Walter E. Long Park Master Plan
AUSTIN, Texas – Austin Parks and Recreation (PARD) has unanimously approved of a makeover plan for Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park located at 6620 Blue Bluff Rd, Austin, TX 78724. Find out more about the park by visiting their official website.
The plan calls for investing more than $800 million to transform and complete the 3,700 acre park that also includes a marina on their popular recreational fishing lake. Also included in the plan are upgrades such as an event lawn, planetarium, visitor center, entertainment facilities, water sports zone, and a Ferris Wheel. This came with positive approval after the previous plan of draining the lake and developing a private golf course met with strong opposition.
Money being used will likely coming from bonds, private donations and partners. Forty-eight percent will come from private sources while the remainder will be paid by the city. This revamp to East Austin is so much needed and past due with all of the city’s growth the past two decades. If finalized, the project could bring up to 1 million visitors each year and up to $3 million in revenue for the city.
However, not everyone is on board with the changes. Walter E. Long, previous known as Decker Lake, was and is a hidden gem for many local Austinites. The lake is stocked to the brim with many sport fish and the area is not well known so for most of the year its not a battle getting into the park compared to Zilker and Emma Long Park which are located in central and northwest Austin. Many fear that when the project is completed, Walter E. Long will become too crowded and expensive due to new demands and a surplus of new visitors.