Thursday, December 2, 2021

Onion Creek Metro Park Gets a Recommitment in Needed Attention

Austin City Council approves resolution to ensure improvements are coming to Onion Creek Metro Park
On Thursday, December 2, 2021 Austin City Council voted unanimously for a resolution to solidify its commitment to improving the Onion Creek Metro Park (Item 51). Over the last several years, the City has taken action to transform several acres of floodplain in Southeast Austin to the new Onion Creek Park we have today. This comes on the heels of Phase 1 of the Onion Creek Metro Park Master Plan, which was completed in late 2019 and included open playfields, a 50-space parking lot, trails and sidewalks.

"Thanks to the District 2 community for their valuable input, my co-sponsors for their support and my predecessor, Delia Garza, for her work to bring this project to fruition. It is critical that the Onion Creek Park receives the additional resources and funding that are needed to fulfill the original master plan and ensure it becomes the crown jewel of Southeast Austin as envisioned," said Austin City Council Member Vanessa Fuentes. Fuentes added, "While some of the Park's history is bittersweet given the historic and catastrophic floods that resulted in the displacement of families, this Park represents an opportunity for community unity and to bring forth a metro park for generations of Austinites to enjoy."

Additional improvements within the same 30-acre area of the Park have been designed and permitted as a future phase. These improvements, estimated at approximately $4 million, include an additional park entry road, 25 parking spaces, additional trails, lighting, two picnic pavilions and site furniture. 

"Southeast Austin has been left behind by the City for too long, and has been devastated by floods and other disasters. I'm proud to cosponsor this effort to support the quality of life in Southeast Austin through improvements to Onion Creek Metro Park," said Council Member Greg Casar.

The resolution directs the City Manager to delineate the roles and responsibilities of the parties to the Onion Creek Metro Park District Consent Agreement in addition to:
  • providing regular updates on City websites regarding Onion Creek Metro Park
  • providing an update on contributions of capital improvement and bond funds and construction of Park improvements
  • coordinating with the Onion Creek Metro Park District regarding bond funding for Park improvements
  • providing a report to Council regarding the status of these directives within 120 days of approval of this Resolution
"I am proud to cosponsor this item because it presents unique opportunities for the Onion Creek District Park to execute an innovative model for parks funding, true community participation in the vision and construction, and full transparency in the process," said Council Member Paige Ellis.

"Through this resolution, the City of Austin will provide updated community engagement and informational opportunities regarding the status of the park project as well as dedicate upcoming bond dollars for the construction of new park amenities," said Council Member Fuentes. "This vote signifies that we are equitably investing and developing the park, and it reaffirms our commitment to protecting, promoting and advancing the health and safety of District 2 and our community at-large."

The resolution is authored by Council Member Vanessa Fuentes and co-sponsored by Mayor Steve Adler, Council Members Alison Alter, Greg Casar, Paige Ellis, Ann Kitchen, and Leslie Pool.

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