christensen. The roof of the pavilion echoes the park’s leafy tree canopy, with sections left open in the center to let in light and air.
The Art in Public Places Program (AIPP) acquires and maintains works of art for City facilities and parks through commissions, donations, and loans for the cultural enrichment of Austin’s community. For more information, visit www.austincreates.com.
Communications and Public Information Office
301 W. 2nd Street, Austin, TX 78701